Guo Pei holding Benude magazine invitations before her fashion show in Paris
Guo Pei in Paris, before her fashion show holding Benude invitations. / Photo Kendrick

Guo Pei is a Legend, not because she named her fashion show “Legend”, but for her art.

6 min readSep 1, 2019


She was elected by the magazine Times, as one of the 100 most influential people in the 2016 Artist category.

Little known to the international public, except in the world of fashion and celebrated in China, she has been propelled on the international stage to the eyes of all thanks to an amazing dress — which had needed two years to work out — worn by Rihanna at the 2015 Met Ball Gala in New York. Strangely, Guo Pei did not know who Rihanna was when she was approached.

The Met Gala is held at the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art — one of the largest art museums in the world — on the day of the inauguration of the annual Costume Institute exhibition. This is a department of the Met New York where they keep more than 35,000 clothes and accessories from the 15th century to the present day. In 2015 the exhibition China: Through the Looking Glass, put China in the spotlight.

The list of guests is managed by Anna Wintour, Vogue’s editor-in-chief. Her strength has been to transform a cultural event, attended by sponsors, into one of the biggest fashion events organised by a cultural institution. The Met Ball is a choice event to ensure visibility within the fashion industry.

Legend fashion show backstage / Photo Kendrick

The fashion show took place at the Conciergerie in Paris, located on the “Ile de la Cité” — which is the former Medieval residence of the kings of France that was transformed into a revolutionary court in 1793 — where the last Queen of France Marie-Antoinette was locked up before being executed Place de la Concorde.

The first silhouette “ The Revenant ”, appeared in a luminescent dress in a Conciergerie dipped into the dark, to evoke the ghost of Marie-Antoinette.

Guo Pei Legend fashion show in Paris

Guo Pei is a member of the Asian Couture Federation (ACF) whose founding president is Dr. Frank Cintamani Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters 2013 and among others, it must be mentioned as well that he was nominated Man of the Year in Singapore in 2008. A pioneer, who propelled Singapore to the eighth place of the capitals of fashion and the second city after Paris for French couture by designers such as Julien Fournié, Yiqing Yin, Jean Paul Gaultier, Stéphane Rolland, Anne Valérie Hash, Christophe Josse, On Aura Tout Vu, Alexis Mabille, Gustavo Lins…

Guo Pei describes her dedication to couture : « Devotion, I believe, is an everlasting merit of the human beings. This sense of selfless commitment is always the driving force behind human exploration and creation. Like sunlight which bestows vitality to all creatures and brings prosperity to life on earth, the offer is so simple and complete, without any reservation. My passion for couture is rooted in this belief. Only with the spirit of devotion can a creation stand the test of time, until it eventually becomes a legend. »

It is precisely with another legend that Guo Pei closes her fashion show: Carmen Dell’Orefice, a New York fashion model who has been performing for more than 70 years and started her career at 15 on the cover of Vogue.

Carmen Dell’Orefice / Photo Kendrick

The face of Carmen Dell’Orefice is bewitching ! She was, among others, the muse and model of Salvador Dalí and worked with many famous photographers and modelling agencies such as Ford Models (now Premium Models for Paris).

«Legends have always been one of my greatest sources of inspiration, unlocking my infinite imagination. The origins of mankind, creation myths a nd the mysteries of eternal life fascinate me. A part of my soul will always hold on to the most beautiful fantasies inspired by legends.»

This is the third collection of Guo Pei, as a guest member of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture, presented at the Conciergerie in Paris, which is a Gothic building, in the Palace of the City. It was the residence and the seat of the kings of France from the tenth to the fourteenth century.

In the fourteenth century, part of the palace was transformed into a prison out of which few people came out alive and in 1793 Queen Marie Antoinette was imprisoned during the French Revolution and executed Place de la Concorde in Paris.

Guo Pei inspired by St. Gallen Cathedral

Dedicated to Paris, its original inspirations came from the St. Gallen Cathedral in Switzerland, east of Zurich on the border of Lake Constance border with Germany and Austria, not far from Liechtenstein.

This region was the cradle of textile for haute couture and it is here that the factory Jakob Schlaepfer (established since 1904, with many customers including Christian Dior) is installed.

Guo Pei, on her way back from Schlaepfer House with Martin Leuthold’s art director, decided to visit the Cathedral. At the entrance of the cathedral, the latter warned her : “This is a place you will love, but if you want to have your flight back, you only have 10 minutes to visit the cathedral.”

When Guo Pei entered, she was bewitched by the spectacular painting of the dome coloured with pink and green tones on which are represented god, angels and clouds wandering in a dream universe made of lights and shadows. And… she stayed there four hours during which she mentally imagined her new collection, far from her flight.

Guo Pei Legend fashion show inspired by St. Gallen Cathedral in Switzerland / Photo Kendrick

Guo Pei will make a new tribute to Haute Couture on July 2, 2017 in the prestigious Hotel Salon de Rothschild in Paris, working in close collaboration with Caroline Scheufele, co president and art director of Chopard.

Guo Pei could not surpass the colossal Legend Spring-Summer 2017 show with its fantastic and extravagant creatures.

Guo Pei fashion show at Hotel Salon de Rothschild in Paris / Photo Kendrick

For this autumn-winter 2017/2018 show, she decided to pay homage to Haute Couture by focusing on the cloth, shying away from the context of industrialisation and rapid consumption where arts and crafts tend to move away from creation.

“I have always used my creations and my work to express my feelings, my dreams, to let my heart speak. But for this season, I decided to focus on the garment itself. “ — Guo Pei

Guo Pei fashion show at Hotel Salon de Rothschild in Paris

It is therefore with 43 sophisticated silhouettes with aesthetic and classic lines that Guo Pei, with the complicity of the artistic director of Chopard, has succeeded in sublimating women and creation within a short period of time.

Backstage & front row of Guo Pei fashion show at Hotel Salon de Rothschild in Paris / Photo Kendrick

“Through this joint fashion show with Guo Pei, a form of innovative and promising feminine solidarity is expressed: women are never as strong as when they unite their talents.” — Caroline Scheufele

Story published in Benude magazine by Kendrick.