Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Gong Li--C'est magnifique

Twice a year Fashion Weeks show up in Paris, finishing the exhausting cycle that starts in New York, travels to London and then Milan before hitting the City of Light. Gong Li hasn't taken the Paris versions of this barely organized madness by storm--with a surplus of actresses, slumming models, faded beauties, not so faded beauties and just gorgeous people around, no one does. But she is noticed in a big way by the press, the fashionistas and people simply on the prowl for a great look. 2009 is in the books and here are a few images indicating why Gong Li is a hit in Paris--and lots of other places--and why she is courted by huge fashion houses with money to burn and more snob appeal than one can imagine.

First, though, two pictures from Cannes in 2007, simply because the combination of Gong Li and the dress she was wearing could hardly have been more perfect. The cut, color and overall look were exquisite and she wore the dress perfectly.

A view from the back:

Here she is last March at the Louis Vuitton Autumn/Winter show. One commentator mentioned that the combination of tightly fitted blouse, wide belt and wide legged trousers showed off her hourglass figure without really showing anything off. Which was right on the money. Here is how one hails a cab in Paris. Or anything else anywhere else:

This is a very poorly photoshopped image by me, getting rid of the background and, along with the perfect angle of the photograph, showing how it all works at the waistline:

From two weeks ago at the Spring/Summer 2010 show, Gong Li was wearing a short evening dress designed by Marc Jacobs, the type of outfit that a few hundred years ago in Paris would have men competing to see who could fight the first duel over her. Lending a bit of calm to the backstage chaos of models, dressers, hair and make-up people:

Here she is with enfant terrible designer Marc Jacobs with yet another illustration of how tiny her waist is. Jacobs is by no means a tall man and it looks as if he could get one arm around Gong Li's waist a coupld of times--if he had the extra elbow joints, of course:

Being an icon/muse for designers and the "face" of a huge company with lots of money and an international cachet isn't all just looking good, though. Sometimes there is real work to do--for example getting a picture taken with the boss and a few other people. From left to right: Rinko Kikuchi, Gong Li, random rich guy, Yves Carcelle (chairman, CEO and all that), Freida Pinto. A tough life.


  1. I love her 2007 Cannes dress! The effect of the wings on her shoulders is striking yet tastefully done.

  2. That is a great dress but there is so much going on with it, particularly the wing-like straps which look as if they have the texture of both feathers and some type of reptile skin, that a lesser person (if I may be pardoned for using such a loaded expression) wouldn't be able to carry it off.

    Gong Li really is astonishing. And at 44 or 45, she has already passed into the "ageless" category.