The blue dress that Constance Wu wore in Crazy Rich Asians is heading to the Smithsonian. The dress created by luxury dressmaker Marchesa will be donated to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Los Angeles, reports the Los Angeles Times. It will be presented this Saturday for the first annual “The Party: A Smithsonian Celebration of Asian Pacific Americans” as a celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage month. The event will take place at the City Market Social House and will honor Asian Americans who have contributed to the arts. Jay Park, Vivek Ranadive, Hiroshima, and Helen An and her family, will be recognized.
Crazy Rich Asians became a cultural and box office smash when it premiered last year. It was the first movie in 25 years since the Joy Luck Club to star an Asian cast. Constance Wu played New Yorker Rachel Chu who travels to Singapore with her boyfriend Nick and finds out his family is filthy rich. Wu wears the blue Marchesa dress when she attends a lavish Singaporean wedding.
The director of Crazy Rich Asians, Jon M. Chu, told the Los Angeles Times, “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.”
The Crazy Rich Asians dress will be next to other memorable Hollywood attire such as the slippers from The Wizard Of Oz.
The curator in the Division of Culture and Community Life at the National Museum of American History, Theodore S. Gonzalves, told the Los Angeles Times, “The film’s use of fashion is not merely decorative or secondary. The cast’s clothing plays a crucial role in marketing social class among its characters – from multi-generational moneyed elites of Peranakan (Straits-born Chinese immigrants), to the nouveau riche strives of Singapore, to working-class Chinese immigrants in the United States and their Asian American model minority progeny.”
Lisa Sasaki, the director of the Smithsonian’s Asian Pacific American Center, sees this event as the beginning of having the first permanent Asian and Pacific American gallery at the museum. “I think that it represents this moment of arrival,” she said. “There’s a sense of arrival for Asian Americans into the mainstream.”