The Vancouver Art Gallery has announced it will present a major new exhibition by Chinese couturiere Guo Pei from October 13 to January 20, 2019.
Organized with Atlanta’s SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film and featuring more than 40 of the designer's runway pieces, the show follows the evolution of Guo’s design over the past decade.
Guo's intricate, handcrafted designs are known for celebrating Quing dynasty opulence and traditional techniques, like embroidery, that were used in imperial times. But she also draws artful inspiration for recent collections from everything from roots and flowers to gothic churches.
Highlights of the garments on view include the trailing canary-coloured cape--all 55 pounds of silk--that Rihanna wore to the Met gala in 2015.
In the announcement today, the VAG said the exhibition will begin with an installation in its rotunda of the collection Guo produced to launch her collaboration with MAC Cosmetics in 2015. It will continue with works from Guo’s 2012 Legend of the Dragon collection, which draws on the mythical dragon motif from the Chinese zodiac. The show also features two acclaimed Paris collections: the shimmering, metallic Encounter (2016) and the ornate garments inspired by Switzerland’s Cathedral of Saint Gallen in Legend (2017).
Guo is the second born-and-raised Asian designer to be invited to become a guest member of the coveted Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture,after Lebanese designer Elie Saab. She is also known for designing the Swarovski-crystal-bedecked dress worn by Chinese star Song Zuying during her performance with Plácido Domingo at the 2008 Summer Olympics closing ceremony.
Guo has a big showroom called Rose Studio in the Chaoyang district of Beijing.
As part of the announcement, Vancouver Art Gallery director Kathleen Bartels explained the show marked a departure for the facility: “For the first time, the Gallery will present an exhibition focused on the intersection of art and fashion as a dimension of visual culture with works by one of the fashion world’s game-changing icons,” she stated. “Guo Pei’s pursuit of excellence is unmistakable in every stitch of her creations. Each of her designs is a masterpiece and feat of craftsmanship that will undoubtedly captivate fashion-savvy visitors and art-lovers alike in this Canadian premiere.”