Guo Pei Haute Couture Fall-Winter 2018-19 “The Architecture” – Time flows unhurriedly, while architecture stands immutably. “Time and Space” have always been the two grand themes that artists devote themselves to express. Over the long course of history, architecture has been witnessing human civilization, traversing time and transforming space. It is through architecture that mankind has relentlessly applied technologies to surpass themselves, expressing their thoughts and imagination about space, thus attaining miraculous glories. Guo Pei has found much enlightenment and creative inspiration from architecture. To her, imagination about space is one of the most enjoyable part of her design process.
“Garments are moving creations of architecture, and clothing is the first arena of space for mankind,” says Guo Pei. It is precisely because of her reflections on architecture and comprehension of space that Guo Pei made “architecture” the theme for her new collection. Guo Pei’s Fall Winter 2018-19 Couture collection expresses architecture’s beauty of strength, beauty of structure, beauty of contour, and beauty of rationality and equilibrium through human silhouette.
She attempts taking the aesthetics of architectural space and realizing them in the outlines and details of her designs, from which comes her concept that “Garments are moving creations of architecture,” initiating a dialogue between the human body and spatial dimension.
Guo Pei, invited member of the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode, has chosen la Cité de l’Architecture & du Patrimoine to present her 6th collection in Paris. The collection theme, based on “architecture”, is perfectly in sync with the venue.
The new collection expresses the rational and serene side of Guo Pei’s style. The silhouettes of the clothes integrate the Gothic architectural styles – pointed towers, pointed arches, arched windows and buttresses, all distinctly and ingeniously integrated. The pannier is the focus of this collection’s shapes, much like the foundation structure in architecture. Guo Pei took a bold and innovative approach, adding different layers of curvature and contours to the pannier, with structures that exhibit novel architectural styles such as the eaves style, squat style, and layered style.
A variety of techniques and materials were used by craftsmen to create these distinctly new structures of the pannier. Technical excellency is one of the highlights of this collection. The cross, originally found in Roman architecture repeatedly appears in the collection’s decorative patterns. Diamonds, stars, and triangles express the rational cohesion while floral scrolls and plum blossoms patterns mimicking those found on western traditional stained glass add a romantic exquisiteness. The whole collection shows the very essence of Gothic architecture interpreted through classical Oriental techniques such as knot buttons and embroidery. Everything constructs within the clothes; rich contours, geometric figures, and floral patterns while balancing rationality, rigor, romance and mystery.
As important as light is to space, Guo Pei also emphasizes the synergy between light and clothing. The entire collection uses pineapple fiber, muslin, lustrous and high permeability fabrics to create an artistic conception of space and light. Linens, feathers, acrylics, metals, and other materials are transformed into different textures, blurring the boundaries between clothing and architecture. As is classically representative of Gothic style, black is widely used in the collection. The layered visuals on each piece enriches the expressive power of the color black. From subtle, reserved black satin to sparkly, flickering black crystals; from black hand painted outlines of tree shadows to architectural effects hand sewn onto the fabrics, all making the color black richer and more spirited.
Through this collection, Guo Pei expresses her reflections and sentiments on architecture. In prosperity or decline, alternating like day and night, architecture undergoes the test of changes throughout history, finally becoming a profound memory of a time period and quietly standing in the horizon. It reflects mankind’s understanding of society, their thinking concerning culture, a record of mankind’s imagination and creation of space. It is the witness to human civilization becoming from nothing to everything. Like Couture, following society’s evolution and itself changes and depicts the face of the spirit of people from different eras. It is the most beautiful imprint of human development.