Heavily opulent, elegant and with dramatic styles that could make anyone daydream, the Guo Pei Couture fall/winter 2016-2017 collection came overloaded with Chinese mythical creatures and legends that inspired the talented designer. Guo Pei, along with Ulyana Sergeenko, is one of the first designers to kick off the first day of the Paris Couture Fashion Week, and we loved her collection to bits.
Regarded by many as the Chinese queen of haute couture, Guo Pei has been featuring Chinese-inspired motifs in full gear in her line-ups during the recent years, slowly lessening the distances between the Eastern and the Western cultures and, overwhelming the runway shows with cascades of different vibrant colors, shimmery fabrics and loads of frills and fringes.
When it comes to haute couture the ‘less is more’ mantra couldn’t be more distant from her perspectives on fashion, as proven by her notorious diamond-studded garment from the 2008 Olympics, to which she, with the help of a dozen of tailors, manually attached a grand total of 20,000 Swarovski crystals.
Those who thought it would have been impossible for her to outdo herself in creating something equally lavish, may now change their mind. Thanks to a well-served richness in texture, designs and materials, the Guo Pei Couture fall 2016 collection is strikingly jaw-dropping, with its gold-thread embroideries, manual crafts and dramatic silhouettes that might not be as valuable as the 20,000 Swarovski crystals, but, in terms of opulence, are just as glorious.
Aside from gold, the tones of which range from the brightest and most glittering to slightly more dark-toned shades, the color palette of this collection includes some of China’s traditional colors too, such as fiery red, deep purple and a rich, fairylike bright blue, which got combined either with gold or a light brown hue.
To further accentuate the beauty of colors, Pei not only opted to play with layered fringes and sequins, but also added translucent materials and beaded embroideries to the staples, completing the looks with high-heeled metallic pumps and stilettos.
Curve-hugging and with certain references of the Roaring Twenties mixed with China’s traditional tailoring, Pei enhanced the sinuous proposals with reversed oversized figures, the origami zigzagged gowns and exaggerated hems of which dynamically spice up the entire line-up, catapulting us in one of Pei’s sweetest fairytales.
The majority of the proposals might in fact be regarded as royal indeed, with intricate head ornaments literally crowning the looks and being as much imposing as sophisticated.
For her Guo Pei Couture fall 2016 show, however, Pei did not solely focus on conventionally ‘haute’ looks. Some outfits even featured tulle or dramatic cocoon skirts combined with slightly glam rock bodices and tops, the risqué super-plunging V-necklines of which created an interesting contrast with the many puffed-shoulders and geometric-cut necklines the majority of the ensembles featured.
As usual, she drew the show to a close with an impressive dress with hand-sewn sun-kissed embellishments that were the result of more than 20,000 hours of labor. The staple, the mermaid figure of which got of course exaggerated in the perfect Pei style, genuinely seems out of this world, and truly shows what Pei is capable of.
Photos courtesy of WWD