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Look of the Week: The slick looks of Dune
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!
Three years ago, Ryan Gosling's Blade Runner 2049 shearling-lined coat was a highly coveted costume. Designed by Renée April, the custom-built garment drew plenty of attention thanks to its combination of style and function. Building on this theme, director Denis Villeneuve has unleashed structured and practical outerwear in the first Dune trailer, which will be ideal come the colder months. The highly anticipated adaptation of Frank Herbert's iconic novel has already undergone one bold take from David Lynch in 1984 — Sting's codpiece aside — and costume designer Jacqueline West is serving up a strong futuristic aesthetic in a monochromatic palette.
The previously released images combined with the new trailer reveal a slick look serving up tailored garments, strong silhouettes, and an array of specialist suits required to survive the Arrakis (aka Dune) desert terrain. Most of the extremely attractive cast gathered online yesterday to introduce the first trailer to the world in a special presentation event moderated by self-confessed Dune superfan Stephen Colbert.
For a breakdown of the sandworms, fight training, and backstory, SYFY WIRE has you covered. Meanwhile, if you're here for all the futuristic trends, "stillsuits," and stiff collars, you have come to the right place! We've got structured outerwear, flowy capes, and hooded excellence to help protect against the elements. Just because a planet is inhospitable doesn't mean your sartorial prowess has to take a hit.
It goes without saying that Zendaya is an exciting presence both on-screen and the red carpet. For the latter, she has channeled Joan of Arc, Cinderella, and even dressed in a Spider-Man theme during the Far From Home press tour. It is unlikely there will be a red carpet event like this for a while, but as the Freman warrior Chani, there is more than the black rubber "stillsuit" awaiting her character. Opening with an ethereal collection of images that adds to the dream-like setting, Chani is shot from behind giving a glimpse of a stunning sunlit white wide-leg jumpsuit — this is likely from a Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet) vision. It is going to be a real pain to keep this clean on Arrakis, but if you want to wear white after Labor Day, here is your inspiration!
When discussing the practical "stillsuits" in the October issue of Empire, West said they are "a real functioning distillery" intended to conserve and recycle bodily fluids. For the actors wearing the ribbed garments, it had to be wearable in the actual desert where they filmed Dune. Chalamet told Vanity Fair that the suits made it challenging to shoot in the 120-degree heat. "In a really grounded way, it was helpful to be in the stillsuits and to be at that level of exhaustion." The legs, which resemble motorbike attire, look like the skin has been peeled back and the tissue and muscle have been painted black.
Choosing to shoot on location in Jordan and Abu Dabi rather than studios, Villeneuve resorted to practical sets. As Chalamet noted during the trailer introduction, "I think I did two scenes on a green screen. I think it's literally two scenes I did on a green screen. Besides that, everything else was practical."
The sandstone and granite valley of Wadi Rum in Jordan has doubled for other planets in recent productions, including The Martian and The Rise of Skywalker. Now it stands in for the vast terrain that is home to the terrifying sandworms. Oscar Isaac was also part of The Rise of Skywalker cast, but the two franchises have a very different aesthetic.
As Paul Atreides' father Duke Leto, Isaac is involved with the machinations of leadership that involve some solid authoritarian-looking coats. Gone are the casual flight jackets of Poe Dameron, now replaced by a turned-up collar debonair style. The salt and pepper beard and curls pair nicely with the angular battle-attire. Normally we wouldn't encourage this level of matching your hair to your outfit, but here it further emphasizes Leto's status.
Color isn't completely lacking, though. Paul's mother Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson) wears a draped red frock, but alas this flash of bold crimson is not present in the trailer — it can be seen here.
For anyone missing the more out-there costumes of the 1984 movie, Jason Momoa as skilled warrior Duncan Idaho is here to deliver the enthusiasm. "Let's fight like demons," he bellows, and he is exactly who you want on your team. You can see exactly why Paul is so pleased to see him. It isn't just because his cape has perfectly caught that gust of wind, but that helps.
Reverend Mother Mohiam (Charlotte Rampling) dials up the foreboding drama — as well as terrifying tests of endurance — and has taken face-covering fashion advice from Warrior Nun's Sister Beatrice. Her pain box doesn't sound like something we want to have on our vanity. Better you than us, Paul.
Another highlight is Dr. Liet-Kynes (Sharon Duncan-Brewster) in a hood-up caped look that demonstrates how to work this situation to your stylish advantage. An earlier image of Dr. Liet-Kynes is a "how to match your color palette to the terrain" guide. Again, considering where they are, it is wise to avoid bold attire.
From the slick fit of the outerwear to the functional "stillsuits," we definitely don't have to fear the sartorial flow of Villeneuve's Dune adaptation.