Li Bingbing arrives at the 2015 Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute Gala benefit in honor of the museum’s latest exhibit “China: Through the Looking Glass” May 4, 2015 in New York. AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY
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China's march toward global ascendancy has taken another leap forward – at least when it comes to New York high society and its most glittering fashion extravaganza, the Met Ball.The ball is the annual fundraiser for the museum's Costume Institute and kicks off the exhibition "China: Through the Looking Glass," which explores Chinese influences on Western fashion.It positions haute couture from some of the world's most celebrated designers alongside works of Chinese art, with the focus on Imperial China, 1920-40s Shanghai and the People's Republic of China.The ravishing 42-year-old actress Li, who wore Christian Dior haute couture, is delighted that China is the theme, pointing to the wealth in Chinese history and how much it can still be misunderstood in America.All that makes China a fast-growing luxury market for designer clothes.Hollywood is also opening its doors to China.Li played a Chinese scientist in 2014 blockbuster "Transformers: Age of Extinction," which grossed $320 million at the box office in China, eclipsing the $245 million made in the United States.
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