On a mild January 24th during the Paris haute couture season, an unforgettable collection took place. One of the most anticipated runways of the couture season is Guo Pei's evening show at the Cirque d'Hiver. This was IRK's seventh show that day with photographer and editor Callaway, IRK was privileged to capture some of the backstage drama and glamour. We were honored, to have a second season with the designer and had time to visit with each model while they were surrounded by a team of hair stylists and makeup artists overseen by Guo Pei who inspected their work.
IRK spotted one of our favorite models Debra Shaw. She told us 'she was opening the show and was supposed to be the queen of the forest in a golden baroque inspired dress with branches and large flowers adorning it.' Debra informed us that Guo Pei contacted her a year ago for this show. Pei had already envisioned Debra as a forest queen. The dress was woven with Chinese bamboo created by skilled artisans for hundreds of hours atypical of haute couture and particularly Pei's elaborate embroidered styles.
IRK had a hint about this garden inspired collection last year while photographing the Spring/Summer 2017 collection. This year's collection was an 'Enchanted Garden' showcased twenty-three floral gowns a confection of floral from headpieces to shoes every detail was covered in intricate and realistically crafted flowers.
Similar to precious Chinese decorative art -blue, white and gold were the primary colors of this collection. Following the queen, the silhouettes continued in deep blues hues and evolved into gold tones following a theme of the dawn taking over the night with the warmth of the sun.
The creative stage design made this show distinctly unique an eight meter in diameter tree was suspended at center stage. The set, which was made completely out of paper was crafted by French artist Charles Macaire . The white roots represented the origin of life. Guo Pei's vision was that 'the tree's roots were its source of vitality and the beginning of all life. '
For IRK this was an unforgettable fashion event and collection Guo Pei transported the Paris audience to 'Elysium', an island of pure beauty and couture mystique.