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5 Minutes With Chinese Designer Guo Pei

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Chinese haute couture designer Guo Pei tells us about her journey as a designer and talks about the dress Riri wore to the Met Ball

Photos: Courtesy of Guo Pei/Singapore Fashion Week

guo-pei-at-singapore-fashion-weekGuo Pei at the finale for Singapore Fashion Week Opener Show.

49-year-old Chinese designer Guo Pei is no stranger to dressing A-listers around the world. Recently in town for Singapore Fashion Week, she presented an opening show with more than 30 exquisite pieces.

On the fast pace of things in the world of fashion, she quipped: “People must think I’m mad because soon in January, my extravagant and crazy collection will return to the runway of Paris Fashion Week.”

In this exclusive interview, we sat down with the talented designer and discovered the inspiration behind her creations.

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People have commented that your haute couture designs aren’t very wearable beyond the runway. What are your thoughts about this?

I always ask myself, what kind of first impression do I want people to have when they see my designs? I don’t create based on the amount of orders I get from a particular piece.

Self-expression is the only thing I think about and I think my designs speak for themselves.

All I hope is that my designs can bring you happiness and show you my dreams, aspirations and values.

Your designs have a strong Chinese influence. How do you integrate the various elements so seamlessly?

I’ve never intentionally forced Chinese elements into my designs — it always came to me naturally.

I was born and bred in Mainland China. As such, all these cultural inspirations have been etched in my brain since young.

A decade ago, I designed a dress that I felt had strong French influence. But when I asked a French journalist for his thoughts on it, he felt that the dress had no affiliation to French design.

To me, my modern designs are earnest. Earnest designs are built upon real feelings and will touch the hearts of many due to their individuality and uniqueness.

You’ve designed so many gowns throughout the years. Do you have a favourite?

It’s very difficult to name a single piece. However, I felt that the “Magnificent Gold” gown was a design that truly belonged to me.

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