Wong Kar-wai is a Hong Kong filmmaker and a leading auteur of the Hong Kong Second Wave. His work is highly stylized, often described as beautiful and unique. The colors are bold and saturated – such as scarlet sage, a deep red signature in many of his films.
Scarlet Sage is a fashion label deeply rooted in Hong Kong-ese cinema and its intense visualization of personal dramas. The creative director, Huizhe, was born in China at the tail of the Second Wave, the movement in Chinese-language cinema that emerged in the late 1980s and early 1990s, but its impact on her childhood visual memories lives strong.
A generation of women was stylistically very affected by the way the Second Wave movie characters dressed – where the traditional qipao is frequently seen mixed with western style staples. Suits, wide shoulder jackets, coats and sunglasses became commonplace by people imitating how the characters dressed in the films.
Each frame in Wong Kar-wai films was beautiful in the way only movies shot by film could be; the texture and colors were unique and real; it captured rare moments. Scarlet Sage emulates urban stories, releasing seasonal capsules of Coats, Hats and Gloves depicting the many mysterious personas of Wong Kar-wai’s movies; mysteriously seductive and disconnected, rich in personal stories.
For its inaugural collection Scarlet Sage spotlights some of Wong’s movies from the early 90s’ and more specifically Days of Being Wild (1990), Chungking Express (1994) and Fallen Angels (1995).
As in most of Kar-wai’s movies, the protagonists covet romance surrounded by a digressive and exhilarating chaos and these films strongly emphasize on disconnected stories. The estranged characters seem to keep a distance from their surroundings not to reveal too much; as if they were trying to hide their emotions to protect themselves from the ache of loving.
Much as Wong Kar-wai’s striking and salient cinema focuses on characters and stories, Scarlet Sage’s first collection focuses on the feeling of fashion rather than the ostentatious. It results in a very edited selection of six looks featuring trench coats, strong shoulder jackets, and a coat dress; all matched with hats and gloves in blacks, off-whites and beiges.