Spring 2018 Haute Couture: Guo Pei’s Couture Paradise
In classical mythology, Elysium is the "abode of the blessed after death," a paradise for perfect happiness. For Spring 2018, Guo Pei offers her own version of Elyseum, as she reflects on life’s miracles and creates her fantasy couture paradise full of colorful flowers, elves, mermaids and forest fairies.
She staged her vision on the glittering, reflective black stage of Le Cirque d’Hiver Bouglione, Paris, that evoked at once an ocean surface as well as the deep sky and was the perfect mirrors for her fantasy gowns.
The presentation was seemingly held under the roots of a giant tree that had been created by the French paper artist Charles Macaire. The white roots symbolized the origins of life, absorbing nutrients and delivering energy, often overlooked because they are buried deep underground. In Guo Pei’s eyes, a tree’s roots are the source of vitality, the beginning of all life.
Flowers were the central design element for this collection of 23 pieces, and inspired silhouettes as well as the rich, colorful embroideries and accessories.
The opening piece was woven with bamboo from Huangshan in Anhui, China and decorated with golden flowers, setting the tone for the theatrical presentation.
The Chinese designer primarily used a color palette of gold, blue and white to evoke her beautiful paradise and sent models walking precariously on elaborate high platform shoes while sporting gravity-defying hair sculptures decorated with gold accessories.
The Chinese designer primarily used a color palette of gold, blue and white to evoke her beautiful paradise and sent models walking precariously on elaborate high platform shoes while sporting gravity-defying hair sculptures decorated with gold accessories. Each gown dripped in gemstones, crystals and other embellishments in an over-the-top approach that eschewed any wearable practicalities. But as it is always the case with the designers' presentations, the fantasy was essentially aiming to showcase the craftsmanship and ability of her studio. Rather than selling these gowns, they are nowadays often displayed in fashion exhibitions Guo Pei uses the presentations as an incubator for ideas that will be developed later with her clients.