There was no lack of hype preceding Guo Pei’s Paris couture debut. The creator of the canary yellow robe Rihanna famously wore to the Met Gala last year rose to stardom — literally overnight — thanks to Badgalriri’s 32 million-plus following on Instagram.
With the bar set high for her show Wednesday night, Guo, who has a background in costume dressing, didn’t disappoint. (Rihanna didn’t attend, but photographers put on a fierce fight for a front-row shot of actress Uma Thurman flashing her legs in a girly coatdress by the designer). The set was decorated with a gilded roof and the runway planted with gold-plated trees to evoke a Chinese royal courtyard for Guo’s bold, imperial offering, making it clear from the start: Day looks are so not her thing.
The opening look intrigued with its construction, made entirely of what appeared to be a tight web of painted guipure lace that built up to a translucent bustier ballgown.
Other silhouettes ranged from Fifties Sabrina dresses to sculpted minis with cropped boleros on top, all festooned with tassels, feathers and crystals that stretched to the models’ fingertips. Guests rushed to snap close-ups of the garments’ intricate floral embroideries — clearly the show’s highlight.
In keeping with the designer’s elevated sense of theatrics, the show culminated in a splendid finale of not one, but four bridal looks, the last boasting a 500-carat necklace courtesy of Chopard.