The Real Inspiration Behind Sarah Jessica Parker’s Chinese Headdress

Photo: Larry Busacca/Getty Images.
Sarah Jessica Parker is one of the few Met Gala regulars who always goes all out for the theme. And, for one that’s as sensitive as this year’s Chinese theme, there were approximately a million and a half ways to do it wrong. However, Sarah Jessica Parker might have found the most clever way to pay homage to Chinese culture and its Western interpretations — all while still looking like a top-notch queen. Her H&M dress featured a long sash embroidered with Chinese silks and she paired it with a massive flame-flanked headdress that looked more than a little familiar. Sure, the red tassels are reminiscent of a Phoenix Crown that traditional brides wear when they get married, but the cartoony flames were a part of one of the largest televised Chinese events of the past decade. You remember: the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The event's five mascots, known as fuwa or "Friendlies" in Chinese, were as ubiquitous as paparazzi pics of Ryan Lochte. Huanhuan, the flame-headed one in the middle represented the Americas. It’s the same fire topper as the one SJP was wearing and people on Weibo have already noticed the similarities.
Photo: Courtesy of The National Olympic Committee.
Some Chinese commenters on Weibo are also calling out a possible tribute being made made to Buddhism’s Four Heavenly Kings, and the commentary has been largely positive. Since the headdress isn’t a sacred object (like a war bonnet at Coachella), nor is it a trend that’s been used as exotic, uneducated “decoration” (like a bindi at Coachella), this reads as appreciative — not appropriative. Knowing SJP, we bet the lady did her homework beforehand (although, the poppy may have been an oversight).      

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