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Meet Guo Pei, China's First Haute Couture Designer

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In the West, Guo Pei is known for making the canary-yellow gown Rihanna wore at this year’s Met Gala in New York. Growing up during the Cultural Revolution and China’s opening up, Guo shares how the country’s past has shaped her designs and innovations. Photo/Video: Menglin Huang/The Wall Street Journal Subscribe to the WSJ channel here: http://bit.ly/14Q81Xy More from the Wall Street Journal: Visit WSJ.com: http://www.wsj.com Follow WSJ on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/wsjvideo Follow WSJ on Google+: https://plus.google.com/+wsj/posts Follow WSJ on Twitter: https://twitter.com/WSJvideo Follow WSJ on Instagram: http://instagram.com/wsj Follow WSJ on Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/wsj/ Don’t miss a WSJ video, subscribe here: http://bit.ly/14Q81Xy More from the Wall Street Journal: Visit WSJ.com: http://www.wsj.com Visit the WSJ Video Center: https://wsj.com/video On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pg/wsj/videos/ On Twitter: https://twitter.com/WSJ On Snapchat: https://on.wsj.com/2ratjSM
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Text Comments (245)
Mele Lani (1 day ago)
Her work is amazing
Her designs are INSANE. True, intricate, breathtaking and fearless art
Xinyi Zhu (6 days ago)
NTH THN (8 days ago)
She jokes about memes made of her creations. Respect!!!
I feel like nothing should be considered couture if its made with cheap labor. She doesnt have an atelier, she has a factory of 500+ people who she herself admits that their loyalty to her surpasses their desire for money (i.e. They're glad for the opportunity to earn just enough above average by working for Guo Pei instead of the sweatshops making H&M). Yes, there's a lot of crafstmanship in her designs, but nothing made with cheap Chinese labor deserves Haute Couture status.
👏👏👏 she and her team really works hard.. The gowns was beautiful..
Wei Ah (12 days ago)
I heard about her in china. And she’s such an inspiration to me. As a Chinese my parents disapproves of my dreams to become a fashion designer. I really need to show this to my mom lol
rebecca finn (13 days ago)
I've been following her clothes, & especially her shoes, ever since I was a teen. I even did my art GCSE based on her!
Karen Yau (15 days ago)
Wow I love her designs! I did not know she did Rihanna's dress!!! Also that Met dress is divine. Truly a work of art, absolutely exquisite.
Carla Chang (16 days ago)
Leia Jiang (21 days ago)
2:20 李玉刚!!♡♡♡
Eden Kim (28 days ago)
Its not haute couture unless the couturier is registered in paris
Yuvraj Singh Chouhan (30 days ago)
Love and respect from india
Tina Loye (30 days ago)
5 seconds in and she's now my fav for life
Catherine Malian (1 month ago)
Smruti Joshi (1 month ago)
Wow so creative osm n inspiration person #smrutijoshi
Fungola Matt (2 months ago)
I need contact information For this women thanks
OOF (4 months ago)
Linda Adams (4 months ago)
I've been watching her fashion shows, and am now a fan !! Her creations are breath taking and beautiful. She is down to earth and proud of her heritage. :)
Milter Whore (5 months ago)
I don't think she is creative, but she is a good executor.
IDItheCRAZY (5 months ago)
to me , when i look at a dress , i only see the design and the beauty of it , i don't see a label mark to where it came from or to whom it was designed by.I see only hardwork, style and concept.The passion is the same no matter where you come from, we all work hard for one thing, is to bring extravagance to the runway.
Skinny Legend02 (5 months ago)
I think Chinese designs are elegant and beautiful and from a young age I’ve loved Chinese culture and have always been really interested in it so seeing this was beautiful
Danny Rodriguez (5 months ago)
I respect and love her.
Ainsley Illium (6 months ago)
I dont like it when Haute Couture fashion line starts producing semi-Haute Couture gowns....the quality goes down and the originality somehow disappears!!(The thing that happened with Chanel this year).
wildcharm911 (6 months ago)
cliche and ugly
刘凯琳 (7 months ago)
Silly Chinese nationalist. As if there is anything to be proud of.
Liz Peña (7 months ago)
She is amazing
Arip Hidayat (7 months ago)
I love it. you inspired me to improve my ability in my way.
iam1ina1000000 (6 months ago)
Amazing what you can do without any talent when your daddy is one of those wealthy slave owners in China, and you have more money than god to spend on these ridiculous, excessively theatrical dresses. (Curious why they don't show the thousands of poor slaves trapped in her factory working 12 hours a day, seven days a week for only a dollar a day!) Disgusting!
Lucky Thai Chinese (7 months ago)
Simon Brooke (7 months ago)
That dress at 5:12 thoughhhhhhhhhhhh
Gitte Van de velde (8 months ago)
chimini (10 months ago)
that one gown for her goen collection in so many beautiful colors and bit of pink in it is so beautiful my eyes are bleeding
Azei Alaiiya (10 months ago)
Her Paris Fashion shows sucks,her design were not as amazing as it used to be ,not only sucks but pure trash
Theodora Buholtz (11 months ago)
from what collection are the dresses from 3:01?
lamoskgr Moskow (11 months ago)
That looks amazing
余狗蛋 (11 months ago)
Ok,to be a Chinese Fashion lover...I don't like her desighs,Because there is no connotation, the aesthetic is very rural, only hanging by craft.
Vũ Jean (11 months ago)
She's badass.
Lol la (11 months ago)
Absolutely exquisite. Wish her all the best
Tic Tacs On the Floor (11 months ago)
oh wait it's wsj
CHRISTY W. (11 months ago)
It's haute couture, so it's meant to be bold and different, not bland and casual
Jenine S (11 months ago)
I would like to see biographical movie of hers.
XUE LI (11 months ago)
Amorous Alex (11 months ago)
Just wondering, was the guy in a fedora, Li Yu Gang? :P
Just life (11 months ago)
SlashBat (11 months ago)
0:15 referencing yuri on ice before it even existed lmao
kira lane (1 year ago)
So she's the designer that made the Rihanna omlete dress.
HexManiacCiaran (1 year ago)
how can you say fashion doesn't have the capacity to be an art form when there are people like Guo, that embroidery is no different to oil on canvas
CorpseTongji (1 year ago)
that moma dress is absolutely stunning unlike anything else shes will very likely be remembered as a genius of design
sylverwyng (1 year ago)
This is cool. But "chinese haute coutoure" is an impossible statement. By definition, if it isn't from Paris, it is NOT haute couture. :P
theresia2012 (1 year ago)
These clothes are pure ART
whataboutredlorry (1 year ago)
I love Guo Peis work. She has a Gallery/store in Shanghai, and the window fronts have incredible dresses and displays in them. Her designs are so beautiful and captivating.
intu1t1on (1 year ago)
she look like someone i know and man, even the personality is similar. love her passion towards her work
Horror Pill (1 year ago)
I think the problem lies when some Chinese entrepreneurs create products with no interest in quality, focusing more on mass production, that people have long since believed anything made in China is either "cheap" or "fake". For a creative and ambitious Chinese designers like her and many others, who worked hard and produce quality clothing, it will be hard to get proper market acceptance because of the stigma.
LeilaniHapa (1 year ago)
I stumbled upon Guo Pei's designs quite by accident several years ago and was positively mesmerized by her designs. Current Western designers have started to bore me, and it feels like they always produce the same thing or copy each other. But Guo Pei is boldly unique. I've always loved the intricacies of embroidery and the use of jewels and shapes. I admire that she has never tried to compete with Western fashion, but instead has paved the way for Eastern designers with an unapologetic pride in being Asian. Furthermore, while her designs are rooted in the Chinese culture, they are not simply reproducing historic clothing, but are reinventing them, or as I would describe as "looking into the past as one steps into the future." It's about time non-West fashion got the recognition it deserves.
Maxine Kersta (13 days ago)
Especially elie saab, zuhair murad, tony ward and the list goes on hahahaha
Danny Rodriguez (5 months ago)
The world is a melting pot. Once we see the different cultural pieces. Our mindset will expand and we will appreciate a piece.
刘凯琳 (7 months ago)
mrd33ds (1 year ago)
Susan Loflin (1 year ago)
I wish ...
Haiqa Saif (1 year ago)
i love china and chinese people💕
The soul of this lady is so beautiful that it made me cry. So positive and amazing!!!
koo belanger (1 year ago)
Money will be less of a concern ..... yeah....right.
anonym anonym (1 year ago)
Why would someone dis like this???
RiverFree Martin (1 year ago)
knowing how much my daughter loves red, her face would light up if i got her that seccind china bride dress fr christmas
追问 (1 year ago)
Xochilt Gonzalez (1 year ago)
Such hard work! I love it!
Lisa (1 year ago)
It's not couture unless it's made in France moron
Limboo Zunarsh (1 year ago)
a great story but in trash channel wsj
Mochi (1 year ago)
She in her late 40s in this video,, looks absolutely amazing!
Lea Lopez (1 year ago)
this kinda sad..... because when i heard the first couturier, i imagine an old woman telling her old days stories.... and i found a young probably 40 something years old woman, that still design and very succesfull. hmmm this shows how some country are very late to the partaaayy
Ruiya (1 year ago)
She's wonderful!
David Lawson (1 year ago)
you go girl
Simon Kefas (1 year ago)
Fashion and political propaganda , presented without no excuses.
Aisea Konrote (1 year ago)
divine n majestic designs with such beautiful intricate detailed work....dedication & passion .
Commentator541 (1 year ago)
Magic! But first? Really? IN CHINA? THE COUNTRY OF SILK? THE FIRST? Open up a book. Also: someone should get fired.
Rajesh Gurjar (1 year ago)
loved your work
flair rathod (1 year ago)
wow amazing person she is 😇
Stephanie Murray (1 year ago)
120 dog skins dyed yellow to trim a dress for Ryanna !! really !!!!
Christina Walker (1 year ago)
Rihanna's dress was stunning
Ariel Estevan (1 year ago)
I a m proud of you because you have pride in your culture and you Don follow rules in what is in fashion ir not ,you just seel the beauty
Ariel Estevan (1 year ago)
susanht67 (1 year ago)
That cloak did not look like an omelette
Est art designs innovations antique.Fashion show.
Lai Yuet ping iby (1 year ago)
I think Guo Pei clothes have a certain degree of appreciation, plus more efforts to progress, the idea of ​​more new ideas, the results will be more people appreciated.
LOVE4everSher (1 year ago)
I liked almost all of her designs in this clip, but that Rihanna dress.. really.. is.. ugly...
Javi Garcia (1 year ago)
Love her
nimi m (1 year ago)
I got goosebumps watching this. Thank you for posting this video :)
Believe Edits (1 year ago)
作为一个中国人,对于郭培所说的那几句话,我能深深的感觉她心里的爱国之情, 是她把我们中国的文化绣上了她的服装,让更多更多海外的人能够看到咱们中国的特色, 就凭这点,我想冲郭培小姐说声 好样的!!
equizikal (1 year ago)
the minimum has always been 20K a dress in Haute Couture, not 4K... just sayin
Victoria (1 year ago)
Quel horreur! Tacky, hortera y feo. A GLUE GUN IN HAUTE Couture 😂😂😂😂😂😂
lynikpink (1 year ago)
Victoria you're ugly and horrible.
Fi Handley (1 year ago)
I would love to know even more about her creations.
Shar Keisha (1 year ago)
I love how she is proud of her culture and she always shows her culture in every dress she makes !! You go girl you and your family of 500
Cesia Guadron (1 year ago)
BEAUTIFUL😍😍😍 I absolutely love this😂😍
Lorenzo Arevalo (1 year ago)
Wait is she really the first? China's been around for thousands of years I don't get it
Aracely Ramos (1 year ago)
haute couture is French culture, which wasn't allowed before '76 in China
Logan Aristizabal (1 year ago)
Remarkable 😻
NamineLee (1 year ago)
For those who are going to read the comments, I warned you there are many cancerous people here (Westerners or Easterners it doesn't matter, we're still all human anyway.) However there are also positive comments. List of negative comments: 1. Everything made in China is bad. 2. Slave workers, hard labour with low income. ( This is acceptable to me though, is it true for this company? No.) 3. Glue gun (It is used for prototypes and mock ups, who wants to work months of hand work for a prototype dress?) 4. Haute Cauture is only in France. (Please it's false, Hand crafting has been in many countries not just France ) 5. Racism. Those are some warnings for you, enjoy your day and ignore the haters.
Rei Hino (7 months ago)
Haute couture has certain rules and conditions, and very few designer brands actually are actually true haute couture brands. http://www.dressful.com/583/what-is-the-definition-of-haute-couture. Nonetheless, that does not take away from Guo Pei's ravishing work of art :).
Gunther (1 year ago)
yas China please show these western hoes 12k years worth of history and craft man's ship
Gunther (1 year ago)
yas China produce for the proletariat I am so proud of China
Gunther (1 year ago)
fuck it up be proud u have so much to share w the world
SongS DP (1 year ago)
I just love her designs!!
SubversiveStyle (1 year ago)
But is it true couture? Defined, couture means it's made in France and approved by the CSH...there are only a certain number of couturiers- although there may be many more hand-made and bespoke designers around the world.
1. Design made-to-order for private clients, with one or more fittings. 2. Have a workshop (atelier) in Paris that employs at least fifteen people full-time. 3. Each season (i.e. twice a year) present a collection to the Paris press, comprising at least thirty-five runs/exits with outfits for both daytime wear and evening wear. People just misuse the word when describing something “fancy” or hand stitched.
Kelsey (1 year ago)
When my parent disagree with my decision to go on further my studies on graphic design, I'll show them this video. As a chinese, I can relate, I've got family members and relatives telling me having art major is not so much of a bright future. but I guess they don';t understand, I didn't do it so that I can earn big bucks, I do it because of my passion. I know I can't live off my passion (like they teased me) but I can't live without it. What is the point if i''m going to work until I die? I don't wanna be a working honey bee. I'd much rather do something I'm passionate about.
My Nguyen (7 days ago)
I suddenly thought of this song when I saw you comment https://youtu.be/6vfP_4u7zik
Kay Pa (11 months ago)
Keep going for your dreams! Be encouraged and never give up :)
Vina Rathakoune (1 year ago)
You got this. Depending on which route you go in through graphic design, you can definitely make a decent living. Enjoy what you do and your passion will reward you :)
nemuihana (1 year ago)
That's a great idea! Sharing your passion with them and "making your proposal". I hope things are going / will go well for you!
Moriah Odom (1 year ago)
I love how she saw positivity in all the humor made about her dress. Immediately a fan of her as a person
Jenny Tran (1 year ago)
her chinese pride is so beautiful, i love it

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