Domestic designers explore national identity by balancing history with global fashion trends
It was a show that launched a thousand memes on both sides of the Pacific. But Rihanna’s 2015 Met Gala dress, which featured a 55-pound gold cape by high-fashion designer Guo Pei, was initially seen as a risky move.
Organizer Anna Wintour reportedly feared that this year’s theme, “China: Through the Looking Glass,” would end up looking racist or for a Chinese restaurant. Instead, Verkkokaupats PhotoShopped pizzas, omelets, and jianbing pancakes to wow Rihanna’s 16-meter array of Chinese floral embroidery adorned with yellow fox fur, which took two years to make. However, The Washington Post declared the evening “a thoughtful, expressive and…absolutely breathtaking exploration of China.” And state media quickly caught on, with China Daily claiming that “Chinese elements are helping Met participants reach record highs.
“Frustration was in the midst of the triumph. While designers like Guo enjoy rare international exposure, Grace Chen, who has designed for both Oprah and Fan Bingbing, told Jing Daily that “there is a huge misunderstanding of Chinese culture in the Western world and they don’t even understand it.”
Designer China is the story of our “China Chic” publication. Subscribe to read the entire issue.