She Took It Easy

On the red carpet of the Hong Kong Film Awards yesterday, Michelle Yeoh chose a long shirt-dress that bordered on the too-casual

It was widely reported in the Hong Kong press that Michelle Yeoh Choo Keng (杨紫琼) was the last to arrive at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre in Tsim Sha Tsui for the 41st Hong Kong Film Awards. That she hit the red carpet after Sammi Cheng—tipped to be named the best actress (she was) for her role in 流水落花 (Lost Love)—was testament to Ms Yeoh’s new-found status as Oscar winner and Asia’s most prominent actress. She arrived alone, traipsed the red carpet with the confidence of a cat in her own backyard, and even, at some point, surprised Andy Lau (刘德华) and film director Ann Hui (许鞍华) when she crept up to them while the two were about to have their photographs taken, and joined them for the snap without appearing to be asked. Everyone, presumably, wanted their turn with the Malaysian owner of the world’s most famous gold statuette.

Did Michelle Yeoh, in fact, modelled herself as an ethereal she-Oscar? She was togged in a sheer, gold, long-sleeved shirt-dress by her go-to label, Dior. But unlike her red carpet appearances outside Asia in the past two months, she chose to arrive looking decidedly breezy, as if she was attending a wedding in Bali. Sure, what she wore was long—near floor-length, but she did not look dressed to the nines. The Dior looked far less splendid than what the other attendees were fitted with. Or were we simply reminded that Hong Kong was no Hollywood? The startling casualness was compounded by the pushed-up sleeves (to her elbow) and the disconcerting black belt, which provided a strange hard line across her waist (could it be something that had gone with a pair of jeans moments earlier, in the car, perhaps?). She wore her hair in loose curls, which looked like it was just towel-dried. To us, she came as a wealthy actress, not a recent Oscar winner.

Or was this the usual sentiment that back in Asia, you don’t have to try too hard. There were no more White folks to impress. She made her fashion mark. Time for post-Oscars prudence. It is possible that since Michelle Yeoh has received the highest award an actress can hope to have, she was now ready to be rid of the pressures to be worthy of any red carpet best-dressed accolade. 靚就得啦 (beautiful is enough in Cantonese). Hong Kong, even the city that launched her career, did not require her extra effort in getting dolled-up. At the Oscars last month, she wore a semblance of a wedding dress (by Dior too), but that was at least special-occasion wear. Now, she no longer needed to make a splash. Casual was comely, just as an Oscar to her name was enough. Michelle Yeoh, the last to step onto the red carpet at the Hong Kong Film Awards, whether deliberate on the part of the organisers or not, was plain anti-climatic.

Photo: AFP

3 thoughts on “She Took It Easy

  1. Pingback: Met Gala 2023: The Blurred Lines Of Beauty | Style On The Dot

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