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Who Is Fan Bingbing?

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In the fishbowl that is Cannes, watching the same starlets hit the carpet over and over can get a little dull. Can and could—but doesn’t, this year, thanks largely to the Chinese superstar Fan Bingbing, who consistently looks great in everything from dragon-emblazoned Chinese gowns to Parisian couture. Fan is at the festival promoting her film Chongqing Blues, which is in competition for the Palme d’Or. (Depending on whom you ask, the film—a family saga about a ship’s captain coming to terms with the death of his son—is either poignant or plodding. Some reviewers said both.) The 28-year-old actress is an enormous star in her native China, where she routinely appears on magazine covers—in the last year, she’s been on L’Officiel China, InStyle China, Cosmopolitan China, and Esquire China, only the second woman to cover the Chinese men’s mag—in films, and on TV. Her style ranges from hippie chic to full-on glamour. (At Cannes, she’s worn Elie Saab Couture, Valentino, and Laurence Hsu.) Will she follow the path of Chinese actresses like Ziyi Zhang and head west? She may already have started. Front-row watchers may remember her from Paris fashion week earlier this year, where she snagged seats of honor at Sonia Rykiel, Jean Paul Gaultier, and Louis Vuitton. Her seatmate at that last one, by the way? LV CEO Yves Carcelle. We’d say she’s going places.

Photo: Zhang Yuwei / Everett Collection

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