AD­DRESS­ING THE WEST

The works of Chi­nese cou­turier Guo Pei come to Van­cou­ver.

Fashion (Canada) - - The Market Moments - —Joy Pec­knold

“They’re prej­u­diced against us be­cause we’re from the East, even though China is rich in cul­ture,” says Chi­nese de­signer Guo Pei about the French fash­ion in­dus­try. The quote comes from the doc­u­men­tary Yel­low Is For­bid­den by Pi­etra Bret­tkelly. The doc fol­lows Guo as her recog­ni­tion in the West grows af­ter Ri­hanna wore Guo’s ca­nary-coloured silk cape trimmed with fox fur to the 2015 Met Gala. The look set off a flurry of omelette, pizza and Big Bird memes. In the wake of the film, which pre­miered at the Tribeca Film Fes­ti­val ear­lier this year and screened again at the Van­cou­ver In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val in Septem­ber, the Van­cou­ver Art Gallery is stag­ing an ex­hi­bi­tion of Guo’s or­nate cre­ations un­til Jan­uary 20, 2019. More than 40 pieces span­ning 10 years of the de­signer’s over-twodecade ca­reer are fea­tured in Guo Pei: Cou­ture Be­yond, the most re­cent be­ing those she showed in Paris for Fall 2016 and Spring 2017. Guo is the first Chi­nese de­signer to be in­vited into the ex­clu­sive Cham­bre Syn­di­cale de la Haute Cou­ture. The in­fa­mous yel­low cape—all 25 kilo­grams and five-me­tre train of it—will also be on dis­play, and the hue, as the film ti­tle sug­gests, car­ries deep cul­tural sig­nif­i­cance. In im­pe­rial China, which is a ma­jor source of in­spi­ra­tion for Guo, yel­low was only worn by the em­peror. In de­but­ing the ex­hibit in Canada as its first-ever con­tem­po­rary­fash­ion-cen­tred sur­vey, the gallery seems to be mak­ing its own strong state­ment.

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