Medieval gorp-core, Middle Eastern ice and archival Balenciaga in Dune: Part 2

Medieval gorp-core, Middle Eastern ice and archival Balenciaga in Dune: Part 2

by Robyn Pullen
4 min

Dune: Part 2 has undoubtedly been the most hotly anticipated movie of 2024 so far, and it’s not just because of the plot, the cinematography, or Austin Butler’s new trim. Personally, we’ve been patiently waiting on the costumes. Even before the movie dropped we knew costuming would be good, considering its starring actors’ red carpet appearances were pushing their stylists to the max.

Zendaya enlisted Law Roach to transform her using archival AW96 Mugler and AW99 Givenchy by Alexander McQueen looks, whilst Anya Taylor-Joy attended the press tour in a look from Maison Margiela’s most recent Artisanal Couture collection. Given the dress code for Dune: Part 2’s press tour, fans predicted that the fits in the movie itself would be top tier, and costume designer Jacqueline West did not disappoint.

Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya’s gorpy, utilitarian looks that the franchise has become known for have been resurrected in the second movie. Known as “stillsuits,” the costumes are described by West as breathable, fitted with “fans embedded in [little] holes, powered by LEDs, so it would help evaporate sweat.” Given the film was shot in sweltering southern Jordan, we’re sure they were needed.

Another similarity between Dune: Part 1 and 2 is West’s confident approach to blending complex religious symbolism in the costuming. She explained that, for both films, she drew from an amalgamation of religions, including Catholicism and Islam, as is evident through the headdresses, jewellery, and silhouettes worn by the characters within the Bene Gesserit, a religiously-driven Sisterhood.

West described the Bene Gesserit’s costumes as “like Egyptian mummy cases,” referencing their restrictive materials, seen in the heavy, armour-like chainmail pieces worn by Florence Pugh’s character, Princess Irulan. Her iconic chainmail look Dune: Part 2 was rooted in Medieval fashion, which also features heavily throughout the films.

For Léa Seydoux’s character Margot Fenring’s regal costuming, West credits a combination of the habits of nuns and old Balenciaga as her main sources of inspiration, culminating in draped velvet fabrics and rich yet modest headdresses. In contrast to the wealth and opulence of Margot Fenring’s looks, Austin Butler’s character, Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen, is raw and villainous. According to West, the intention behind Butler’s costuming was for it to be almost “vampiric,” symbolic of his character’s personality.

@dunemovie “Show me who you are.” #DuneMovie only in theaters Friday. Get tickets now. Link in bio. #DuneClips ♬ original sound – DuneMovie

Whether we’re obsessing over the icey Middle Eastern inspired jewels worn by the movie’s powerful female characters, or trying to replicate Paul Atreides and Chani’s gorpy fits with the pre-loved Rick Owens in our wardrobes, there’s not a look in Dune: Part 2 that doesn’t deserve the spotlight. What was your favourite fit from the movie?

Featured image via @dunemovie ©

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