Design

Star Wars and the Power of Costume

Nov 13, 2016 - Apr 02, 2017Denver Art Museum, Denver

The Denver Art Museum’s new exhibit, “Star Wars and the Power of Costume, is hoping to harness the sci-fi saga’s myth-making and commercial power while bringing in decidedly non-arts-loving crowds and broadening the institution’s appeal.

In the Star Wars universe, power is a fluid thing that flies back and forth between the light and dark sides of the The Force — that invisible energy field created by all living things.

In the real world, those living things are actors who wear costumes to convey their characters to audiences at a glance. The stories of Luke, Rey, Han, Leia, Anakin and Obi-Wan are told and reinforced through their dress, as intrinsic to their status and intentions as wisecracks and lightsabers.

The Denver Art Museum’s new exhibit, “Star Wars and the Power of Costume,” is hoping to harness the sci-fi saga’s myth-making and commercial power while bringing in decidedly non-arts-loving crowds and broadening the institution’s appeal, starting Nov. 13.

“We’ve had a pretty ambitious exhibition program over the last 20 years, but this is the first time we’ve ever toured the costumes,” said Laela French, director of archives for the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, which stores the original Star Wars costumes on Skywalker Ranch roughly 40 miles north of San Francisco. “We’re on the second and third generation of parents showing these films to their kids, so it’s really become a new mythology or modern fairy tale.”

It’s no small thing that the exhibit contains more than 70 costumes (and hundreds more sketches and supplemental materials) from the actual Star Wars saga — which grew with last year’s “Episode VII — The Force Awakens,” and expanded again on Dec. 16 with the release of the standalone film “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.”

The exhibit is on view through through April 2.

via The Denver Post