“Wong’s chief inspiration for Chungking Express was a short story entitled ‘On Seeing the 100% Perfect Girl One Beautiful April Morning’ by the Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami. The story is about the mutability of perceptions, and begins with the sentence, ‘One fine April morning, I passed my 100% woman on a Harajuku back street.’ Chungking Express similarly begins with a chance encounter, which becomes a motif in the first episode…
Wong develops the themes of chimerical relationships with the same evanescence displayed in Murakami’s short story. People’s lives just touch but never interpenetrate (maybe they do not even touch but just brush past, mere possibilities, foregone opportunities to connect, impermanence). Like Murakami, Wong injects a sense of magical element into everyday life but with a sense of fatal consequences. Like Murakami, he invokes icons from popular culture to suggest the part that memory plays.”
(From Wong Kar-wai by Stephen Teo, 50-51)
Famous fashion and street style photographer Bill Cunningham has expressed his feelings about the current state of the fashion industry, saying that it needs to come to grips with the fact the younger audiences are becoming increasingly interested in simple clothes.
Speaking to Fern Mallis for her “Fashion Icons” series at 92Y, Cunningham said: “The reality is you have the whole country electronically connected. They’re educating the insides of their heads, as they should, and not [dressing] the outside with a fancy hat or a dress. Simple clothes, that’s key, and I think that’s what the fashion world should really think about.”
Cunningham himself doesn’t have a smartphone, but he is very knowledgeable about the current tech industry and its rapid expansion. “Look at the lines waiting to get into that Apple store on 5th Avenue!” he added. “Do you see a line waiting to get into Bergdorfs or Saks? The future belongs to this generation and the high-tech world is it!”
He went on to talk about how there are far too many new brands showing at fashion weeks, and that celebrity and red carpet culture has ruined fashion, placing a focus on garish, bold pieces rather than carefully thought out, well constructed garments. “That’s what American fashion does best!” he finished. “The honesty of clothes — that’s what we’ve got to get back! That’s what made America great, and what made the fashion world great.”