By Laura Medina
This scribe has been extremely fortunate enough many times over to attend, cover, and try limited-editions but MAC's collaboration with the hot and "haute" couture Chinese fashion designer, Guo Pei is its most luxurious yet.
If you're a fashionista, stylisto, and beauty-ista, you might had picked up Guo Pei's name pretty recently.
an Museum of Art did its latest fashion exhibit on her fantastical gowns. If "The Met" does an fashion exhibit on you or a concept, they throw a gala to honor you and promote the exhibit. In other words, they threw an A-List gala in her honor. Yes, she was the one who designed Rihanna's imfamous gold gown, the one where people pasted a pizza on the gown's train. But, this only flame the passion for Guo Pei's creation.
Hot or "Haute" on her trail is MAC's Guo Pei very limited and very rare makeup collection.
In the same vein but on a smaller yet more approachable scale, South Coast Plaza is hosting a mini exhibit of four of Guo's couture dress for all the public to see.
Following in "The Met's" footsteps, the mall used the debut of the exhibit to also officially launch MAC's Guo Pei Makeup Collection, works of art upon themselves.
Equally bejeweled and vivid, the makeup colors themselves are interesting classically wearable in jewel tones with rich neutrals and deep graphite. The eyeshadow quads are rich, deep, but timelessly natural. The blushes, lipsticks, and lip glosses are pops of color. Guo calls the color palette, "garden of the soul.”
It's not just the clothes or the makeup colors or the makeup formulas, it is the makeup compacts themselves, who are also stars of a collection so rare that they're works of art themselves.
In today's day and age, we as consumers are so used to fast and quick...and cheap plastic compacts in black that we are pleasantly shock when we see, hold, and feel an old fashion, vintage makeup compacts that were manufactured in brass or steel metal.
People at South Coast Plaza's MAC Guo Pei launch were startled by the weight and heft of the Guo Pei compacts and lipstick tubes. That weight and heft comes from gilded gold. The lids of the powder compacts are embossed by Guo's very own silk fabric swatches. This makeup collection is a gem unto themselves.
MAC Guo Pei Collection is true vintage and will be passed down as family heirlooms, long after the makeup is used up.
MAC professional makeup artists, their best makeup artists from Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and other cities, volunteer as "exhibit docents," giving lectured tours of each dress, Guo Pei, and the MAC collaboration. They could give regular museum docents a run for their money.
Each dress took a year and anywhere between 10,000 to 15, ooo hours of cutting, sewing, tailoring, and beaming of crystals and gems.
A MAC docent and this scribe both agree that this Guo Pei and the MAC collection is "East Meets West." It is as though Marie Antoinette went to China in her era of the Rocco 18th Century then returned home looking like this...
Rocco 18th Century hoopskirts, hip panniers, corsets, and Robe l' Anglais or Robe le Francais, bedecked in Oriental fabrics and Chinese embroidery. The underskirts are pressed Chinese silk crepe folds.
There's a reason behind the madness. The mirrored, gold glided platforms, that the mannequins are standing on, clearly reflect the craftmanship that goes beyond exteriors and appearances.
One reflects the elaborate, delicate gold lace panties.
Another reflects the ruby red crystals lining the under skirt of this dress, above. Forget ruby slippers, this is a ruby skirt.
It doesn't end with the clothes and the makeup, it continues onto the shoes.
The platform-heel shoes do double-duty as terrariums (aquariums for floral and plants). Again, it is Guo Pei's lovingly and humorous take on 18th century Rocco's whimsical take on naturalism-gone-overboard.
Each sole of the platform shoes are little mini-gardens of dangling crystal beads and gem florals and fruits and real wooden branches dipped in gold.
If you ask Guo Pei who really influence her collection, she'll honestly tell you, it was her daughter.
Okay, time to switch from third-person professionalism and intellectualism to first-person account of how this style scribe became an "Ugly Betty" and saved the day.
This mannequin above, with the pancake mini-hoopskirt, was in hip but twisted position. Due to the enormous heft of the silk fabric, the gems, the crystals (embedded and dangling), and gold/silver embroidery thread, this dress was toppling over like a Leaning Tower of Pisa.
At that same time, I was crouched down, aiming and photographing the right-most photo of the underpinnings and the gold lace panties when...oh no...it was falling right on top of my head.
In a split second and in an "Ugly Betty" moment, I caught it by its ruffled hoopskirt and saved it from completely crashing on the floor.
Once I caught it and held it, I can't get over how heavy the entire creation is. No wonder it was about to fall.
Save for a few smattering of crystals and beading sprinkling off, I saved the day by keeping the whole think intact.
Yes, I has my "Ugly Betty" moment and South Coast Plaza and MAC loved me for it.
To personally see the creation that I saved and see the whole mini-collection, make it a day to drive down to South Coast Plaza and see these beauties and Guo Pei MAC Collection in all their bejeweled beauty.
Speaking of which, South Coast Plaza's MAC shop is the only shop in the whole West Coast to carry Guo Pei's makeup line...the one in gold compacts and tubes. The Manhattan one is the only one in East Coast to carry this; and only two MAC stores in Canada carry the line.
Only 4 MAC stores carry the line in the Western Hemisphere.
Honestly, each of those four shops are selling out Guo Pei's makeup line but you all can get the whole line on MAC's site, https://www.maccosmetics.com/collections-guo-pei
As for the exhibit itself, you have today until this Sunday, October the 4th to see it live in person, http://www.southcoastplaza.com/events/m%E2%80%A2a%E2%80%A2c-pro-south-coast-plaza-presents-guo-pei/
So make it a day trip before it disappears.