The Story

Himalaya

Guo Pei Spring/Summer 2020 Couture Collection

 

 

Himalaya is a place that has brought me countless fantasies, but never fulfilled. It is the hometown of snow, where one’s soul lives. In my heart, I can see her clearly. The steepness, solitude and the icy cold of its snowy mountain peaks could not annihilate her glorious divine image in my heart. For thousands of years, she has symbolized the road to truth, the residence of the gods, the temple of the soul.

 

I like the whiteness of the Himalayas. A holy white that fuses its pinnacles to the sky; the white snowflakes floating lightly, the white mountain peaks standing steep and lonely. A brilliant white; a white that is so pure, a white that is the purity of soul and spirit.

 

I like the height of the Himalayas. A height of fearless life nor death; connected to the sky and a peak that can overlook everything in the world.

 

I also like stillness of the Himalayas. It is still because it is lonely, it is lonely because it is pure, it is pure because it is holy.

 

In the Himalayas, the frozen trail left behind for thousands of years is the path to the truth. It is the courage to challenge life and death. Like the Snow Lotus standing tall above the snow.

—— Guo Pei

 

 

On January 22nd, Guo Pei presents her Spring/Summer 2020 Couture collection at Palais de Tokyo. This distinguished palace of contemporary art will be transformed into a holy realm of snowy pureness presenting 22 couture looks. Guo Pei explores the philosophical dialogue between primitive and civilization, recreating her imagination of the Himalayas.

 

The snow lotus is a key design element in this collection. Growing far above the snowline, this rare breed of flowers remains pure and uncontaminated like an untainted soul. Light materials such as feathers, chiffon and organza are used to create the graceful lightness and translucent texture of snow lotuses in its various forms. Crystals and pearls are layered in clusters to create the stamen, bringing these extraordinary flowers to life. Intricate layers of pleating and intensive weaving techniques are employed by the craftsmen to embody snow in its various natural states – melting, powder soft, ice and crystallization.

 

Using luxury couture fabrics sourced from around the world, “Himalaya” features precious gold brocade from China and antique Japanese Obi fabric. Guo Pei chose to use the reverse side of these fabrics, adopting the look of intertwined yarns as an abstract metaphor for the crisscross of human civilization and cultures. Hundreds of antique Japanese kimono belts are cut into 10 x 20cm pieces and reassembled to create a unique blend of colors and textures. Sewing together these tiny pieces of fabric symbolizes a convergence of different civilizations and cultures, weaving into each other like history through the centuries.

 

Inspired by the Himalayans’ Buddhist faith, sacred Buddha art patterns from traditional Thangkas are embroidered onto these reconstructed fabrics such as Buddhas of the Three Realms and the mysteries of the circles of life. The ornamental crowns and rosary beads of the Buddha statues are embellished with precious gemstones. Guo Pei epitomizes the Himalayans’ faith, transcending time and strength across the region, healing the rifts of civilization and liberation of one’s soul.

 

Employing Guo Pei’s signature luxurious palace embroidery techniques, Buddha and various Buddhist religious patterns from Thangkas are vividly illustrated on the pieces of this collection. Gold and silver thread embroidery are heavily featured to create the sacred tone of the patterns. Using her in-depth knowledge of colors and fabrics, Guo Pei integrates embroidery and fabrics into one cohesive piece of art expressing the pureness of Tibetan art. Through three-dimensional embroidery techniques, traditional Thangka craftsmanship fused with traditions and innovation, is brought to life through Guo Pei’s creations.

 

The multi-layered, soft-flowing silhouettes of the collection are inspired by traditional Tibetan designs featuring exaggerated sleeves and dropped waistlines, reflecting the freedom and uninhibited nomadic culture at the foot of the Himalayas. Like a snow lotus encapsulated in grace, each look is likened to a capsule where the dress’s neckline, cuff and skirt mirrors the elegant outline of this capsule, revealing an exquisite flower above the collar.

 

The Himalayas is the sacred birthplace of oriental civilization and faith. Guo Pei reveals her moving tribute to the mountain range through her finale dress - a two-meter long train intricately embroidered with magnificent Thangka patterns. As if Himalaya’s snow-capped mountain tops is fused to the sky enlightened by Buddha’s Infinite Light, the wisdom of Dharma nourishes human civilization and nurtures new life. The immortal myths of the Himalayas are illuminated.

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