Gosh.. all my life i've been staying away from chinese dramas and Korean ones because it always end up being a soap opera with people dying and constantly crying in every friggin episode but what lured me towards The Empress of China the most recent released chinese drama (dec 2014) was the story (based on real history) and the beautiful extravagant costumes.
You all know i can't resist beautiful costumes, guess that's how you catch me by luring me with costumes as a bait lol.
The last Chinese drama i watched was Crouching Dragon & Hidden Dragon (with yummy Peter Ho ♥) and that was AGES ago almost 14 years liao haha!
Maybe that's how i grew to be attracted to guys with moustache and long hair XD pfftt..omygosh those who knows my history will see the pattern :P
Love their theme song: Tuan Yuan which i didn't know was actually sung by a Malaysian singer Eric Moo, just found out today actually lol.
I am also a sucker for history which i spent most of my childhood reading encyclopedias and other historical books i could get my hands on. Read almost every civilization whether it's Asian, Western, mesopotamian, you name it and i couldn't pick any as a favorite because i love them all. It fascinates me till this very day and shows us how far we have come since then.
If given a chance to study again, i would have picked archaeology it was my first and one true ambition as a kid till today but my parents told me this line is a dead end and the only bones i'll ever dig is my own lol. Same goes to fashion but i somewhat proven them wrong about fashion and only wished i've done the same thing for archaeology studies.
Still remembered the day when i picked up classic Chinese history novel, that was back in primary school -Romance of the Three Kingdoms.
Damn.. that book was thick as hell for a 10 year old to read, though that book is based on actual historical events with a slight flare of imagination (for entertainment sake), no different on how The Empress of China drama series was based on but obviously what you watch in the drama was exaggerated x100000 times la and girls back then were actual beauties and not with template faces like those chinese actresses we see today lol.
According to the producers this drama series is one of the most expensive drama made in china entertainment industry (guess more than Game of Thrones lol) with wooping 3000 over costumes for this 74 episode series.
Insane amount of effort was put into costuming (dem details! ♥) and not to mentioned the extra billions that went into censoring their cleavages (all 74 episodes) because it was apparently " too sexy" for the public eye =.=
In my opinion you guys ruined thousands of perfectly good costumes with your lousy cropping & CGs. Don't believe me? Go watch the series here, it's free but censored version and not sure where to get the uncensored ones as it was taken off air by the first few episodes: http://newasiantv.com/drama/empress-of-china-cantonese.353.html
My favourite costume on set was the marriage scene when Zhinu (son of the late emperor) who was the successor of the Tang Dynasty throne publicly named Wu Meiniang (concubine of late emperor) as his official consort. Such pretty costume of red & white adorned with gold embroideries only appeared for less than 5 minutes and was never seen again. Such a shame D:
But heck this drama relationship is so confusing lol by right Zhinu is actually marrying his stepmother because she previously considered "married" or owned by Zhinu's dad lolol.
Oh well, according to history it's actually true: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wu_Zetian
THAT DRAGON & PHOENIX design!
Would definitely love to meet the amazing costume designer team who designed and made all these costumes one day, because of this drama it made my passion for costuming burn brightly again. It gave me hope and encouragement to work harder, even if this dream will take me 10- 20 years i will persevere. Previously the flame was dying btw, had some down time and was questioning my life and the choices i made to pursue my passion for costume & fashion designing.
The scene where she was supposed to be assassinated, shows us how to die "in style" lol. This green and gold combo reminded me of the dress FanBingBing wore to The Met Gala, if you follow celebrity fashion then you would know which dress i am talking about :P
She might have married Zhinu but in Mei Niang's heart it will always belong to the late emperor. They actually make a great couple despite him being 30 years older than her and it was so heart breaking to see him pass away without Mei Niang by his side.
The amount of embroidery i see on each costume makes me want to cry because it's just plain crazy wei..even if they were machine made but to attached them unto the costume itself is already time consuming, can't imagine if those embroideries were handmade (every single bit) AHAHA.
This history of The Empress of China was indeed a powerful one being the one and only woman ruler in Chinese History but sadly her story was made into a petty concubine squabble and backstabbing drama with countless of tears and wailing. Why you guys do this *flips table/ fantoi*
Overall though the plot was a typical chinese drama type with mandatory forbidden love and revenge but what made me sit through this whole 74 episode (invested 74 hours of watching ya lol) was their elaborated costumes and almost every episode, Fan Bing Bing (she plays the lead character, Wu Meiniang) never fails to appear in another beautiful costume with eccentric wigs and headpieces.
Such beautiful last words from Zhinu before he went, leaving mei niang behind all alone once again.
He was actually a very simple man, who didn't want to rule a kingdom, think he would have been much happier as a normal husband instead of a ruler, such a life of a royalty when one can't chose :'(
But never in my life i thought this series would actually move me to tears, from her unfortunate life events, countless accusations and punishments nothing was as emotional as this last scene before zhinu past away.
Except the episode where the first emperor himself past away when Wu Meniang was prevented from seeing him at his death bed, that was really heart wrenching. Asshole governor officials, let the poor lovers meet for one last time la! But noooooooo..they had to stop the poor girl leaving her too late to see his majesty breathe his last breath =.= heartless bastards.
Had to screenshot these last few scenes from episode 74 (last ep) because it's just too powerful, i am actually still crying as i am typing this post :'(
The script writers really know how to start some waterworks here *ugly brawling* lol.
That moment when she realised how much suffering she has actually brought upon her life and her husband's was just too precious to let go. Tell me, how can one not cry at these words?? I've repeat this scene over again and again and I am still crying lol.
"If there was a next life, would you be my husband again?"
Which girl wouldn't swoon over when a guy loves you as this much and assures you again and again
that he'll always be there by your side. But remember during this scenes her heart is actually still with the late emperor, let's just say mei niang is a bitch for hurting poor Zhinu :(
She never loved him despite how much he expressed his unconditional love for her till the point we would even give up his country (& everything) just to have her love and acknowledgment back.
All because she loved his father instead lol, imagine how kesian i felt for Zhinu when she told him that after their son ZiHong was murdered by his younger brother.
Well..it took her long enough to finally love him back and ask for another chance to be his wife (after he mati only lol), which it was kinda a lil too late already la lady.
Sigh..If only modern guys were this romantic ahahah, in our dreams la~
Everyone she loved, trusted and knew were dead. Makes me wonder how can a woman be this strong, explains why she was the only woman emperor in history. Normal people would be devastated over so many loss but apparently she lived past her 80s before she is finally rested beside her husband, Zhinu again but her tomb wasn't marked according to historians.
And this last scene reminded me of life, one can have everything but still be unhappy.
So wealth and power means nothing in the end, funny that people still chase over them despite knowing the consequences.
Right..most of you were wondering where is this scene from right?
Apparently i was cut off (removed) as part of the censorship :-/
Such a romantic and beautiful scene, now GONE *sobs*