Guo Pei, fabrics fashion superstar

When Guo Pei turned 100 days old, her mother dressed her in a gown made from one of her grandmother's silk cheongsams, in line with Chinese custom.

Guo was born during the Cultural Revolution, when citizens had to renounce all finery and military-style tunics and trousers were the norm, so she grew up treasuring the infant outfit.

"My dress had flowers on it and it was incredibly beautiful," she says. "It was the most wonderful thing for me because at the time China was very poor and people didn't have any knowledge of beautiful garments or fabrics."

Fifty years later, China is an economic powerhouse and Guo has an unrivalled knowledge of beauty, fabrics and opulence as the country's pre-eminent fashion designer.

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