Monday, May 2, 2011

Gong Li as Geisha

Gong Li Geisha 1
Gong Li Geisha 2
"Clothing is a universal marker of cultural identity, a potent signifier of social standing and individual taste with the ability to make known personal information about the wearer such as age, martial status, or religious beliefs. Dress is influential in that what it conceals often reveals more about the beliefs and way of life of an individual or group than what is exposes, as in the case of the burqa, a loose covering worn by Muslim women, and the Japanese kimono, both of which mask and obscure the female figure for different cultural reasons. It follows then that fashion is an important mode of interpersonal communication with its own unique language and set of rules, governed and understood by a privileged few. The kimono is no exception."
-Kimono: Art, Fashion and Society, The Morikami Musuem

Some weeks ago, I attended the Morikami Musuem's Kimono: Art, Fashion and Society exhibit. Unfortunately, no photos were allowed so I leave you with images of the beautiful Gong Li instead.

ph: Costumer's Guide


  1. Gong Li is such a gorgeous woman and a great actress--particularly in Farewell My Concubine. Her English language performances are seriously lacking, though; I think it may be a lot harder for native speakers of Chinese to transition to English sounds than for, say, native speakers of Japanese. The same goes for English-to-Chinese speakers. My boyfriend always tries to speak Chinese to me and he just sounds...really silly haha. Especially when he says he loves me, since that's a phrase that most Chinese people don't use anyhow--he just sounds so goofy!

    Anyhow, back to geishas, I think the best part of the geisha costume is the 'W' of bare skin at the nape of the neck. They're usually so made up, but that 'W' is like a look into their true selves.

  2. So beautiful.

    I had the honour of viewing the private vault of Asian textiles owned by Natori. She had it climate controlled and sorted by period. It was truly a museum in its own right. I wish I didn't have the flu at the time - I would've been much more enthusiastic.

  3. And what stunning images too - gorgeous kiminos!

  4. beautifully written...gong li is so gorgeous. i highly suggest you see wong kar wai's film eros if you haven't already...gong li has amazing style in that film and miuccia prada used her character in the film as one of the inspirations for that fall/winter 2005 collection. :)

  5. She's beautiful and the pictures bring out the best of her. It's been awhile since we've seen her though.
    The clothes are so rich and stunning!

  6. Jaw-droppingly beautiful!!!

    PS. *sigh* My love for kimonos is going strong...

  7. "It follows then that fashion is an important mode of interpersonal communication with its own unique language and set of rules, governed and understood by a privileged few."

    This is something I wish I'd learned at a much younger age. It puts into words why fashion is so important. Like understanding money, it's one of the keys to success that is rarely taught and often (foolishly) ignored.

  8. gong li is so beautiful; her performance in "memoirs of a geisha" was stellar.
    i followed your link. Morikami Musuem's kimono exhibit looks incredible. how fortunate for you to see this!

  9. I want a kimono just like her from Memoirs of a Geisha..

  10. what a shame no photographs were allowed. i can spend hours looking at textiles, so this exhibition looks wonderful

  11. It sounds like an wonderful exhibition, but I'll settle for these Gong Li photos. She's a majestic actress, with awesome swagger, she just owns every scene she's in. And yet I've seen her put in quiet performances in older films. So talented. And beautiful of course.

  12. How beautiful is that?!
    A month ago while in Brussels I was lucky enough to see kimonos in Oriental museum. There were only 6 of them but they were so amazing! I've always though about kimonos as an alive art.
    And I couldn't agree more with 0000 about the "W" as it's the most personal & sexiest part.

  13. very nice quote. very beautiful woman.

  14. She may be the most beautiful women I've ever laid eyes on. She is so poised and elegant in these photos.

    Hand drawn:
    My Closet in Sketches


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