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Welcome back to Look of the Week! Celebrating the best in TV and film sartorial excellence, past and present across sci-fi, horror, fantasy, and other genre classics!
It has been a little over 30 years since Bill S. Preston, Esq. (Alex Winter) and Ted "Theodore" Logan (Keanu Reeves) first graced our screens with their excellent presence. Now they are back to save the world with a little help from friends old and new. In the past, Bill and Ted's families have acted as antagonists with looming threats of military school, but in 2020, members of the Logan and Preston family will be playing a helpful role in the time-travel shenanigans.
Sharing their love of music, Thea Preston (Samara Weaving) and Billie Logan (Brigette Lundy-Paine) have also inherited their father's most triumphant band-ready attire. With an official release date on VOD and select theaters (September 1), it is time to celebrate the next generation traveling back in time as they attempt to unite the globe.
"Dude, our dads are totally in trouble," Billie tells her friend in the new trailer after they witness their fathers climbing into a bizarre egg-like device. Captain Logan (Hal Landon Jr.) has been banging the delusion drum, telling his son and his best friend they need to be role models to their daughters. Little does Captain Logan know that his granddaughter and her BFF are about to follow in those now-iconic adolescent time-travel footsteps.
Riding the nostalgia wave, the timing of this movie is the hopeful adventure story audiences could do with right now. And considering that fashion is in a perpetual '90s sartorial revival, Thea and Billie's aesthetic is an eclectic mix of garments that nod to the DIY styling of Bill's cropped sweatshirt and Ted's fondness for layers — we are still thinking about his rolled-up sweatpants worn under his shorts. During the recent Bill & Ted Face the Music Comic-Con at Home panel, director Dean Parisot described the next-gen teens as "eccentric and artistic," which is apparent in their costuming.
Rather than dressing as mini-mes, Billie and Thea have their own unique sense of style that points to their fondness for casual attire with roots in music. Designer Jennifer Starzyk has captured the essence of Jill M. Ohanneson's original Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure costumes — including putting 21st-century Ted in a shirt color that matches the one he previously wore around his waist. Notably, Thea's oversized red Hawaiian shirt is both on trend (see also, Palm Springs) and reminiscent of Ted's shirt in the final Excellent Adventure scene, when Rufus (George Carlin) reveals their music will help "put an end to war and poverty," setting up the long-awaited third installment. Is this a hand-me-down from Thea's namesake?
This visual link to the past movies depicts closeness between the families without hammering the connection over our heads. If Billie were wearing a cropped sweatshirt with a Wyld Stallyns scrawled on the back with a magic marker the imitation levels would be too much. Instead, the clothing link points to sartorial individuality. Billie's storm cloud effect shirt with a neon trim paired with shorts and neckerchief is inventive, while the Doc Martens boots are a classic finishing touch. Meanwhile, Thea's cassette patch embellishment on her denim shorteralls point to the musician factor, and the whole outfit is a layering serve — who knows how hot or cold traveling through time and space is.
Joined by rapper Kid Cudi — who will be playing a version of himself in the movie — on this adventure across physical plains, his bold leather jacket fits the music influence palette of this world.
The trailer reveals a quick flash of Billie wearing a fun twist on artistic attire, consisting of a beret, sunglasses, a starry blazer, and a domino detail. Costume designer Starzyk was a key costumer on the 2017 Twin Peaks revival, and while Donna Hayward (Lara Flynn Boyle) was absent, this particular look is serving up a strong Donna meets Winona Ryder in the '90s aesthetic.
During the Comic-Con at Home panel, both Weaving and Lundy-Paine discussed watching their on-screen fathers' performance to capture aspects of physicality but avoiding direct mirroring. In portraying the young musical savants, it was important to retain Bill and Ted's goofiness while also depicting their own intelligence. Weaving — who has recently played a Final Girl bride and an alt-history movie star — gave a shout out to the makeup and costume teams for how they didn't resort to an extreme look to avoid knock-off comparisons. "It is easy to be too glam; they did a perfect job of making us still different but making us their daughters." Lundy-Paine — who came out as nonbinary last year and uses they/them pronouns — spoke of the freedom afforded by this part in a recent interview with Them. "I just did Bill & Ted Face the Music this summer, and that was a nonbinary-ass part. I don't care what anyone says. It was so fun and so comfortable to be completely genderless in that."
In Bill & Ted Face the Music, the style links between 2020 and the first movie 31 years ago strike a balance that avoids gimmicks. These characters have long inspired audiences, and the next generation are already leaving their mark on this cynical-free franchise — a most triumphant legacy.
Bill & Ted Face the Music arrives On Demand and in select theaters on Tuesday, September 1.