” […] All of this detail is on display in the “Rebel, Jedi, Princess, Queen: Star Wars and the Power of Costume” traveling exhibit, currently at the Cincinnati Museum Center.
The thoughtful displays put the costumes of the Star Wars galaxy in their best light. The outfits are displayed artfully and accompanied by information about their design and fabrication with quotes from the likes of John Mollo and Trisha Biggar. Outfits from all the eras of cinematic Star Wars are represented, with a special section devoted to Padmé Amidala’s stunning and ever-shifting wardrobe.
While browsing the exhibit, certain notes in particular jumped out. Here are eight facts we learned from Star Wars and the Power of Costume.
1. Disguise and color go hand in hand.
Padmé stayed hidden among her handmaidens in an ombre travel gown with a deep hood. Though the silk and velvet are brightly hued, the hood allowed Padmé to remain in disguise and unnoticed by her foes. Designed by prequel trilogy costume designer Trisha Biggar, the gown was inspired by the paintings of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in the nineteenth century — the costume was specifically affected by the rich colors found in those paintings.
2. There are emblematic Easter eggs.
The Naboo royal crest appears overtly and subtly in more garments than you might have noticed on screen. You can spot it hidden in plain sight as a repeating burnout pattern in the fabric or tucked away more subtly on the queen and handmaiden gown designs. Keep your eyes glued to their costumes the next time you watch the prequel trilogy, especially The Phantom Menace. […]
6. Wookiees need to stay cool.
By the time several Wookiee costumes had to be crafted for Revenge of the Sith, the costume department learned a trick or two about making them more comfortable. No longer would Peter Mayhew have to swelter under pounds of yak fur without relief.
To ensure the actors wearing the heavy fur-covered suits on set kept their cool and maintained tolerable temperatures, costuming devised a cooling suit to go under the fur. The system featured tubing attached to a mesh shirt, so cold water could be circulated through to combat heat.
7. Tassel time with no hassle.
Sly Moore’s tassel-covered cloak flowed like the surface of water anytime she moved. It’s the kind of costume you stop and notice, even more so when you learn each and every tassel was individually hand-knotted and attached to the garment.
8. Palps needs a manicure.
Senator Palpatine probably had nice, relatively normal fingernails. He lost those when he transformed in Revenge of the Sith, instead gaining nails that appeared to be fungus-ridden and rotten. Those fingernails are part of the Power of Costume exhibit and not to be missed. They’re made from resin and paint and applied to Ian McDiarmid’s nails , but the commonplace materials don’t make them look any less sinister.”