The stars shone so beautifully bright last evening at the 2015 annual Met Gala. This year’s theme celebrated the museum’s Costume Institute exhibition, “China: Through the Looking Glass.” And the stars did indeed twinkle, all with glistening lips and even shinier hair, sparkling jewels and brilliantly beaded gowns…but the North star of the night was indisputable. One word…..RIHANNA.
Actually, make that three words: Rihanna & Guo Pei.
Guo Pei is the brilliant Bejing-based female fashion designer, age 45, behind the opulent sunflower yellow confection worn by Rihanna, which easily renders one speechless when beholding its honeyed grandeur.
Yards upon yards of heavy golden silk satin, decadently embroidered and edged in matching fur, the gown is, quite easily, one of the most stunning visions we have seen on the Red Carpet in years, and I stand behind that statement. But such a breathtaking creation is really neither rare nor remarkable in the world of Guo Pei, whose art via couture routinely astonishes.
With this gown, worn with a gilded stiletto manicure and a lamé headpiece, Rihanna has redefined elegance and set a new standard for drama in the entertainment industry.
Now, for more fabulous designs by Chinese couture sensation, Guo Pei…..
Guo Pei’s distinctive, characteristic opulence almost always includes heavy embroidery, gems and beading, and of course the most luxe fabrics in brilliant jewel tones. Elaborate headdresses, haute couture hair and dramatic makeup are a foregone conclusion.
This beautiful gilded display is Guo Pei’s interpretation of a modern-day Marie Antoinette, married with the precocious designer’s Asian sensibilities, yielding an ensemble reserved for royalty.
Facial jewelry is one of my favorite emerging trends…..but Guo Pei has been embellishing the visage with jewelry for many years, as seen in this striking example from Hong Kong Fashion Week in 2010.
Here, the jewelry encompasses a large territory, and extends up into an exotic headdress which intrigues.
These designs, from the Hong Kong Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2010 Show, remind us of the visionary that is Guo Pei.
Rich, playful color combinations, breathtakingly unique silhouettes and lavish details are three Guo Pei trademarks. I adore the rose gold filigree hair fixture and delicate hand jewelry. This striking display is further enhanced with decadent beading, and painstakingly embroidered for a most regal yet avant garde end product.
Just look at the ornate, gold-encrusted pistachio pantsuit above, with cone-shaped pleating.
I’ve never seen anything remotely like this. Absolutely riveting.
The back is a study in texture, shape and color.
Weighted with long, thick fringed tassels, the billowing arms of this red-hot Chinese gown are further embellished with heavy golden embroidery. A geisha-esque headdress with red and gold beading heightens the drama.
This empress gown and matching cape must weigh a ton! Just look at the beautiful heavy workmanship, all of which is painstakingly hand-applied on a Guo Pei couture gown.
An abbreviated tangerine hemline is awash in gold jewelry.
The model is drenched in ornate gems and facial jewelry is, once again, of primary focus.
This wheat-colored gown defies description.
I simply love Guo Pei’s use of mixed materials in this pure white wonder, complete with fur-lined, floor-length kimono sleeves and beading galore. Stunning!
Drama runs high in a black cherry gown with a huge, elaborate headdress that is absolutely undefinable.
Guo Pei plays with proportions in this epic gown, which is crimped at the waistline….
…..for an unusual aesthetic result.
A massive train leaves spectators in awe of its regal splendor.
I adore the concept of this ensemble, and its execution is flawless. Satin rosettes in cerise, hot pink and red compose the shell of this arresting gown. A coordinating robe is worn on top. The gilded headdress is the final, exalted couture element. Ravishing!
And now we have seen China, through the eyes of Miss Guo Pei.