Yellow is Forbidden

Directed by Pietra Brettkelly
China, New Zealand
97 minutes
Chinese designer Guo Pei’s determination to join the exclusive world of Haute Couture is captured with verve and intimacy in Pietra Brettkelly’s outstanding documentary.

Guo Pei’s work hit the headlines when Rihanna wore her hand-embroidered canary yellow gown (it took two years to make) to the Met Gala in 2015. The diminutive designer grew up during the Cultural Revolution, when fashion in China was non-existent. She learnt her craft from her nimble-fingered grandmother and at the Number 2 Light Industry School. The contrast with the rarefied Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture couldn’t be greater, although Guo shares their dedication to uncompromising quality and artistry. New Zealand director Brettkelly (A Flickering Truth, SFF 2016) delves into the world of fashion, revealing dramatic changes in China, and its perception in the world.

The insight into the closed world of haute couture is intriguing… A fly on the wall approach encourages the audience to make up their own minds about Guo’s drive to earn recognition from the Paris fashion elite. – Wendy Ide, Screen Daily

It is interesting how Brettkelly finds the sweet spot between pie-eyed flattery and sober appraisal of Guo and her methods... It’s impressive how she leaves you pondering some of the curious if not troubling things that lie beneath all the pomp and circumstance. – Keith Uhlich, Hollywood Reporter

Festival guest: Pietra Brettkelly

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Yellow is Forbidden

State Theatre
Fri 15 June
Past Event Cancel
China, New Zealand
In Mandarin and English with English subtitles
Pietra Brettkelly
Pietra Brettkelly, Richard Fletcher, Naomi Wallwork
Pietra Brettkelly
Jacob Bryant
Company Credits
Distribution: Madman Entertainment
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