Opening Today! “Crazy Rich Asians”: A Luxury Shopper’s Fantasy

In What's New, Industry News by Lauren Parker, Accessories Magazine

The wait is over! “Crazy Rich Asians” hits screens today in the U.S. and the movie has already caused quite a sensation (it has a rare 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes), with paparazzi avidly stalking all the crazy rich fashions at the premieres.

The jewel-and-couture-bedecked movie is projected to bring in over $18m at its U.S. opening, according to projections by its distributor Warner Bros., and the Asian community is excited to be driving an entire movie as more than the quirky sidekick or stereotyped character.

What do you do when you’re an ABC (American-Born Chinese) and you fly to Singapore to meet your sweet Asian boyfriend’s parents and find out that he’s not just rich, and not just crazy rich, but crazy Asian rich? Like heir-to-a-fortune rich? And that his status-conscious mom and all of Asia society’s single ladies have put a target on your back? Such is the plotline for Crazy Rich Asians, a romantic comedy dropping Wednesday based on Kevin Kwan’s best-selling book by the same name.

Come for the story line, but stay for the fashions.

After the Met’s China: Through the Looking Glass costume exhibition and related Met Gala in 2015, Chinese fashion has steadily influenced mainstream trends in fabric and silhouette. This movie, however, shows how affluent Chinese not only embrace their tradition, but international couture and runway trends as well. The costume designer borrowed jewels from Bulgari and Chopard to capture the characters’ billionaire lifestyles, with the production teams working their fashion house connections to show opulence… on a budget.

Crazy Rich Asians

Photograph: Sanja Bucko/Warner Bros

The fish-out-of-water culture clash is sure to be entertaining, not to mention heartbreaking (Nick’s mother literally tells the sweet, down-to-earth Rachel “you will never be enough”)  but the opulence and fashions will definitely transport.

The movie features millions of dollars worth of jaw-dropping clothing, accessories and jewelry, not to mention the cars and private planes. The movie also analyzes old money versus new money, and the rift between “Overseas Chinese and Mainland Chinese.”

Constance Wu as Rachel Chu. Photograph: Sanja Bucko/Warner Bros

Kwan, the book’s author, said he wanted to introduce contemporary Asian culture to a North American audience. Judging by the crazy success of Black Panther, it’s clear that mainstream cinema is (finally) welcoming diversity on the big screen. The movie is getting positive attention for its all-Asian cast shown outside historical or stereotypical roles, definitely a first in American cinema since Joy Luck Club 25 years ago.

Crazy Rich Asians

Photograph: Sanja Bucko/Warner Bros

Watch the trailer below.

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