Clothes On Film Look At The Costumes Of ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’

The folks at Clothes On Film take a look at the costume designers behind Solo: A Star Wars Story, Glyn Dillion and David Crossman….

What costume designers Glyn Dillion and David Crossman have so expertly achieved with Solo is making a contemporary looking movie set during the late 1960s. Star Wars: A New Hope was released in 1977 which puts Solo’s timeline around a decade before, or likely just over. But hang on, isn’t this a science fiction movie? What does when it’s made have to do with the space opera world being brought to life on screen? Well the seventies in particular was one of the most eclectic and anachronistic costume decades of all time, especially for period, sci-fi and fantasy. There were wide lapels, flared trousers and hostess dresses seen in anything from Edwardian Britain to 23rd century cosmos. Fashion influence bled into costume and while it might not have always ensured the most historically accurate results, they were often downright glorious. A New Hope, flawlessly costumed by John Mollo it should be noted, was not overly affected in this regard…though in truth it was a bit. Thankfully Dillion and Crossman have recognised this facet and kept it alive for Solo. And, yes, there are even some flares on display.

A Superfly vibe runs through the costumes in Solo. Not comical, just canonical. To lay this undercurrent entirely at the feet of Solo’s central black character, Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover), is inaccurate. Much has been made of his colourful capes, which in context symbolise the extravagant suits of the 1970s, yet he is a late addition. Lando rounds out the feeling but it is in place from the outset. One of the most noticeable seventies era pieces is a dress worn by Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke) as she is reunited with Han (Alden Ehrenreich) aboard Dryden Vos’ (Paul Bettany) yacht. It’s black, full length, backless, with a thigh-high split, subtle shoulder padding, gold and black belt, and attached gold detail neckline (incidentally the bodice appears to be wrap on screen but actually isn’t). Basically it is straight out of Studio 54, which is also exactly what Vos’ yacht party resembles. Any number of dresses could have been designed for this scene, but this is very specifically space disco. Conversely, bandit Val (Thandie Newton) sports a more action orientated, dare we say Blaxploitation ensemble of black leather jacket with white piping and detachable fur scarf, as seen during the Vandor-1 heist. Plus a prominent afro hairstyle. It is not a million miles from John Shaft’s matching black leather suit worn in Shaft’s Big Score (1972). The ladies of Solo do lead the way in terms of a retro look, but the gentlemen feature prominently too. Which eventually, and inevitably, does lead us to Lando.

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