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Guo Pei: Alternate Universe

Updated: Aug 24, 2023


Guo Pei Alternate universe
Guo Pei Alternate universe

Paintings and sculptures are not the only form of art. Guo Pei, a famous Chinese fashion designer, creates intricate pieces of clothing considered art. She was born in Beijing and quickly found an interest in dressmaking. Guo Pei started her journey at two years old by learning how to sew and later, graduated at the top of her class from the Beijing School of Industrial Fashion Design. She is mainly known for designs worn by Chinese celebrities and Rihanna’s 2015 Met Gala look. She gives new life to old traditions and incorporates modern one’s in with them. Legends and history inspire her artwork, and all tell a story.


One of her most famous collections is “Alternate Universe: Autumn/Winter 2019/2020.” As a child, Guo Pei often thought of death and wondered where you went. She said, “Life and death are never just religious propositions or philosophical thoughts, it is also a domain which artists never stop exploring and expressing. Approaching middle-age, life, and death are no longer just poetry chants. With the loss of beloved ones, you wonder what it will be like when the journey ends. Since death is inevitable, I prefer to imagine it as a dream, an alternate universe parallel to this world, where everything returns to its original state of true pureness and beauty. It is the start of a mysterious journey.” This collection is meant to depict a world between life and death.


There are many animals, greek goddesses, and references to the Baroque and Renaissance eras throughout the garments. Crows symbolize the afterlife as messengers of wisdom between various universes, and the creatures altogether represent life or death. The long and dramatic dresses described the relationship of angels and devils with birds and Delphic motifs.


Guo Pei also developed this collection around the qualities of pineapple hemp, a natural fiber from the Phillippines. Since it is light but strong, it is highly valued and has been used for 400 years. She used pineapple hemp as a base for crystals, pearls, and feathers.


Fashion may not be traditional art, but its influence on society grows daily.

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