Constance Wu and the rest of the Crazy Rich Asians cast has made the promotional tour for their romantic comedy something bigger and more substantive than a simple movie promotion. The film symbolizes a lot of progress for the Asian-American community and Asian actors and a lot more. It’s a powerful message that “white” is not the default for romance, for glamour, for comedy, for escapism. Constance is out here talking about how the film is “for anyone who has ever felt that they struggle to be accepted or they’ve been otherized.” Director Jon M. Chu has been saying: “This is more than a movie, it’s a movement.”
I am in full agreement with all of the above And I’d just like to point out that BECAUSE Crazy Rich Asians is such a “special case” and an outlier in the current era of Hollywood, some people expect the Crazy Rich Asians cast to be all Asian things to all Asian people. And that was never going to happen. But that’s how we get headlines like “‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Red Carpet Fashion Lacks Representation for Asian American Designers.” True story: only one female cast member of CRA wore an ensemble designed by an Asian or Asian-American designer to the LA premiere. And people are mad about it, I guess.
In these era of sociopolitical fashion messaging, one might have expected Constance Wu to wear a gown by an Asian or Asian-American designer. Indeed, several such designers rallied to support the film, and helped build buzz for its Aug. 15 release prior to the premiere.
“For as long as I can remember, I turn on the television or go to a movie, and [have] never been able to identify with the characters, because I never saw someone who looked like me. I’ve seen Asians typecast, miscast, or fully ignored. Until now,” Nepalese-American designer Prabal Gurung said July 27, when he hosted an advance screening of Crazy Rich Asians in New York City, alongside other key players in the Asian-American fashion community, including designers Joseph Altuzarra, Phillip Lim and Instagram fashion director Eva Chen.
Instead, Wu wore a silk fringe gown by British-based fashion house Ralph & Russo. “This movie is so important for so many reasons, and I felt that Constance should look both powerful and glamorous,” her stylist Micaela Erlanger told Vogue.
Henry Golding, who portrays hunky Nick Young, showed up to the premiere looking like Cary Grant in a light blue jacquard cocktail jacket by Hollywood’s leading man go-to Tom Ford. Playing feared matriarch Eleanor Young, Michelle Yeoh took to the carpet in a strapless dress by Italian designer Giorgio Armani, and Awkwafina chose a silk-satin pink gown by New York-based, Lebanese-American designer Reem Acra. The only female cast member to tap an Asian-American designer for her red carpet look was Gemma Chen, who wore a glittery dress by Oscar de la Renta, which is co-designed by Fernando Garcia and …read more