Guo Pei

Fashion Designer / China / Rose Studio Fashion Co. Ltd.

Guo Pei’s Book List

Ever since my childhood, I have loved reading books. Reading even just one book makes me feel as if I have been on a journey of a thousand miles.

When I was growing up in China in the 1980s, however, books were really scarce. There were very few titles available on the market and books from abroad were unheard of. Low living standards also meant that published material was mostly unaffordable for the masses. Some publications were even priced as high as $100-200!

I have continued to buy books ever since I saw my first book nearly 30 years ago. Just recently, for example, my husband and I returned to China with around 220 pounds of books from Europe! We have whole rooms dedicated to books in both our house and at my studio, and I often buy more than one copy of the same book in order to share my collection with others.

Books have also played a vital role in shaping my career as a fashion designer. When I was studying, I did not learn much from my teachers: there was no support for design education back then. I can say with confidence that most things I have learned have come from books.







Chinese translation by Lynn Zhang.

5 books
Auguste Racinet

I believe that design can never be too far away from the past. Designers should learn about the past to inform their own designs and become a part of history themselves. From this standpoint, you can see the influence of what I've learned from this book on my work today. This book has had such a great influence on me that I even donated it to the China Fashion Association library to inspire others.



I am especially interested in books that focus on fashion history because they reveal how we appreciated beauty in the past. They are a record of history and, therefore, have a great impact. I’ve actually bought this book twice: first in Paris, and then again in Japan after seeing an exhibition at Kobe Fashion Museum!

This is also the book that has pushed me to want to build China’s first fashion museum. I have two dreams in life: to build a fashion museum, and to create a fashion library to inspire future generations. I think that books are vital to the development of Chinese design and design education: much like planting a tree in order to let it blossom and grow, rather than placing a flower in a vase that will eventually wilt and die.




Albert von Escher

The military uniform has been a great inspiration for me. My first haute couture fashion show, “Samsara,” included dresses inspired by military uniforms. When I visited Paris for the first time, I saw many European military uniforms in a museum, which made a major impression on me. This book (“Military Engravings,” from 1944) includes many drawings made by hand. I found it in a vintage bookshop in Geneva.


军装为我提供了很多灵感。我的第一次高级定制时装秀“Samsara(轮回)”,有多件高级定制的灵感都来自军装制服。我第一次去巴黎,在一家博物馆看到许多欧洲制服,印象深刻。这本书(《军装制服版画(Military Engravings)》),1944年出版)里有很多手绘稿,是我在日内瓦的一家二手书店找到的。

Janet Arnold

Examining this book (and the others in the same collection, which includes five books) was the first time I saw Occidental patterns. Occidental clothing patterns are quite different from Oriental ones. For an Oriental fashion designer, it's very hard to find and learn about Western patterns and pattern-making. So this moment was very precious for me.

时装图样:男女装裁剪与构建 1560-1620


Yves Saint Laurent
Pierre Bergé

I recently bought this set of books from a museum in Paris. This is 50 years of history—from when Yves Saint Laurent studied as a young designer until he passed away in 2008. Each book features sketches and hand drawings, and the contents are deeply moving. The entire set weighs 88 pounds in total, but it was definitely worth bringing back to China!

圣罗兰设计稿完整珍藏版 1962-2002


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