This Chinese Fashion Designer Favours Sculpture Over Wearability

Models present creations from the Fall/Winter 2018/19 Haute Couture collection by Guo Pei
Models present creations from the Fall/Winter 2018/19 Haute Couture collection by Guo Pei | © CAROLINE BLUMBERG/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock

Chinese fashion designer Guo Pei is proving that elaborate design still has a place on the Paris Haute Couture runway.

Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week takes place at the beginning of July and it’s a chance for the world’s most elite designers to showcase hand-crafted works of art in the form of clothing. July’s event saw Dior and Chanel take a more wearable, modern approach than previously seen, but Chinese designer Guo Pei kept things traditionally elaborate with her architecture-inspired collection.

Photo by CAROLINE BLUMBERG/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock (9735452ab) Fall/Winter 2018/19 Haute Couture collection by Chinese designer Guo Pei, Paris, France, 04 July 2018

Guo Pei is best known in the Western world as being the designer behind Rihanna’s 2015 Met Gala gown, complete with enormous fur-trimmed yellow cape comically dubbed ‘the omelette dress’. The theme of the event was China: Through The Looking Glass, and celebrities called upon Chinese haute couture designers to dress them for the red carpet. Pei’s work was also featured in the Metropolitan Museum’s exhibit alongside other Chinese haute couture designers, jewellery and Chinese art.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Benefit Celebrating the Opening of China

In July 2015, just months after dressing the global superstar, Pei held her first solo exhibition at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris and was made a member of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture. Her collections remain to be a true celebration of the organisation’s heritage and core values, despite her peers shift in approach to suit the times.

Pei’s work is heavily inspired by architecture, and her autumn / winter 2019 collection referenced the Cité de l’Architecture, where the show was held. She said of her collection; ‘Very few designers have to dare to use their extreme designs to express themselves… [haute couture] doesn’t have to be wearable like ready-to-wear.’

Guo Pei show, Runway, Fall Winter 2018

Dresses were elaborate in silhouette, with cage-like skirts and headpieces adding directional flair to the more minimalist shapes in the line-up. These were works of art as opposed to items of clothing and the monochromatic colour palette allowed structure to remain in focus. Despite the schedule’s ever-more contemporary approach to couture, Pei proved that eccentricity still holds a place at this event.

culture trip left arrow
 culture trip brand logo

Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider


women sitting on iceberg


2 years.


It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.


I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

culture trip logo letter c
group posing for picture on iceberg
group posing for picture on iceberg

Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

map of volcanic iceland trip destination points
culture trip brand logo
culture trip right arrow
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.