6 Asian designers featured in Crazy Rich Asians
When it comes to doing life in style, Asian elites really love their fashion hyperlocal.
Have you watched Crazy Rich Asians yet? If you have, then you would know why the entire world, including us at Fayyaz Travels, are going so crazy over it! The long-awaited movie, which was based on a book of the same name, is all about opulence, from the budding relationship between main characters Nicholas Young (played by Henry Golding) and Rachel Chu (Constance Wu) to the sparkling social settings preferred by Singapore’s upper echelon. Hilarious and often jaw-dropping plot aside, it is the fashion styles depicted in the movie is what we love most; after all, what is a story about crazy rich Asians without bedazzling display of riveting visuals?
All manners of fashion styling seen in Crazy Rich Asians were brought to life by costume designer Mary Vogt, under the guiding eyes of director John M. Chu. In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, Chu opened up: “Our world is too Eurocentric when it comes to fashion and luxury. People are always looking to dress in European houses or select American houses. I wanted to show that there’s amazing—amazing original, exquisite design coming out of Asia.”
And show Chu did, amassing various design mavens across the continent to dress the most sensational reel characters on the silver screen to date. While there were many more names featured in the movie, we hereby list down our top six picks. Can you say, Asian pride?
1.Carven Ong (Malaysia)
I know we are working backwards here, but let’s just start with the time-defying, all-important beautiful wedding gown of Araminta. The character, whose nuptials the entire story is centered around, were see wearing a water-resistant piece crafted by the talented Malaysian designer Carven Ong. The entire piece did not come by easily. Vogt told Vanity Fair, “He has a whole shop of 30 beaders, and they did all the beading on it, which was great.”
2. Lisa Von Tang (Singapore)
Known for her modern take on oriental opulence, the Singapore-based Lisa Von Tang loves combining Eastern influences with the West. Much of her flair for fusion are due to her Chinese-Canadian parentage. From brocade or velvet pants to embroidered jackets and silk gowns, LVT pieces invites the looking gaze to trace and dance around cleverly infused patterns and textures. In the movie, the designer’s works, whom Vogt had enlisted due to their beautifully “whimsical” touches, can be seen at the party at Tyersall Park.
3 Michael Cinco (Philippines)
Based in Dubai, Michael Cinco has carved a unique career for himself, having found fans in celebrities the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Lady Gaga, and Beyoncé. His couture pieces are often characterised by his signature love for the smallest, most intricate details, done by way of complex beadwork, lace patterning, and embroidery. To marvel over his work in Crazy Rich Asians, you need only examine the exquisitely caped, trailing yellow number on Princess Intan (played by Kris Aquino) in the wedding scene.
4.Carnet (Hong Kong)
What are crazy rich Asians without intense high jewelry to keep things bewitching? As Crazy Rich Asians novel author Kevin Kwan would tell Vanity Fair: “Asian women like ornamentation in a way that I think a lot of Western women shy away from. They aren’t afraid to wear jewelry. Big, bold, beautiful jewelry.” True to the spirit, bright and shiny digits by Hong Kong jeweler Carnet can be spotted on the two of the strongest characters in the movie, the Young family matriarch and Nicholas’s regal yet emotionally difficult mother, Eleanor Young (played by Michelle Yeoh). Kwan’s personal view on Carnet’s ornate, delicate, and incredibly artistic pieces are that they are worthy of museums, which is why it’s not surprising that they made the cut (pun intended!).
5.Aston Blake (Singapore)
The crazy rich Asian women in the story are not the only ones capable of exuding regality. Evidently, Chu made sure that the men would stand out on screen too, and what better way to ensure they did than to dress them up in big and bold designs? A notable creator whose tailored, “Versace-like” dapper suits caught our eye is Aston Blake. The brocade and jacquard number worn by Macau millionaire Bernard Tai (Jimmy O. Yang) in the wedding scene was especially memorable.
6. Neil Felipp (Philippines)
Neil Felipp, who is based in Cebu City, Philippines, is perhaps one of the newer designers to feature in Crazy Rich Asians. But the designer’s creations arrested Vogt and Kwan’s attention the minute they laid their eyes on them. Think intricately detailed minaudières and handmade bags, with one-of-a-kind figurines etched on their openings. Felipp is known for using the lost wax casting technique to create the finishing detail. Most of his beautiful handbags can be seen on characters Astrid (played by Gemma Chan), who appeared to carry one for every occasion she’s seen in. For the wedding scene, Astrid specifically carried the Siren clutch, featuring a sculpted mermaid.