Back in 2005, Prequel Trilogy costume designer Trisha Biggar authored the book Dressing the Galaxy: The Costumes of Star Wars. It provides one of my favorite behind the scenes looks at those movies. As cosplay was increasingly gaining visibility in the broader fandom discourse a few years ago, I suggested the ripe opportunity for another costume tome to a licensee who was considering upcoming books. The original suggestion wasn’t taken, but Chronicle Books must have been on the same wavelength. Star Wars Costumes: The Original Trilogy has been out for about a month. It “is a cosplayer’s delight” according to Geek Mom. It’s definitely worth the read for all types of fans of the franchise, as costumes are an integral part of character- and world-building. We’ll have a separate post on the Slave Leia costume section of the book, which recalls some interesting points about who and how the costume was promoted for use in the film.
Coming next year, the exhibit Rebel, Jedi, Princess, Queen: Star Wars and the Power of Costume, a collaborative effort with the Smithsonian, will kick off its national tour at Seattle’s EMP Museum. From StarWars.com:
The exhibition explores the creative process from George Lucas’ vision through concept art to final costumes, and the story is told through nine “chapters”: Dressing a Galaxy; Jedi versus Sith: Form, Function and Design; Concept and Design for Royalty and Beyond; Symbolism and Military Power; Outlaws and Outsiders; All Corners of the Galaxy: The Galactic Senate; After the Throne: Padmé’s Journey; Darth Vader: Iconic Villain; and Droid Design: C-3PO and R2-D2.
In the exhibit, curators explain the influences behind Star Wars costumes, including cultural inspirations, use of materials, dressing archetypes, and more. Four digital flipbooks (The Jedi and His Weapon; A Galaxy of Creatures; Darth Vader: Birth of an Epic Villain; and The Glamour of Padmé) allows visitors to explore specific themes, with image galleries, video, audio, and interactive features, and animated slideshows illustrate the design process. In addition, two short films provide an introduction to the art of costume design and creation for Star Wars and specifically for Padmé Amidala, a character whose stunning, intricate outfits changed dramatically and evolved from film to film.
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