Designer Gloria Guo has been fascinated by colorful patterns and handmade crafts since childhood. "As one of my first little hobbies, I used to customize my shoes and pants with small patches," she says. "When I came to study in Beijing and discovered the marvels of local textile wholesale markets, my passion for handiwork became even stronger. I've been experimenting with all sorts of materials: mahjong tiles, wool threads, clay and all kinds of textiles."
Guo went to the prestigious Beijing Film Academy to study animation, but spent her free time hunting for threads, small decorations and sewing materials in the endless lanes of the Muxiyuan Fabric Market. Her keen eye for graphic design and visionary creativity led her to launch G, her line of embroidered collars, pendants and patches. "Every place I go, I thoroughly observe each hidden corner," she says. "I can still remember the tiles of my college classroom. During the lessons I used to daydream on the irregular patterns on the floor and my subconscious was creating new images, it was something so natural!" Looking up from the floor, these days Guo's inspiration comes more and more from traditional and ethnic minority handcrafts.
Each of Guo's small, intricately patterned pieces is limited edition and most of them are one-off creations. "My creative process isn't really structured," she says. "Sometimes I wake up with an idea in the middle of the night and start making something without any previous drawing. Big-scale production would be definitely too time consuming. I want to craft my accessories all by myself and to keep some time to develop new things."
Having moved back to her parents' hometown to care for her new baby, Guo is studying Suzhou, one of the four classical styles of Chinese embroidery. Look out for her next collection, which she describes as "a mix between traditional Chinese folk embroidery and contemporary jewelry design." The G collection sells on Taobao from $15-$60.
Images courtesy of Gloria Guo