CANNES, France (AP) — Fan Bing Bing is unapologetic about her bold fashion choices.
Never one to plays it safe, the 33-year-old Chinese actress always turns heads on the red carpet with dramatic, sometimes jaw-dropping gowns — and in past week at the Cannes Film Festival, she has stayed true to her credo.
On opening night, she donned a pale pink Ralph & Russo couture gown with intricate green embroidery. For the premiere of "Mad Max: Fury Road," Fan wowed again in a Marchesa gown, covered with flower applique throughout.
Fan, who was in last year's "X-Men: Days of Future Past," told The Associated Press that she's not afraid to take fashion risks, and believes that fashion should be "played with."
"There should be a sense of ease and more of a playful feeling to it. If you play with it, then you will enjoy the process. If you take it too seriously, then it's almost like you need to give it life. That's very hard to do with a dress. How much depth do you expect from a dress?" she said in an interview this week. "That's a hard thing to do. If you make it your own, style it with knowledge and expression, then that's your strength."
Some of Fan's most memorable red carpet looks include ones that pays homage to her culture. She wore a golden dragon gown to Cannes in 2010 and a gown inspired by a Chinese porcelain vase in 2012. Fan often works with her pal, Chinese fashion designer Christopher Bu, to create Chinese inspired looks.
"The Chinese elements are something that you need to feel with your heart because not all things Chinese are suitable to apply to a dress. It really depends," she said. "Applying Chinese elements to fashion takes an understanding of the Chinese culture and heritage. You need to understand how to apply them. You need to do it appropriately."
Fan began her career in television almost 20 years ago in China. Today, she is one of the country's biggest stars. Her younger fans emulate her fashion styles and every move. Fan said that she knows that a lot of young girls look up to her as a role model and she takes it upon herself to teach them about self-acceptance: "Women shouldn't think about their flaws all the time. When you do, you'll think this life is so unfair," she said.
"I don't think much about my flaws. I see my strength and try to highlight that. Others will think that you're beautiful. That's enough."
Her personal life is under constant media scrutiny. She's recently been romantically linked to Chinese actor Li Chen. While the Internet is buzzing with wedding plans for the pair, Fan played coy when asked about it.
"Actors' lives are already very complicated. They're lots of temptations. They're not a lot of genuine emotions or relationships," she said. "I want to make (announcements) on my own terms. It's not making a statement but rather use a way that I'm most comfortable with. About my love life, when the timing is right, then everyone will know."