For any of you who have gone through a life changing experience — something that rocked your world to the core, that turned everything you thought you knew about yourself completely upside down — Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love probably speaks to you. There’s a reason why it was on The New York Times best sellers list for 178 weeks and counting.
Now Sony Pictures is releasing their film adaptation of the book, starring Julia Roberts and Javier Bardem, this Friday, August 13.
In case you don’t know the storyline, Gilbert found herself lost after a contentious divorce and a bout with depression. So she embarked on a journey through Italy, India and Bali, eating, praying and eventually finding love — and healing — along the way.
Now Asian American designer Sue Wong has come out with a collection inspired by the movie, called Sue Wong for Eat Pray Love.
It’s a natural fit. Wong has always designed gowns and dresses with a multicultural, eclectic feel. “I feel that I have always had a foot in the door of both cultures and that the experience of growing up in two cultures has always given me a broader and more global perspective,” says Wong, whose myriad influences range from African wood cut prints to traditional Chinese floral motifs to vintage Hollywood glamour.
For the Eat Pray Love collection, Wong called upon her love of Indian style. “The textiles with gorgeous beadwork and embroidery are based on vintage Indian saris, and many hours were spent in the research and execution of these textiles,” she says. She also created Indian and Indonesian-inspired “dressy versions of the sarong looks that I already wear,” she says. Paired with dramatic ethnic jewelry, Wong says it’s become her signature look.
But it wasn’t just the similarity in aesthetics. Wong says that she personally identified with the book and the author’s experiences. “I am living my version of the Eat Pray Love saga,” she says. “I too have just emerged from a very difficult divorce and have my holistic retreat and spiritual sanctuary in the beautiful, remote jungles of East Maui. I am also embarking on a month-long odyssey to Europe and Morocco in order to hear my psyche, heart and spirit.”
Recently, Wong was honored by Asia Society Southern California at its 25th Anniversary Gala Dinner in Los Angeles. Among the honorees was Eric Nakamura, publisher of Giant Robot Magazine. California State Controller John Chiang moderated the discussion among the honorees.
To see more of Sue Wong for Eat Pray Love, click here. Available at Neiman Marcus.