Givenchy, Lagerfeld, Chanel, Dior Gaultier…. It is perhaps the most exclusive club in the world. 21. Mostly men. European. Now there may be another name added to that list.
From a country with the world’s largest population, Guo Pei is China’s only haute couture designer, with one of her pieces taking 50,000 painstaking hours to complete. Her 500 workers toil away with age-old embroidery techniques; all pieces, in the tradition of haute couture, are hand-made. And impossible to wear. “The piece Rihanna wore weighs 50lbs” Guo Pei giggles.
It gives her a thrill to create these extraordinary works that she believes honour the female form but also challenge it, as the wearer teeters on Guo Pei’s-designed towering shoes. Yellow is Forbidden is an unprecedented story exploring the history of Guo Pei’s upbringing during China’s Cultural Revolution, born into a world of uniforms, propaganda films, and no access to the world beyond the limited arts, literature and news. Ultimately, this uplifting documentary takes the viewer inside the world where Guo Pei creates magic.
Screening as part of Hot Docs London – bringing a selection of favourites from the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival.