After Yang is a futuristic sci-fi movie that doesn’t include any stunts, space travel, or spandex. In fact, it lacks the usual sci-fi notation that you might not immediately notice it’s set in the future—and that’s exactly what costume designer Arjun Bhasin and writer/ director Kogonada intended.
In formulating the A24 movie’s vision of the future (year and location unknown), the goal was not to invent a new frontier, but to speculate hopefully on a “return” when Bhasin forwards over a Zoom call. “The aim was to create a modern world that feels like it borrows from ancient traditions.” Bhasin’s apparel design, featuring Asian fashion in a fusion of modern designer pieces and traditional cultural garments, is at the heart of the brand. After Yangvision of a globalizing civilization that both reveres the past, and separates from it, capturing its frayed edges.
Adapted from the short story “Say Goodbye to Yang” by Alexander Weinstein, the film follows Jake (Colin Farrell) and his wife Kyra (Jodie Turner-Smith) as they raise their Chinese daughter Mika (Malea Emma Tjandrawidjaja). with the help of Yang (Justin H. Min), an artificially intelligent “technosapien” android designed to teach Mika about her legacy. After Yang succumbs to a mechanical breakdown, Jake’s quest to fix him creates a new understanding of Yang’s inner world, which proves to be exciting for the entire family. Following Kogonada’s 2017 Feature Launch Columbus, After Yang is a meditation on memory, alienation, and cultural identity.
Instead of a minimalist, slick, patterned sci-fi aesthetic — monochromatic color palettes, fitted fabrics, impenetrable textures — Bhasin’s costume design favors cool, layered silhouettes of cotton and linen with earthy shades such as turmeric, indigo and brick. “We were all excited about doing science fiction, but didn’t really hit it the way we’ve seen it, where everything is shiny, metallic and modern,” says Bhasin. “We wanted it to be tactile, warm, friendly and engaging.” Expensive and bio-fancy production design — airy interiors with lush greenery, even inside cars — is based on Kogonada et al’s parameters. established early for their future society. The first thing is that humanity has achieved a reconciled relationship with nature after being “taken down” by an environmental disaster. “The second thing is this idea of globalization,” Bhasin said. “The world is not the nations, [but] an open world where everything flows into everything else. ”