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The Chinese designer behind Rihanna’s outfit at the 2015 MET Gala that put all the other creators into shame and proved the power of orientalism.

Text: Iliana Deligiorgi

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1. Guo Pei is a Chinese couturier born in 1967. * 2. She has been designing professionally since she the age of 26. * 3. Her creations are hand-sewn. Entirely. * 4. In her client list you will find the names of many Chinese stars and A-listers. * 5. She is incredibly famous in China’s fashion scene. * 6. She shares her company with her husband, Cao Bao Jie. * 7. You can find her workroom just a couple of hours outside Beijing. * 8. She trains her craftsmen by herself and more than 400 people are working for her. * 9. A dress of hers may needs hundreds of thousands of hours to be completed. * 10. Her famous ‘The Legend of Dragon’ show back in 2012 took 3 years to prepare. * 11. One of her creations was specially designed for the Beijing Olympics in 2008. * 12. She wanted to become a couturier because she needed to bring something new in Chinese the fashion industry. * 13. She describes herself as a perfectionist when it comes to craftsmanship. * 14. She wishes she could make people understand why her prices are so high. * 15. She also wants people to be able to appreciate her work and wear it. * 16. She knows that in order to create a successful brand she has to give in to other commercial activities. * 17. She cares more about her family and craftsmanship than gaining fame for her work. * 18. As for 2015, she is in a new collaboration project with MAC Cosmetics. * 19. After the 2008 Olympics, she was contacted by Nicola Formichetti to dress Lady Gaga…

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20. In the end, Rihanna was the -lucky- one to make her famous outside the boundaries of China.

Take your time with the images below and discover why the word ‘talent’ is not really enough to describe Guo Pei.

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A model presents a creation by Chinese designer Guo Pei during the Asian Couture fashion show in Singapore

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