Continuing my current fascination with Chinese glamour. Moving slightly away from China’s burgeoning haute couture scene, one other source of escalating élan is China’s film industry. Not as well known as their North American or European counterparts, but not far behind. There is a select group of Chinese actresses who are crossing over into the more mainstream masses. One of them (and my current favourite) is Fan Bingbing.
Born on 19th September 1980 in Qingdao; raised in Yantai,China. She graduated both Shanghai Theatre Academy and Shanghai Xie Jin Film and Television Art College. Fan’s first brush with fame came in 1998 when she appeared in ‘My Fair Princess’, a successful television series in China. While she appeared in various television roles, she was not burning the completion. However it was when she appeared in 2003’s ‘Cell Phone’, that she gained national attention. As the biggest hit film of that year, China took notice of Fan’s easy charm.
Fan elected to take more control of her career, by leaving her previous management Huyai Brothers to start her own Studio. Fan Bingbing Studio in 2007. To be highly paid and acclaimed as an actress is easy, but to focus that power into make the films that you want. To give a chance to not only actors that you feel have potential to directors, writers, producers, costumer designers etc. Is a clear demonstration of a broader understanding of the film industry. Her first film under her own company was ‘The Matrimony’ in 2007, gaining a Golden Horse Film Award for best supporting actress. She found great acclaim for her performance in ‘Lost in Beijing’, earning a best actress award at the 4th Eurasian International Film Featival Award. Outside of China, Fan has featured in films from Japan, France (Stretch, 2011) and South Korea (My Way, 2011). 2014 saw Fan officially enter the Hollywood blockbuster realm in ‘X-Men days of the future past’.
Being the biggest film star in China might be enough for some. Fan on the other hand wanted more. So she released her debut album ‘Just Began’ in 2005, another hit. On the surface, being the first Asian actress to be featured as a Barbie celebrity doll. It does have racial and cultural implications, showing that beauty exists in different ethnicities. She also became the first Asian actress to endorse Moët& Chandon and the first to have Louis Vuitton create a custom made gown for the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.
Where I first noticed Fan was actually on her red carpet aappearances. Whilst judging an actress solely on what she wears is shallow, I cannot deny how bewitched I was by Fan. Not only is she stunning but she carries herself like a star. Her personal style is a nice mixture of timeless classism but she does embrace some of centred features. The second picture from the bottom is not only endlessly chic, classic Parisian style but the glasses are a little kitsch. The bow detail on the left lense is quirky but never tacky.
Fan is truly one of a kind, a trail blazer who is has not only radiant good looks but brains and an influence that many can only dream of. Forbes Magazine in China named her the most important celebrity in China in 2013. To hold such power in a rapidly expanding country like China, were the potential is virtually sky high. Is a sign of not only Fan’s popularity but her true star quality, the sky is obviously the limit for this brilliant woman.