As one of the world’s most renowned Chinese couture designers, Guo Pei creates show-stopping ensembles that blend majestic opulence with theatrical fantasy. The designer’s bejeweled gowns, headpieces, and sculptural shoes were recently styled and photographed by HOWL Collective, who created a series of shots in celebration of the fashion visionary. Published by Rizzoli as a monograph, the HOWL team’s 122 fairytale shots (titled Guo Pei – Couture Beyond) provide insight into Pei’s incredible designs and their connection with ancient Chinese culture.
HOWL Collective announced, “The first major book on China’s leading couture visionary reveals the intricate craftsmanship and imperial glamour that has fashion publications worldwide declaring Guo Pei’s creations ‘the Empire’s new clothes.'” The series includes images from themed settings that depict various mythical narratives such as Legend of the Dragon and One Thousand and Two Nights.
The stunning images feature models wearing Pei’s garments, portrayed as figures from Chinese folklore. Glamorous queens in majestic gowns stand among otherworldly castle grounds, and pixie-like characters in glittering costumes roam through mythical forests. Additional studio shots of the garments showcase their ornate details—elegant silhouettes are adorned with intricate embroidery designs, fur trims, and hand-sewn beads.