Internationally renowned Chinese fashion designer Guo Pei debuted her largest-ever U.S. exhibition at the Legion of Honor, an art museum in San Francisco.
“Guo Pei: Couture Fantasy” highlights over 80 pieces of her works from the past 20 years. Scheduled to run until Sept. 5, the exhibition has already been attracting throngs of people and is on its way to becoming one of the museum’s most popular exhibitions of all time.
Guo — widely considered to be China’s first couturier — is known for her intricate designs that combine “the influences of China’s imperial past, decorative arts, European architecture, and the botanical world.”
Her latest exhibition showcases noteworthy collections that were previously seen on runways in Paris and Beijing. Among the pieces on display is her famous “Da Jin” dress, which took more than 50,000 hours in the course of two years to finish.
Jill D’Alessandro, the curator of costume and textile arts at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, called the exhibition “truly inspirational.”
“Guo Pei has two bodies of work – one is made to measure for her clients,” D’Alessandro told CBS News. “But what we’re showing here are fantasy pieces that she creates for the runway, and she presents them like theater.”
Born in 1967, Guo has made a name for herself in the international fashion scene, with her sought-after creations reaching fashion shows in cities such as Paris, San Francisco and Beijing.
The 55-year-old designer built her career in China, where she has dressed celebrities such as actor Li Bingbing and singer Song Zuying. Outside of her homeland, she has designed dresses for international stars such as Rihanna, who wore a much-buzzed-about yellow gown with a fur-trimmed train to the 2015 Met Gala.
Guo shared with the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco that she grew up listening to stories from her grandmother, who was forced to discard her clothes, jewelry and other valuables during China’s Cultural Revolution.