Star Wars: The Power of Costume Exhibit

Oh how lucky are we to have this exhibit visit us in Denver! I went to see it last month along with a few other Redthreaded folks/friends. A surprisingly in-depth and thoughtful look at the behind the scenes process from concept art to construction and fit, this exhibit is like a love letter to the costume departments of the Star Wars films. 

I was impressed with the layout. Many of the display cases allow a nearly 360 degree range of view. I was able to walk completely around Padme's Senate and Black Invasion costumes.

There are DOZENS of costumes on display. It is heavy on Amidala costumes, which does make sense since they are the showstoppers of the franchise. Even though many of us have Opinions about the prequels, I think I speak for most costumers when I say Episodes I, II, and III have some of the best costume moments. 

One of my favorite parts of the entire exhibition is a small room that is set up a bit like a costume shop. Fabric swatches hang from racks, research books are placed on shelves, and pretend patterns hang from a rack just as they would in a real workroom.

But the best part was the actual pattern laid out on a table under glass. It is part of the over robe for Sofia Coppola's yellow velvet Handmaiden costume (who else had forgotten that she was in The Phantom Menace?).


This pattern tells us so much, and I love the glimpse into the mind of the cutter/draper.  I think we have similar strong feelings about silk velvet! I especially appreciate that it's been drafted on dot paper, since a photo is all that is needed for a clever cosplayer to replicate the 1" grid. 

Here are some of my other favorite details. You can see my full set of over 200 photos on flickr.

So very many Padme costumes! I gasped at the sight of Padme's Lake and Picnic gowns. I remember studying these so closely when I first became interested in costume. 

There are TWO layers of sheer net skirt with applied lace

I was struck by the small stature of Natalie's costumes. It makes complete sense--she's only 5'3"--but it was a bit surprising to see in real life. The red Invasion costume is the first one we see, and it looks so small, even on a dais. I was surprised to learn that it was a faille with horizontal rib. I've never noticed that before. 

Gorgeous Padme concept art by Iain McCaig

Tusken Raiders--great detail

Very fun Episode I battle room, I could get right up to the Jedi capes

And of course, Carrie <3


If you're in the Denver area, you have until April 2nd to see this stunning exhibit. It's absolutely worth a visit! I plan to go back once more, so if there's a specific costume you'd like a look at, please contact me. I'd be happy to take some photos just for you!

The next exhibit tour stop is Cincinnati, Ohio.


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