This film on Nowness features a group of Chinatowns elderly residents who have gathered daily in Columbus park for the last 30 to practice luk tung kuen, a specialist Chinese form of exercise.
Discovered by video director Alexa Karolinski and fashion designers Zoe Latta and Mike Eckhaus when they were looking for Tai chi experts to star in a fashion film for their fashion label—Eckhaus Latta.
“We’d seen tai chi a million times but we’d never seen something this amazing,” says Karolinski. “For these beautiful old ladies who meet every morning it’s a routine in their daily lives, it’s part of their identities.”
Before shooting, Latta and Eckhaus brought a selection of their collection to the park for the women to pick and mix with their own clothes.
“When I interviewed one woman, she wouldn’t stop talking about these uniforms they used to practice in,” says Karolinski. “She wished they still had them and was nostalgic about a yellow one they had in summer. The way people dress is the way they identify themselves, and that’s exactly fashion.”