Chinese designer Guo Pei selected Bowers Museum to display 40 of her most grand pieces because of the museum’s “reputation for bringing the best of Chinese culture to America,” says her friend and Bowers board chairwoman Anne Shih. We asked the designer to talk about the dress pictured here, which took more than 5,000 hours to make and is signed with a strand of Guo Pei’s hair. The exhibit runs through July 14.
“This garment has a classic oriental silhouette. The Mandarin-styled collar is embellished with feather (while) the hem and sleeve are trimmed with fur. The most interesting part is the whole garment is embroidered with silver spun thread using our unique gold embroidery technique.
“The combination of metal glows from different thread expresses an impression of a dragon rising through clouds in an oriental atmosphere. The hem of this garment uses a traditional royal coiled silver thread embroidery technique. Various embroidery techniques are used to enrich the layer and space of the patterns.
“Dragons and flowers have always been my favorite elements. In ancient times, dragons (were) a symbol for men, but in my opinion, every woman has a unique dragon in her heart. That’s why I used flowers to accompany the dragon, to make it gentle.”