The height of award season fashion has come and gone with the Golden Globes, Grammys, and Oscars officially over. But with the 2019 Oscars only a few days ago on Feb. 24, stars' style choices are still being revealed. Turns out Constance Wu's yellow dress at the 2019 Oscars had a special meaning connected to Asian history and her film Crazy Rich Asians. The star's dress made her one of the standouts on the red carpet. While she may have looked like she was living her best Belle from Beauty and the Beast life, the dress and its color was so much more than just a pretty choice.
According to an article from Buzzfeed, Wu's dress has quite a bit of personal meaning for both her and the film's director Jon Chu. If you've seen the film, you'll know that final scenes of the movie feature Coldplay's song "Yellow" sung in Mandarin. Wu's dress choice is in honor of the song.
The actress revealed in an Instagram post that her dress choice was inspired not just by the song, but by a letter Chu wrote to the members of Coldplay regarding the use of it. Buzzfeed explains that the letter was written to the band in order to be able to record the song for the film. Clearly, the letter worked, and it impacted more than just the members of Coldplay.
In the letter, originally posted at the Hollywood Reporter, Chu explained to the band that he has "had a complicated relationship with the color yellow." He goes on to recount the word being used derogatorily toward him in grade school, as well as film and television using "yellow" as a way to describe cowards. The band's song is partially what changed Chu's relationship with the color.
Chu wrote, "For the first time in my life, it described the color in the most beautiful, magical ways I had ever heard: the color of the stars, her skin, the love. It was an incredible image of attraction and aspiration that it made me rethink my own self image....We could reclaim the color for ourselves and it has stuck with me for the majority of my life."
On her Instagram, Wu posted an extended excerpt from the letter that explained her choice to wear yellow to the 2019 Oscars. In the excerpt, Chu explains that the film is the first all Asian cast for a studio film in 25 years, but the portion Wu chose to include pertains to her character Rachel. Chu stated that Wu's character Rachel grows into a woman who accepts and embraces her mixed heritage, and it's the last scenes in the film where this happens. That's where "Yellow" would be used. He wrote, "It would be such an honor to use your song that gave me so much strength throughout the years, to underscore this final part of our film."
Obviously, Coldplay agreed to let the film use "Yellow," and the moment in the movie is one of the most memorable. While Wu's dress may have landed her a spot in your best dressed list or reminded you of Disney's Belle, the frock was so much more than just a pretty gown.