The choice of the colors gives me a sense of power. I was inspired by the colors of the universe. Blue is a very important color because it is a color of the soul. It’s also the base color of the universe and our world. I chose pink and coral for the lip colors because I think they are colors of happiness. I want to affect the people around me with happiness.
I hope that people can see China in many different angles. The impression China gives to the world today is a rapidly developing economy, cheap labor, and fast production. But China has 5,000 years of history and is very diverse.
Magnificent Gold was my design 12 years ago. It is displayed in one room in the Met and it takes up the whole room, just one dress. At the time of designing it, I really did not know the concept of haute couture. It’s actually a summary of my design experience and I’m trying to inform using an extreme. It’s gold because the color expresses energy and power. It’s the color of the sun in midday.
My other dress is called Blue and Porcelain — as you know, china’s name comes from China, porcelain. The colors white and blue demonstrate that state of China and Chinese people today. I was one of the earliest fashion designers in China and I witnessed the development of fashion in China over 30 years. I can say that for every change in China’s history of fashion, I started it. When I designed that dress, people were surprised that you could design clothes to be an expression of your feelings and your soul. It can be the art, the artistic language.
Who has been your most memorable haute couture customer?
The customers I remember most are the ordinary people. I have one client who asked me to design clothes for their baby when she was only 100 days old. The oldest of my clients is 80 to 90 years old.
I don't like the concept of luxury. In China, luxuries are seen as things you don’t really need and it conveys a negative feeling. In my opinion, luxury is products that are beautiful, elegant, and represent the culture. It’s born of love. Luxurious products should have an ability to grasp peoples’ hearts, and it is love that makes those products survive. I hope that people are buying my dresses because they love them and not because they want to show off.