Fall 2018 Haute Couture: Guo Pei Finds Strength in Architecture

The Cité de l’Architecture, a Parisian museum of architecture and monumental sculpture was the source of inspiration for the Guo Pei’s Fall/Winter 2018 collection si it is appropriate she presented her haute couture collection there, highlighting the translation of “architecture’s beauty of strength, beauty of structure, beauty of contour and beauty of rationality and equilibrium” through her designs.


“Garments are moving creations of architecture, and clothing is the first arena of space for mankind,” she adds in the show notes.


The Chinese designer was particularly influenced by Gothic architecture and its pointed towers, arched windows, and buttresses, all of which she integrated in her garments either through form or embroideries


The pannier was the shape at the heart of the collection, acting much like the foundation in architecture, but the designer added layers of curvatures and contours with structures that pick up on architectural styles such as the eaves, square forms and layering. A variety of techniques and materials were used to create these distinctly new pannier structures.


The cross appears repeatedly in the collections’ decorative patterns, while floral scrolls and blossom patterns mirror those found on stained glass.


The whole collection revealed the very essence of Gothic architecture yet interpreted through classical Oriental techniques such as knot buttons and rich embroidery.


Black dominated the collection, which used a wide variety of fabrics from pineapple fibre and linens to muslins and feathers.


As in previous collections, the designer was more interested in creating a dream and challenging her atelier’s skills than creating wearable pieces. It will be interesting to see how the design elements are reflected in her more easily worn designs, and how they influence others.