San Francisco exhibition features Chinese fashion designer

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An exhibition featuring the work of renowned Chinese designer Guo Pei will offer the audience in San Francisco, in the western U.S. state of California, an exclusive opportunity to experience the couture that fuses Chinese artistic tradition with Western elements.

The exhibition, "Guo Pei: Couture Fantasy," will be open to public at the Legion of Honor Museum from April 16 to Sept. 5.

The exhibition, including more than 80 ensembles from the past 20 years, is the designer's mid-career retrospective and the first comprehensive exhibition of her work.

The exhibits on display highlight Guo's most important fashion collections, shown on Beijing and Paris runways. Many designs have never been shown to the public before.

"Drawing inspiration from European and Chinese artistic traditions, Guo Pei's creations blur the boundaries between art and fashion. Displayed in a neoclassical architectural context at the Legion of Honor, amidst our collection of European art, Pei's designs encourage our visitors to consider the rich historical ties between China and the West," said Thomas Campbell, director and CEO of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, on Wednesday.

Guo said in a statement that she hoped the exhibition could convey Chinese culture and traditions to the audience in the United States and show them "the new face of contemporary China."

Born in 1967, Guo developed a passion for dressmaking at a young age, and launched her own label Rose Studio in 1997.

Her collections on display include "An Amazing Journey in a Childhood Dream" in 2008, which was inspired by the designer's childhood memories, the "Garden of Soul" in 2015 inspired by Chinese floral motifs, the 2019 "East Palace" inspired by China's imperial past and the latest collection Alternate Universe in 2019 and 2020.

"For Guo Pei, each collection starts with a philosophical idea – a spark of inspiration – drawn from a wide range of sources from her personal life and travels, as well as art and architecture, literature, and nature. Layers of meaning and imagery form a bricolage of opulent surfaces imposed upon sculptural silhouettes," said Jill D'Alessandro, curator in charge of costume and textile arts at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

The Couture Fantasy is presented as part of the museum's costume and textile arts global exhibition program, which highlights extraordinary artists and movements that have changed the course of fashion history. 

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