May the 4-0 Be With You

It’s THAT day! The day when all us Star Wars fans celebrate the stories of a galaxy far far away…

Take the amazing vision of George Lucas, add in the music of John Williams and stir in the magical creation of thousands of set designers, costumer designers, visual effects artists, actors and more who came together to create these stories splashed across the big screen. (Everyone ever listed in the credits for any of these films and the families who support them – we salute you!)

Released in 1977, we have now experienced the Star Wars universe for FORTY years. 40. The big 4-0. That’s a huge cultural impact on the world.

Ranging from the high (queen, princess, lords, senators) to the low (farmers, drunken bar patrons) and everything in between, the costume designers and their teams worked to make functional expressions of the characters the actors brought so vividly to life.

Darth Vader, Princess Leia, Han Salo, Luke Skywalker, Queen Amidala, Rey – can you picture them in your mind’s eye? The clothes they wear are a part of the story.

Our hats are off to the creative genius of John Mollo (Star Wars 1 & 2), Aggie Guerard Rodgers (Star Wars 3), Trisha Biggar (Star Wars 4-6, the prequels), Michael Kaplan (Star Wars 7), David Crossman and Glynn Dillon (Rogue One).

Staying out of actually critiquing the story lines, the most elaborate of the costumes created so far have been the court gowns of Padme, Queen Amidala. Luckily for us, these were well documented during and after the creative process. Using haute couture techniques, these richly decorated gowns feel familiar and foreign to us at the same time. Using everything from ancient Japanese samurai to Celtic influences, the design team then added enough “other” elements to come up with something new and beautiful. If you want to learn more about it and have an amazing piece of the Star Wars universe, buy Dressing a Galaxy: The Costumes of Star Wars by Trisha Biggar. There are two editions – both pricey. The special edition version of this includes a DVD and fabric swatches from the materials actually used in the costumes.

Although closed now, the Denver Art Museum staged an exhibit of over 70 costumes from the movies for several months. Check their site as they still have some sketches, photos and short film clips posted of the exhibit. (So wish I could have seen this in person.)

If you want to watch more clips, check out these available at YouTube.

Great fan site – Star Wars: Fit for a Queen which focuses primarily on all the amazing costumes created for the prequels, but does have images from some of the other films.

So geek out my friends and escape! If you run out of Star Wars content before the weekend ends, you are not trying hard enough.

May the Force be with you…

The movies:

Books to get inspired by:

 

Met Gala Madness

The Super Bowl of Fashion occurs tonight at the Met Gala in support of the Costume Institute. The new exhibit spotlights designer Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garcons. She is the first living designer since Yves Saint Laurent to be honored with the exhibit. BIG STUFF.

So why should we mere mortals care about a fancy party we can’t attend happening in New York City?

Because believe it or not, it will be affecting our clothes, accessories, movies, music, homes and any other thing which intersects between design and entertainment over the next few years. (Lemon yellow.)

The theme is announced in the fall of the previous year to allow designers time to study the work being spotlighted in the upcoming exhibit and become inspired to make new creations for celebrity clients attending the party.

Here’s where it gets interesting.

The designers can choose to be influenced by the theme OR they can choose to design clothing that is suitable for a red carpet occasion.

Regardless of which path is chosen, the designers all now have the theme rattling around in their minds whether they want it or not. Seeds planted. Remember that color “Lemon yellow” randomly added a few lines up in this post? That’s how it happens. You will see that color or be sensitive to it everywhere until another color takes precedence.

Why should it matter this year?

If you haven’t seen any of the Comme des Garcons looks throughout the years, imagine every outrageous avante grade look you’ve seen and multiply it by a factor of two. So this should be a very interesting red carpet to see who will wear looks Lady Gaga or Katy Perry (one of the chairs this year) would feel comfortable wearing for a performance.

How does entertainment fit into this? Because most of the invited guests are strategically seated to introduce new people to one another and cross-pollinate connections across the movie, music and fashion design industry to foster new collaborations and ideas.

So get ready for a wild ride. It can be a great thing to disrupt the status quo and see what comes.

Now I’m off to find some Lemon Meringue pie to eat after watching the red carpet shows…

Movies to stream to get a fashion fix:

Books to get inspired by:

Fashion Images from Vogue.com.

Image of Lemon Meringue pie from the Village Inn.