IRK has been waiting all week to see what Guo Pei would do to feast our eyes for the 2018-19 Haute Couture fashion week and we were, as expected, not disappointed. Guo Pei’s sixth collection was held at the Cite de L’Architecture on July 4 at 7 pm, amongst some of Paris’s great architectural relics. We were all seated in a long hall surrounded by gargoyles, church steeples, and other breathtaking stone structures. But it was not until the lights went down to announce the start of the show and we got to see the first model to enter the long hallway that we understood how perfect the location was.
Guo Pei in all her creativity and genius had chosen to be inspired by the immutable strength, balance, and beauty of architecture. She has found great inspiration from Architectures' miraculous defiance of what is possible and she shares the architect's thoughts and imagination on manipulating space. “Garments are moving creations of architecture, and clothing is the first arena of space for mankind” says Guo Pei.
The new collection is perfectly in synch with the venue as they integrate gothic architecture styles- pointed towers, pointed arches, arched windows, and buttresses. The panniers is the base of this collections form much like the architectural foundation structure. Guo Pei came up with innovative designs adding layers and curvature to the contour of the pannier. Technical excellence can be seen throughout this collection and it took a variety of techniques and materials by top craftsman to realize the looks.
The cross, diamonds, stars, and triangles represent the rationale of architecture while floral scrolls and blossoms represent stained glass windows. The entire collection is taken from gothic architecture but the techniques are rooted in Chinese couture including knot buttons, and embroidery.
Again in conjunction with the gothic style, the color is mostly black with some nude with varying textures and transparencies using pineapple fibber, muslin, and other fabrics to create space, light, dark, and layers of transparency. The blacks are endlessly varied due to the use of materials such as satin, black crystals, and painted motifs.
The ingenuity of the varied designs within this complicated and ambitious theme is awe-inspiring and we are again amazed by how Guo Pei embraces European culture now through architecture inspired haute couture creations while keeping chines ingenious techniques.