Constance Wu’s dress from Crazy Rich Asians is making history, heading to a Smithsonian exhibit at the National Museum of American History.
The big screen adaptation of Kevin Kwan’s hit novel Crazy Rich Asians made history at the box office. With a cast made up mostly of actors with Asian heritage to the huge bucks the film raked in, it was definitely a landmark film. Because of that, the movie is getting some space to be honored at the Smithsonian.
Constance Wu’s amazing blue dress, a Marchesa gown, has officially been donated by the designer to the National Museum of American History in Washington DC. The donation comes just in time for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage month, and as the LA Times reports, the dress will be presented in Los Angeles at the first annual event called The Party: A Smithsonian Celebration of Asian Pacific Americans.
The film’s director John M. Chu told the LA Times that it was a huge honor for the dress to join several other iconic entertainment artifacts at the museum like Dorothy’s ruby slippers from Wizard of Oz and a handmaid costume from The Handmaid’s Tale. For Chu, Wu, and the rest of the team at Crazy Rich Asians, that gown was much more than a gorgeous look for Wu’s character, Rachel. It was a symbol.
“It became a Cinderella dress for people. I remember seeing moms make it for their little girls, I remember seeing women wear it with a sense of pride. It became literally a fairy-tale dress for people. We talked about how this would make her feel and how powerful it would be for her — and that it’s also her choice to wear.”
In addition to presenting the Marchesa gown to the Smithsonian at The Party, the event will also be the launchpad for the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Keystone Initiative. The Initiative will work to raise funds for the Smithsonian’s first permanent Asian Pacific American Gallery.
It’s exciting to see a piece from pop culture and movies added to such an important cause. After all, that film, that gown, and those characters from Crazy Rich Asians meant so much to so many individuals who hadn’t seen themselves represented onscreen in a relatable manner. It’s wonderful to see the Smithsonian recognize what a big deal that movie was and still is.
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