A shimmering vision in canary gold, Rihanna broke the Internet with her jaw dropping gown at the 2015 Met Gala. The minute the pop superstar stepped on the red carpet, assisted by three men to assist with the massive fur-trimmed train, her one-of-a-kind gown propelled its designer, Chinese fashion couturier, Guo Pei, into the international spotlight.
Celebrated as the fashion industry’s equivalent of the Oscars, the Met Gala (hosted at the Metropolitan Museum of New York) kicks off the annual exhibit at the museum’s Costume Institute. In 2015, the theme was China: Through the Looking Glass exhibit. One of the last to arrive on the red carpet, Rihanna wowed the crowd with her Yellow Empire Dress that took Guo Pei and her Rose Salon in Beijing more than 50,000 hours and almost two years to create. A gown and fur-trimmed cape in gold, a shade once reserved for Chinese emperors, made Guo Pei a global fashion success, and Rihanna one of the most memorable red carpet appearances of all time. In 2016, Guo Pei was invited to show in Paris during Haute Couture week, and was also named to TIME magazine’s Most Influential People annual list.
Now just dream about that glorious look, also featured in the Vancouver Art Gallery’s Winter 2018/2019 exhibit honouring Guo Pei, in fresh flowers. “It’s an awesome challenge to capture the essence of Rihanna in my favourite Guo Pei creation,” says Vancouver fleuriste, Brenna Quan, AIFD. Quan and her team will use a profusion of yellow blooms – roses, orchids, chrysanthemums, preserved botanicals and more – for their rendition of Rihanna’s look. Quan spent weeks on her vision of layers of flowers to create the shimmering nuances of tones and textures of the headpiece, gown and cape. Quan’s version will span two of Fleurs de Villes traditional platforms and walk a red bloomed carpet.
One can find Brenna Quan’s inspired view of Guo Pei’s Yellow Empire Dress on the second floor of the lobby of Vancouver’s Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel in celebration of the Lunar New Year of the Ox. Sponsored by Quadreal / Westbank, the installation including a flower-bedecked golden ox in the lobby, is free to the public from February 12 to 25, 2021.