Force of Fashion focuses on all things wearable in a galaxy far, far away — and right here at home! — with behind-the-scenes studies on some of the most iconic costumes of the saga, and the biggest highlights in Star Wars fashion today.
As it stands, the very concept of putting a wedding together — much less your own — is one of the most terrifying adult tasks that most people have to endure. So often with these events, it’s less about the pressure of the relationship and more about getting through the wedding itself. Even those who decide not to call up the biggest dance hall on Coruscant for their after parties can hit roadblocks along the way when planning a cozy wedding. But with some creativity, and a dash of your favorite fandom, your big day can be as magical as the stars that dot the galaxy. So when you or your partner are shopping for a dress, look no further than the gorgeous ensembles of the Star Wars saga for some basic inspiration.
Alright, perhaps the use of “basic” here is a little silly: there’s very little about Star Wars costume design that qualifies as simple. But elements, silhouettes and accessories have inspired some of the best nerd weddings this side of the galaxy, and a little creativity can go a long way when incorporating your favorite costumes into the dress to end all dresses.
If you’re not looking for something as complex as Padmé Amidala’s intricately embroidered wedding gown, perhaps looking to other Republic-era ensembles is the best option. Bail Organa’s faithful aide, Sheltay Retrac, sports a beautiful cream-colored outfit with an angular dress in two parts. The skirt practically begs to be extended into a train, and the whole thing is topped by with a uniquely-cut turtleneck cape that accentuates the shoulders. Sheltay sports fingerless gloves that reach up along her arm, but in the heat of a summer wedding, perhaps the airiness of going sleeveless is a better option; especially when considering accessories.
For those who are seeking the complications of Padmé’s wardrobe (where one outfit cost nearly $60,000 to make on its own), Padmé’s wedding dress embroidery goes well with so many looks — and might even add an extra dramatic flair to those who, like Sheltay Retrac, know that capes are always in style. The headdress that Padmé wore on her secret wedding day was made of Maltese lace, with Edwardian wax flowers and carefully beaded pearls covering the crown of her head. But the veil itself contained lighter beaded stitching, and patterning off of it can add just enough beauty for that perfect veil.
One timeless resource for beautiful dress silhouettes is Princess Leia’s ceremonial gown, with its goddess-like cut, reflective silver accents, and you guessed it: an awesome cape. While it’s something of a graduated version of the outfit she wears throughout A New Hope, the youth and elegance of her dress represents hope for the future, and a resilient sense of joy. Her mother Padmé sported a gorgeous ceremonial outfit in The Phantom Menace, as well. But Leia’s classic cut, complete with a lower neckline, allowed space for a gorgeous, modernized silver necklace by London jeweler Lapponia to shine. And that’s exactly what it will do for a wedding dress.
If you’re really trying to incorporate your fandom on a natural level, jewelry is the right way to go. Necklaces like Leia’s Lapponia piece may be a little harder to come by, but scoping out the details on other characters opens up a treasure trove of inspired pieces. What’s more, here in the real world, Star Wars-inspired jewelry is much easier to obtain. Accessories are a great way to show off your alliances; whether they happen to be the hand-crafted insignias of your favorite planet’s culture (Bail Organa sports the Alderaanian homeworld symbol on several of his belts), the Rebel firebird in any of its iterations, or a silver necklace with the intimidating cog of the Empire (because you may be getting married, but your heart will always belong to the Emperor) accessories will help your geeky side shine if you decide on taking a more traditional route.
For those who walk the aisle on behalf of the dark side (or simply want to avoid going traditional), think about texture and form: Sheev Palpatine’s costumes throughout the prequels all carry a heavy texture on muted, dark colors that seem to brighten and become more pronounced as he makes his way closer to the camera. This makes him seem kind from far away, but almost commanding and intimidating when close up. Your walk down the aisle deserves that same attention, so while it might not be the greatest idea to layer on thick quilting for that stretch to the altar, taking that intimidating color palette — which often used dark reds, but also employed several deep green shades, royal blues, and even muted violets — and sprucing it up with small details.
While grooms of Star Wars fandom past have dressed their parties up as Rebel soldiers and stormtroopers, those among us who wish the celebrate in dresses have some slightly more creative options. Look no further than the gorgeous outfits sported by Padmé’s handmaidens: though most prominent in The Phantom Menace, Padmé’s entourage of assistants were as well-coordinated as their boss. One of the standout looks from the prequels were the blazing fire-red, orange, and yellow hooded gowns that Queen Amidala’s handmaidens wore while escorting her in the film. Cut differently, that fiery ombre would look gorgeous at a tropical wedding — or any wedding bold enough to command the gorgeous and bright colors of the Republic era.
Speaking of grooms (or really, anyone that isn’t keen on wearing a dress), some have taken to wearing the traditional outfits of the Jedi, the Imperial Forces, and other recognizable outfits. But for a new generation of handsome folks getting married, perhaps looking at the wardrobe of Senator Bail Organa might prove to be an inspiration. Alderaanian fashion is best represented on this regal figure of the Rebellion’s beginnings, with gorgeous sashes and perfectly cut tunics that cite inspiration from real-world royalty. Leia’s adoptive father was most often seen in either these sashes or regal coats that made him seem larger than life. So if you’re a bit of a scruffy nerfherder looking to clean up on your big day (or you’re about to marry one), think about what Senator Organa might go for instead.
The world of Star Wars is often fraught with danger and distress, but when the denizens of the galaxy throw a party, they celebrate to their fullest ability. From the festival that celebrated Naboo’s union to the Ewok party on the Forest Moon of Endor, precious moments — much like your wedding — are never taken for granted. That philosophy is important to hang on to when planning a wedding inspired by that galaxy far, far away. Being creative, brave, and working with your resources will benefit you on your big day whether you can stitch that final pearl on or not. So for everyone getting married with their favorite film saga in mind: good luck, and May the Force be with you. Also, if capes are mandatory at your wedding, shoot me an invite, okay?
Catrina Dennis is a writer and Star Wars die-hard. In her spare time, she tells stories, yells very loudly about soccer, and hosts a few very cool podcasts. Catch up with her on Twitter @ohcatrina.