As Sandra Oh pointed out, this year’s Golden Globes – while still overwhelmingly Caucasian – had exponentially more Asian representation than ever before, due in part to the cast of Crazy Rich Asians, who really didn’t get enough play, but came out hard in the fashion game nonetheless. I could go on about how diverse backgrounds lead to diverse choices, but I’m already wordy so I’ll get to the point, which is this:
Everyone involved in Crazy Rich Asians KILLED, fashion-wise.
Look at Lucy Liu’s dress. Look at her introducing Crazy Rich Asians in a multicoloured confection with a …peignoir?... that somehow doesn’t look dumb. Remember that Lucy Liu has always had an eye for dresses, that she did a tone-on-tone red sequined column in 2000, way before the Hathaways of the world, and understand that Lucy Liu, in this Galia Lahav that has NEON, is the appetizer in this conversation. Onward:
To look at Gemma Chan’s dress you have to first tear yourself away from her incredible face, and just – accept your lot in life, okay? Only then can you take in that she’s wearing a taffeta ballgown that’s also SHORTS. It’s bananas. It’s exciting. It’s a risk, and thank God because it’s far from boring. Usually anything in the ‘teal’ family isn’t my jam, but when I saw this Valentino described as ‘petrol blue’ I suddenly had more time for it. Still, imagine it in a matte fabric, though? Somewhere between a royal and a navy, say? Sigh.
Constance Wu’s dress is also unlike anything else we saw last night – it’s Vera Wang, which made sense as soon as I saw it, and with that orange ribbon around her waist and the blush coloured tulle, she looked a bit like a ballet dancer, and really quite young.
At one point the camera cut to her and Michelle Yeoh, after she didn’t win the Globe, and it caught Yeoh rubbing her arm in a very maternal fashion, comforting her a bit. I mean, maybe Constance said she was cold or something, I’m not saying she was bummed about the loss, necessarily, it just made her seem vulnerable, something that has only been the province of waifish pale manic pixies for the longest time, and it felt nice. The dress underscores her youth and vulnerability in a way that’s only good.
As soon as I saw Michelle Yeoh last night, it was over.
She was one of the first, and I kept waiting for someone else to come up and at least challenge her, but I don’t know why, because I was a goner from the first moment I saw her, like an eighth-grader with her first real crush.
My prize purchase in 2018 was an unworn vintage leather bomber jacket in bottle green. I’ve wanted one for years, they’re impossible to find, and so I spotted this one in an Etsy shop and prayed. It fits perfectly, it’s exactly my style, and I get compliments all the time, partly because, as Lainey would say “that’s your colour, that green.”
Michelle Yeoh is wearing my leather jacket in evening gown form. It is a LEATHER DRESS with a sheer beaded lace skirt on top. With all respect to Ms. Yeoh, it’s like someone sat down and spun my personality into a dress.
Look at the fit on that bodice. She kept herself in her wrap for a while, not just for warmth (although it was LA’s version of freezing last night) but so she’d have maximum impact in the head-to-toe shot. It’s impeccable. She knows it. That’s the smile of a woman who has envisioned this moment and leaves nothing to chance, because why would you, when the alternative is a stupendous bottle green leather gown?
Here’s what’s even better, though. That dress? That perfect fit and colour? It’s actually the accessory here.
The real star of this outfit, and the shorthand for everything we’ve learned about Michelle Yeoh this year, is her emerald ring. That is, Eleanor Young’s ring, the one she eventually gives to Nick so he can propose to Rachel. You remember the story of the ring, right? The movie mockup prop looked like garbage, Yeoh wasn’t having it – so she produced a ring from her own collection that was way better than the one production tried to provide. Done.
The ring that made Eleanor was provided by Michelle Yeoh. And she just so happened to wear it to the Golden Globes – coincidentally being able to tell the story all over again, of how this crucial item was found, more or less saving the movie. That’s not an accident.
So now, on top of Michelle Yeoh’s dress really becoming one of my top 5 red carpet dresses ever, I have to contend with the fact that she’s so badass she reverse-engineered the most perfect outfit of all time to compliment the ring – and the story! – and I’m so delighted I need to lie down.
This whole cast is busy with the sequel to CRA and I hope with other projects as well, because I need to see them back again next year, and I especially need Michelle Yeoh to teach me more about myself in clever and spectacular sartorial form.