China: Through the Looking Glass

In honor of tonight’s Met Gala, here’s a tribute to Josef von Sternberg’s “Shanghai Express,” which inspired Yves Saint Laurent’s eminent 1977 ‘Chinese’ collection, the theme of this year’s celebration.

Released in 1932, the movie, starring Marlene Dietrich, Clive Brook, Anna May Wong and others, imparts film-noir – a style much appreciated by the Klickpicks crew. Shanghai Lily, played by Dietrich, is an infamous prostitute whose distinct intelligence is apparently more important than the civil war. Portrayed by Clive Brook, the woman’s former fiancé Captain Harvey is inconveniently enveloped in a love he lost five years ago. Overall, the film depicts eccentric personalities swimming in both romance and morality during an exciting Peking-to-Shanghai train ride.

The Met Gala, which will be presented by Anna Wintour, will uncover “China: Through the Looking Glass,” this year’s fashion exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The annual exhibition will reveal Chinese aesthetics through costumes, porcelains, paintings and films.

“The show isn’t really about China but about a fantasy of China, one that is shared between the East and the West,” said Andrew Bolton (Source: Business of Fashion), a curator at the Met’s Costume Institute, who discovered Saint Laurent’s inspiration after having a discussion with Pierre Bergé, a friend of the designer.

Although film-inspired fashion collections have long been a popular trend, we’re sure that this evening’s gala, influenced by “Shanghai Express,” will be an exceptional example of technolo-chic!

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