Brought up during a time where the streets of China were color-me grey and red and ostentatious presentations of self identity were considered a crime, designer Guo Pei turned her childhood experience into her very own creativity spring. Fashion was a mere blip on the mind and people knew nothing of innovation-it was more like “wow I love your dress, I think I’ll buy the exact same one at the store down the street.” This type of social environment fueled the launch of Guo Pei’s Rose Studio 玫瑰坊 Meiguifang in 1997. Developing couture in China was not an easy task. Aside from having zero knowledge about the difference between a fashion statement and a fashion faux pax, people were also unaccustomed to spending top dollar for anything- especially this type of artwork.
When Pei was first acknowledged for her skilled tailoring and design by ZhangYe (a famous Chinese folk singer), she was caught off guard when others started recruiting for her work. Not only was being commended for individual expression unusual, but also it was an oddity for celebrities to divulge the name of their designer to others.
Guo Pei is very well known-but not limited to-for her ornate designs that reflect her passion for Chinese history and culture. I have to say, honestly, I have NEVER seen anything like it. And the most impressive part is that she works within the confines of a very small studio outside of Bejing-think Hoboken NJ-off of the beaten path, completely unsuspected as the birthplace of couture gowns worth upwards of $12,000 dollars and peaking at $800,000. (Some are completely encrusted with Swarovski crystals and pearls). One of her gowns was once SO heavy, that the model needed two additional male models to help her down the runway! Her brand now employs over 450 craftsman and her expectations for quality and detail are higher than ever.
Taking almost 15 years to find thirst-quenching quality, the final product was worth the wait.
Knowing her original work in ready-to-wear would provide only momentary notoriety, she quickly moved on to couture. Characterizing her creations as “total fantasy,” she used her new freedom to indulge and design lavishly decorated gowns. She recently began planning her grand entrance into the Wedding Gown market- with the hope of helping Chinese women, and the world, better understand the importance of this day to women in China, presently and historically.
“If I can contribute to this country, to our people, to make all the people of Chinese background proud—because if they don’t love their culture, then there is no future for them.”
She also has a storefront in the 798 Beijing Art District- where all of the niche and major designers of China exhibit and sell their work- and is soon to open a Bridal shop in the Bund district of Shanghai.
Guo Pei is President and Chief Designer of Rose Studio Fashion Co. Ltd. She is a member of the China Fashion Designers Association (CFDA) Council and the Fashion Art Committee of CFDA, and has been named foremost among China’s Top 10 Fashion Designers.from the clothing worn by performers in the opening and closing ceremonies at the 2008 Beijing Olympics to dresses for the hosts of the CCTV Spring Festival Gala to costumes for a production of Tosca.
From head to toe, Guo Pei never falls short of magnificent and breathtaking.