We get the backstory on Rihanna’s Met Gala dress from Chinese couturier Guo Pei

Rihanna Guo Pei
Photography by Getty Images

It’s been over 24 hours since the Oscars of fashion, and Rihanna is still all anyone can talk about (besides, of course, this). Worn draped over a silk bra and panty combo, the canary yellow cape/gown was comprised of an over-the-top 55 pounds of fox fur and gold thread. It overshadowed most on the Met Gala red carpet, and was reportedly a challenge for Rihanna to actually walk in, which seems fitting—back in the day, true status meant walking with helpers.

The dress is the work of Chinese couturier Guo Pei, who you might recognize as M.A.C.’s latest collaborator, and it reportedly took 50,000 hours to create over the course of 20 months. “I was researching Chinese couture on the Internet and I found it,” Rihanna told Vanity Fair. Interestingly, it’s also from way back in 2010. “She’s giving this dress a completely new interpretation,” Guo Pei told us yesterday in New York (fortuitously, we’re there covering Pei’s M.A.C. collab). “I think only she can handle it, not all celebrities and stars can wear my dress like that. She has confidence, a strong mind, and she’s a perfect match.”

“What she loved is actually the dress itself, but [didn’t know] me as a designer,” Pei told us. With a Western debut as momentous as this (add two items on view inside the actual China: Through the Looking Glass exhibit), we can only imagine Guo Pei is on her way to becoming a household name.