With Solo just released in theaters, space capes are a part of the public consciousness in a way they have never been before. You know we here at FANGRRLS love them. Space is good. Capes are good. Capes in space: even better. But may I submit for your approval ... a space caftan?
The caftan in question belongs to Dale Arden (Melody Anderson), the Earth woman caught in the clutches of the nefarious Ming the Merciless in the 1980 remake of space opera classic Flash Gordon. You know, the movie where Timothy Dalton plays a f*ckboi Robin Hood in space and Brian Blessed wears hot pants and yells DIIIIIIE a lot.
But the presence of both these things—and a banging theme song from Queen—does not mean that Flash Gordon is above reproach. Because, holy sexist storytelling tropes, Batman. There is an honest-to-God pillow fight between the two main female characters, Dale and Ming's daughter Aura (Ornella Muti). It is during this pillow fight that the beloved space caftan makes its first and last appearance, in Flash Gordon if not in our hearts.
Dale's space caftan, like everything else in Flash Gordon and the decade whence it came, boasts eye-searing colors, so shiny as to dip a toe into the waters of neon. Can you get more '80s than pink and teal with gold sequin accents, topped off by a teased-out bed of curls? Truly, this is the Jerrica Benton of space caftans. Comfort, style, and sequins—what more do you want?