How did Star Wars Influence Fashion?
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George Lucas created a "galaxy far, far away" with his original trilogy and infused Star Wars costumes with an inextricable connection to fashion.
This created an integral part of the visual experience, making the movie more approachable for everyday people.
Star Wars is one of the world's most beloved and successful film franchises.
Since George Lucas created it in 1977, various forms have been released through various formats, creating an immensely profitable merchandising industry.
Similar to Star Trek, the costumes worn in the movies reflect these influences. Jedi Knights' robes and uniforms were heavily inspired by Akira Kurosawa's samurai cinema; they conjured a world where power prevailed over all else. It is a completely different aesthetic than Star Trek where uniforms served to indicate rank.
The Iconic Costumes of the Original Trilogy
Star Wars original trilogy is renowned for its stunning costumes, particularly Leia Organa and Lando Calrissian's iconic looks. But even characters such as Luke Skywalker and Mon Mothma can show off some style at times.
George Lucas and his costume designers in the original Star Wars trilogy were heavily influenced by historical sources for both their design and the stories they told.
Indeed, the Jedi were originally intended to be warrior monks with robes inspired by Japanese aesthetics and beliefs.
John Mollo, the original Star Wars costume designer, made sure to incorporate these influences into his designs.
He often built off Ralph McQuarrie's illustrations to weave a narrative through the clothing he designed.
Luke's flowy white tunic and khaki pants were an homage to the clothing worn by boys farming moisture on Tatooine or rice in Japan; later he adopted thicker robes as a symbol of his maturation as a Jedi.
The Evolution of Star Wars Fashion in the Prequels
Star Wars has always served as a dazzling source of costume inspiration. From samurai-inspired Jedi to military Stormtroopers, the costumes in the original trilogy and beyond have had an immense effect on designers around the globe.
However, the prequels were quite different. Rather than the highly praised films of the Original Trilogy, these installments received mixed reviews with many fans criticizing them for perceived shortcomings and others simply not liking them at all.
Some may view the prequels as a step backward, while for others they were an exciting new chapter in the series history. Furthermore, these prequels had an immense impact on fashion trends as well.
One of the most iconic outfits in the trilogy is Padme's stunning throne room gown from The Phantom Menace. This garment features a bold red hue, large shoulders, and an exquisite headpiece.
Darth Vader's black cape is an integral part of his character, signifying his status as a powerful and intimidating force. Lando Calrissian also wears a cape that nods to the glam rock aesthetic popular during Star Wars' release.
Star Wars Merchandise and Fashion Collaboration
Star Wars has become one of the world's most beloved cult films, and its influence can be seen in people's clothing choices. Brands across many industries have capitalized on this by creating exclusive Star Wars merchandise.
In 2019, Vetements released an expansive 44-piece Star Wars x Vetements collection that combined classic Vetements silhouettes with iconic Star Wars visuals. This included logo T-shirts, oversized hoodies, socks, caps, backpacks, and evening dresses; as well as accessories and home goods like marbled replicas of Darth Vader and stormtroopers, a case study shell chair, mouse pad and bottle opener - everything you needed for ultimate Star Wars fandom perfection!
The Future of Star Wars Fashion
Star Wars universe is an expansive realm comprised of many species and planets, each with its own culture, identity, and aesthetic. This diversity is evident in the costumes worn by characters from the original trilogy; many are inspired by Japanese feudal samurai designs.
George Lucas was certainly influenced by these influences, yet it wasn't until the prequels that his designs truly took form. The Jedi donned kimono-style uniforms inspired by Japanese film director Akira Kurosawa; Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker's flowing robes were inspired by feudal samurai attire.
Today, many designers have paid homage to the Star Wars universe in their collections. Rodarte's fall/winter 2014 collection was offering five dresses set against an array of large-scale Star Wars stills.
Since the debut of "Star Wars" in 1977
The franchise has had a lasting influence on the way we dress. One of the most iconic looks inspired by the film is Han Solo's vest, which became a staple in men's fashion for years after its release.
In fall 2014, the trend resurfaced on the runway with designers such as Marc Jacobs and Rag & Bone emblazoning the vest with "Star Wars" prints.
Princess Leia's iconic buns and white gowns have also made a lasting impression on the fashion industry. The gown's draped silhouette and Japanese-inspired sleeves continue to impose themselves on red carpets and runways alike. In Tokyo, the faction's futuristic elements have inspired designers to create looks featuring blaster-shaped handbags, soft-soled boots, and kimonos with "Star Wars" prints. As the franchise continues to evolve under Lucas' vision, its impact on fashion remains as strong as ever.
The iconic sci-fi film "Star Wars" has had a significant influence on the fashion industry. Avant-garde designers, such as Rodarte, Rick Owens, and Comme des Garçons' Rei Kawakubo, have taken cues from the franchise's futuristic elements and cinematic imagination. The original film, "A New Hope," and the prequels have provided inspiration for high fashion runways, with looks based on Princess Leia's buns, Han Solo's holster, stormtrooper armor, Jedi attire, metallic jumpsuits, and knee-high boots. The Force 4 Fashion initiative brought together designers to create looks that evoke the faction's themes.
How did "Star Wars" influence the fashion industry?
"Star Wars" took inspiration from Japanese garb and introduced iconic looks based on the original 1977 film and the prequels. Avant-garde designers have taken cues from the franchise's futuristic elements and cinematic imagination to create new fashion trends.
Which designers were inspired by "Star Wars" fashion?
Avant-garde designers, such as Rodarte, Rick Owens, and Comme des Garçons' Rei Kawakubo, took inspiration from "Star Wars" for their fashion collections. Thierry Mugler, Preen, and Kaplan have also created looks influenced by the iconic film.
What were some of the iconic "Star Wars" fashion trends?
Some iconic "Star Wars" fashion trends include Princess Leia and her buns, Han Solo holster, stormtrooper armor, Jedi attire, metallic jumpsuits, and knee-high boots.
How did "Star Wars" influence fashion beyond the original film?
The prequels and the Force 4 Fashion initiative have kept "Star Wars" relevant in the fashion industry. The franchise's futuristic elements and cinematic imagination have continued to inspire new fashion trends.
Who designed the costumes for the "Star Wars" films?
John Mollo and Trisha Biggar were the two most notable costume designers for the Star Wars franchise. Trisha Biggar created outfits for all three "Star Wars" prequel movies.