Guo Pei – The Chinese fashion star who loves Japan

The haute couture designer Guo Pei appears to be one of the most glamorous people in the world.

She is a megastar in China and was listed as one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people, after she created an ‘omelette’ dress which the singer Rihanna wore to the Met Gala in New York.

Reading stories about her life in magazines, it’s clear she has an abiding passion for Japan.

Guo Pei recently did an interview with Francesa Fearon for the Financial Times in which she explained she often goes to Kyoto and has a huge admiration for the materials and craftsmanship used in making kimonos and obi belts.

“The last thing I bought and loved was a 400-year old geisha doll,” Guo Pei told the FT.

“I began collecting antique geisha dolls wearing beautiful kimonos because I am fascinated by the fabrics and the embroidered details. I have collected between 40 and 50 dolls so far, with many more than 200 years old. They were originally made by Japanese artists, I believe, for their royal family,” 

The designer’s studio in Paris looks amazing in the photographs in the FT magazine. It contains a special refrigerator in which she keeps her cosmetics.

Thanks to Vogue, you can also view her latest collection online. It’s inspired not by Japan but by the Himalayas. According to Vogue’s Tiziana Cardini “Guo Pei inhabits a creative universe all her own, where unbridled imagination meets arcane symbology in clothing that is both sumptuously opulent and theatrical.”

Looking at these incredible designs, I can understand why fashionable people in cities like Paris still look to the Far East for beautiful inspiration. I hope I can have a cup of tea with Guo Pei in her studio one day. The dilemma will be choosing what to wear…