Archivo de la categoría: Chung Man Yee

Chung Man Yee´s “The Curse of the Golden Flower”(2006)

Yes… Well, i just had to talk about this particular movie and the breathtaking costume desing. As the movie title says, it´s all gold!!!

This movie takes place during China’s Tang dynasty. The emperor has taken the princess of a neighboring province as wife. She gave him two sons and raised his eldest. Now his control over his dominion is complete, including the royal family itself. He holds the control in a most cruel way, he intends to keep his power for as long as he can by slowly poisoning the empress. She of course finds out the plot his husband has against her and tries to take control. So this is the basic plot, i won´t be telling you the end of this movie, you have to see it on your own.

There’s an old Chinese saying: “Gold and jade on the outside, rot and decay on the inside”. They took this saying very seriously.


When you watch this movie, you will see gold all around, in the settings, the props, the costumes, the head pieces, everything. Zhang said: “Gold is the color of the emperor. So we adopt it in the costume designs.”

The emperor has very complex costumes as well as the empress, they couldnt possibly dress themselves, most of the outfits have four to six layers, so obviously the costumes added more time for the actors to dress up, and the emperor´s costume weighs tens of kilograms. The daily preparations including hair, makeup, and costumes took about three to four hours, said Yee. Each layer has been meticulously handcrafted with intricate details, there is real gold fabric in the Emperor and Empress’s attire. It took 40 artisans over the course of two months to construct each. The end result is astonishing. Yee designed seven costumes for the emperor and empress, and most of the outfits had four to six layers. Each layer was meticulously handcrafted.

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Director Zhang explained that color constituted the film’s major theme. The point was echoed by Yee who said he created, using color elements, a strong contrast between the exterior gold and jade glitter and the internal family darkness.

Dragon patterns are used on the robes, with pearls and diamonds all around. They drew inspiration from the golden flower and put it in the film as a very important symbol. The empress favors the flower as well, in her hair, on her robe, even in embroideries. The flower reveals the empress determination to resist her husband’s rule.

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The women’s costumes are very voluptuous, accentuating the bosom. This is historically accurate, reflecting the hedonism and lavish aesthetic of the Later Tang era.

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The metal nail extensions worn by the Empress, the head accesories, the golden embroidery, every detail was extremely well cared.


The golden head pieces of the empress were exquisite in every way. Made her look like the wealthiest empress there ever was!! Check it out:

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Chung Man Yee recieved an Oscar nomination, his movie has to beat four other top contenders, including The Devil Wears Prada, Dreamgirls, Marie Antoinette and The Queen on The 79th Annual Academy Awards.

I hope you actualy get to see this movie, its like watching something that ought to be in a museum play a living part in a movie.