If you hadn't heard of Chinese designer and couturier Guo Pei before she dressed Rihanna for the 2015 Met Ball
, don't feel bad: She hadn't heard of Rihanna. "I didn't know about her," Pei told us at a launch event in Paris. "She sent an email to my husband that she would like to wear one of my dresses, which is the yellow one. When my husband told me, I said, 'It's way too heavy — she's not going to be able to wear it up [the stairs].' But she did not give up at all.''
By the time the gown made it to the top of the stairs at the Met, it had become a meme — and Pei had become almost as much of a household name in the United States as Rihanna. (And "China: Through the Looking Glass," which featured two of Pei's gowns, went on to become the Met's most successful show, ever
Despite only recently gaining popularity among pop stars in the U.S., Pei has been one of China's most revered designers for over two decades — known for creating intricate, whimsical pieces for some of the most elite brides, socialites, actresses, and even princesses in East Asia. This month, the designer is channeling all that creativity and attention to detail into a new venture: a makeup collaboration with MAC. The 16-piece MAC Guo Pei collection features gorgeous blue eyeshadows and rich pink lipsticks, all housed in fabric-wrapped packaging — hand-sketched by Pei herself.
Click ahead to see the beautiful collection in full — and to learn more about Pei's inspiration when creating the line. MAC Guo Pei launches online
September 24, and will be available in MAC stores October 1.