A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away – just off the A90 road, actually – a major new UK gallery decided to celebrate the work of a Scottish costume designer. As part of their grand opening on 15 September, the new Dundee outpost of the V&A will be exhibiting work by Glaswegian designer Trisha Biggar, who, you guessed it, has played a massive role in the visual aspects of recent iterations of the Star Wars franchise.
Trisha spent eight years leading the team responsible for creating some of the most memorable costumes in the prequel trilogy, and will be showing one of the most well known garments from said films: the travel disguise that Natalie Portman’s Padmé slips on when she fancies a quick jaunt to Naboo with Anakin Skywalker. Yes that dress.
What you might not know about said dress – which features an ornate copper plated headdress and burgundy silk cloqué coat – is that the inspiration for it came from a Paisley pattern swatch she found in Glasgow, and its shape was influenced by folk costumes worn in Russia. “Around three quarters of all Padmé dresses have got a touch of Scottish vintage on them somewhere,” Trisha tells the V&A.
She goes on to say that, “Everything for every planet and culture was being created anew. We used references and drew on a multitude of influences from all over the world, from every culture, country, civilisation and period, mixing them up to shape new fashions,” which would explain how a slice of Glasgow found itself mingling in space with Jar Jar Binks and his Jedi cohorts.
The Star Wars gown is being loaned to V&A Dundee for six months from The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, currently under construction in Los Angeles, California, so if you have a penchant for all things Millennium Falcon related you’d do well to pay a pilgrimage to Dundee.