It’s easy to be overlooked when Kate Middleton's royal baby has enchanted the world, the Kardashian sisters have caused a ruckus and former teen stars are wearing low-quality Halloween wigs in a courtroom (Ahem, Amanda Bynes).
They may not make their homes in the Hollywood Hills or the Upper East Side in NYC but Asia's burgeoning actresses Zhang Ziyi, Fan Bingbing, Zhang Yuqi, Shu Qi, Sun Lin and Rinko Kikuchi don’t fly under the radar when it comes to style.
Not only are they red carpet mainstays but they are movie superstars in their home countries; Ziyi was listed in TIME's World's 100 Most Influential People and Rinko Kikuchi, who was the first Japanese actress to be nominated for an Academy Award in 50 years for the 2006 movie "Babel," is starting to be recognized in her native Japan and topped an opinion poll about who Japan was most proud of internationally.
Asian countries are well known for their innovative and sometimes avant-garde fashion. So it didn’t really surprise us to see that these Asian beauties rival if not kick the butts of most of our North American darlings when it comes to dressing for the red carpet. Let's take a peek:
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An actress we love to watch on the red carpet is “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” star Zhang Ziyi, one of the few Asian actresses who have made an impact overseas. (Although recently the "Memoirs of a Geisha" actress has been in the news lately not for her couture but for allegations of prostitution, which Ziyi has denied.)
The 34-year-old's style always has a bit of a princess element to it which is juxtaposed with an edgier piece. A prime example is when she attended the Lancôme Show by Alber Elbaz party earlier this year dressed in a lovely white tulle dress which she paired with spiked heels and a Lanvin tuxedo jacket.
Ziyi also rocked our socks off when she cut off raven locks in favour of a cute pixie which she debuted at the Cannes Film Festival this year. We're used to seeing Hollywood stars such as Michelle Williams, Charlize Theron and Anne Hathaway rock this cut so it's awesome to see one of our favourite Asian actresses wear this 'do.
Chinese actress Fan Bingbing, who's known for her role in the Chinese television series "Princess Pearl" and the movie "Lost in Beijing," made an impression at Cannes 2013 in a stunning albeit revealing dress which was designed not by a Parisian couturier but by relative unknown Russian designer, Ulyana Sergeenko.
The blue off-the-shoulder gown featured a plunging neckline which left little to the imagination while a dramatic train helped draw (some) attention to the 31-year-old's actual dress and not her decolletage.
Of course the rising star wants to sport some major designers too which is why she wore a custom pink Louis Vuitton gown at the "Great Gatsby" premiere at Cannes in May (this girl can also rock John Lennon glasses even better than the man himself).
Funnily enough, Zhang Yuqi wore the exact same Ulyana Sergeenko gown Fan Bingbing wore, also at Cannes! (Except in Yuqui's case, her version of the dress came in pea-green.)
Not only is the 26-year-old a red carpet mainstay (we would love to raid her closet to get our hands on her Roberto Cavalli mermaid dress and chic Alexander McQueen ballgown) but the rising star, who became a household name in Chinathanks to a role in the movie "CJ7", has also been spotted trotting around the City of Lights for Paris Fashion Week where she put Anna Wintour to shame in embellished floral skirts, sheer tops and fur shrugs.
Actress Shu Qi is a popular Taiwanese model turned actress who received the Best Supporting Actress award for her performance in "Viva Erotica" at the Hong Kong Film Awards in 1997. Although she is known for her conservative style (think floor-length gowns and baby doll dresses) she’s no less fashionable sporting daring designs by Elie Saab and Dior. We especially loved her “Beauty and the Beast” inspired Alexander McQueen yellow puff sleeve dress she wore to the Roger Vivier opening in China.
Betty Sun Li
Actress Betty Sun Li has graced many a fashion magazine cover and it’s not just due to her fame as an actress. The stylish wide-eyed starlet, who gained fame in China with the 2007 TV series "Once Upon a Time in Shanghai," has been on the cover of Elle China and has been profiled in Vogue Italia. Let's be real, you don’t get approached by Vogue unless you’ve made a significant impact on fashion.
Li's influential style can be seen in her daring choices such as the eye-catching lace gown and statement necklace she wore in Shanghai, China, in 2012 and the equally stunning red pinstripe suit she sported in Paris also last year.
Japan is the hub of fashion so we’re not surprised that their actresses make big style waves.
Actress Rinko Kikuchi, fresh off the success of "Pacific Rim," doesn’t play it safe when it comes to style; take the avant-garde Fausto Puglisi dress with the double slit or the coil-accentuated Chanel dress she sported in London. Her risky choices prove that the "Babel" star is not a slave to trends.
Rinko's street style tastes has led to numerous fashion magazine spreads and caught the attention of Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld, who invited her to attend Chanel shows around the world. Now, if Lagerfeld’s approval isn’t a nod to your fashion prowess, we don’t know what is!