While Rodarte’s Star Wars line of gowns was such a surprise that it leaked over to be reported everywhere by the geek community, another runway line slipped under the radar. In fall of 2014, Preen debuted a Darth Vader-centric fashion collection, complete with screen-printed blouses, dresses, and parkas.
In contrast to Rodarte’s more literal silk chiffon gowns, Preen’s designs opted more for almost a pop art feel, but with some serious edge, thanks to geometric patterns, cutouts, and angular features. While it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, the choice of fabrics and cuts do make those dresses look quite comfy to wear (and it bucks the trend of geek wear not being ‘fashionable’, even by hardcore fashion-snob standards).
Justin Thornton of Preen even joked with journalists who poked around at the idea of Preen copying Rodarte’s previous Star Wars line. Thornton chuckled, “Yes, we [saw Rodarte’s line], but it was too late to change. But, they used the goodies and we had the baddie!” Coincidences certainly do happen in fashion, though it certainly makes for something interesting talk.
As it turns out, Disney had invited Preen to work with them (with Thornton being a big Star Wars geek, there was no turning that down). So they were surprised as anyone when Rodarte stomped down the runway first in their Star Wars collection. (Personally, I’m incredibly curious how all that was handled in the copyright wing of Lucasfilm. But they do have a pretty generous policy with their characters being used under certain guidelines.)
Sci-fi chic was definitely the way of things on the 2014 runways. According to Thornton’s partner, Thea Bregazzi, the massive hooded parkas worn by eager movie-goers waiting for the original 1977 Star Wars: A New Hope release inspired the look the oversized metallic foil hooded parka seen below. (I love reading the creative thought process behind designs, to know there was an inspiration behind it more than simply shapes and textures.)
Did I mention the stormtroopers ‘guarding’ the models backstage? Oh yes, that was a thing.