Yellow is Forbidden
Director: Pietra Brettkelly
Producers: Pietra Brettkelly, Richard Fletcher, Naomi Wallwork
Writer: Pietra Brettkelly
Cast: Guo Pei, Philip Treacy, Wendi Murdoch, Godfrey Deeny
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. Guo Pei grew up during China’s Cultural Revolution, born into a world of uniforms and propaganda films, with no access to the world beyond the limited arts, literature and news of what the Communist Party allowed. She is the daughter of a military father whose charitable instincts made the family give away their food coupons to those less fortunate, and a blind mother who relied on her daughter from the age of two to thread her needles as she made the family’s clothes.
Her upbringing did not have any of the privileges or exposure to suggest Guo Pei was on her way to international fame.
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 they’re nearly impossible to wear. “The piece Rihanna wore weighs 50 pounds,” Guo Pei giggles. It gives her a thrill to create these extraordinary works that she believes honor the female form but also challenge it, as the wearer teeters on Guo Pei’s-designed towering shoes.
China’s designer darling, Guo Pei, named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2016, is determined to be recognized amongst the rarefied few who can call themselves Haute Couture designers.
Yellow is Forbidden is an unprecedented story that takes the viewer inside the world where Guo Pei creates magic... a 50 kilogram dress—so heavy they must consider a gymnast instead of a model to walk the runway... a gown spun by 300 embroiderers... precious gold material printed with centuries-old Swiss fresco... all from a woman who learned her craft at Number 2 Light Industrial School after the reign of Mao Tse Tung, and is now launching internationally at Paris Haute Couture Fashion week.
2018, NR, New Zealand, Documentary, Chinese, English, French
Chinese with English Subtitles