Saturday, April 21, 2018

Julia Roberts, Kirsten Dunst make 'Star Wars' fashion a force to be reckoned with

Well, they've gone and done it now.

Those who were hoping to count Kirsten Dunst's nod to the Empire in a Rodarte gown adorned with a Death Star at the 2014 Met Gala as an anomaly may want to brace themselves.

Just days later, Julia Roberts appeared on television sporting a white button-down Preen shirt with Darth Vader's face on it and a black skirt.

Once might have been a quirk, but twice feels like the start of trend that can go well into the fall, with Disney poised to roll out new batch of Star Wars films starting in 2015.

Rodarte's witty Star Wars-inspired collection got lots of press in February, with screen prints of Yoda and Luke Skywalker on jersey gowns played as the height of kitsch for celebrity audiences. Preen's collection of dresses with a chest-to-waist likeness of Darth Vader debuted around the same time to much head-scratching in the fashion community about why the space action-adventure movie seemed to having a moment.

Dunst's choice turned heads because of the venue — she wasn't at some sci-fi movie premiere. Embracing the nerdy at the Vogue-orchestrated pinnacle of celebrity fashion worship lent legitimacy to a look not universally embraced.

Finally, we can throw on our AT-AT necklaces ($20 at geekyandproud.com) and say they're on trend for the season.

For those with money to burn, couture pieces include pricey (Darth Vader goes for $4,200), 14-karat gold character cuff links from Neiman Marcus.

Skater-favorite shoe company Vans plans to launch its Star Wars-inspired collection of sneakers and slip-ons with matching accessories on June 1. The styles mash up traditional prints with Star Wars imagery like a funky bandana print with tiny Storm Trooper masks blended in and tropical floral prints with AT-ATs stomping across them.

Downmarket fashion retailers, usually a half season behind, haven't put out many comparable or mind-blowing pieces for the Star Wars fan on a budget. Forever 21 has a collection of T-shirts that range from $10 to $20, the most notable a black-and-white print crop top with R2-D2 mixed in with a bunch of patterns. For pieces with a little pizzazz, fashion geniuses might want to turn to Etsy and other independent retailers, which specialize in convention clothing. After wading through the metric ton of skin-tight C-3P0 mini dresses, one occasionally runs across the stray wearable piece.

Feel free to gin up your own creations to fill the void, too. The more geek culture that infiltrates popular culture, the less subversive it will feel to love something not rooted in reality.

Dunst and Roberts have decided to lead the way, but whether the trend continues is entirely up to the cool kids at large. Help us. You're our only hope.

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