After Rodarte sent Luke Skywalker- and Yoda-emblazoned gowns down the fall 2014 New York Fashion Week runway, and then Preen coincidentally followed up with the Dark Side (i.e., Darth Vader blouses) in London, consider our interest in the outer-space double-trilogy piqued. (Plus, the new Star Wars VII cast includes Adam from Girls, so I mean, come on…)
So, as well-rounded, forward-thinking fashion people, we’d like to take a moment to commemorate National Star Wars Day this Sunday, May 4. (“May the Fourth Be With You,” get it? Stop snickering.) And just in time, award-winning entertainment photographer Dale May—who has previously worked with Charlize Theron, Amy Poehler, and Jared Leto—created an irreverently fun and, dare we say, fashiony Star Wars project.
The Lego Wars—a pop culture- and nostalgia-filled series that fuses the world of fashion and cult fandom together—features a few clever photos of Star Wars Lego toys figurines backed by iconic designer logos. Plus, we really appreciate the creative names of the pieces (above left to right): V3PO Louis Vuitton, Coco Vader, and Chewy Burch. (V3PO is my favorite.)
In between his busy appointments, shoots, and marathon viewings of the Star Wars trilogies (just kidding on that last one), Dale was more than happy to discuss this project, the fashion world’s interest in Star Wars, and, yes, what it was like to work with Jared Leto. (I couldn’t help but ask.)
GLAMOUR: Why do you think there’s a connection between Star Wars and fashion right now?
Although fans have been crazy about Star Wars since its inception—Disney just purchased Lucas Films and announced the release of a new Star Wars film, which could be part of it—it had no bearing on Lego Wars, which I began in 2011. I’ve always been inspired by pop culture, movies, music, and street art as well. My Lego fashion pieces were inspired by a limited-edition (10,000 figures made), gold foil C3PO, which I purchased on eBay for $190—$190 for a tiny piece of plastic! I said, “This must be the Louis Vuitton of Lego figures.” Once I created V3PO and saw how the look and character of the figure seemed right at home on an LV background, I started drawing other comparisons. CoCo Vader was inspired by Karl Lagerfeld himself—the dark clothing, the powerful silhouette, and, of course, they wear the same sunglasses. Chewy Burch was more of a play on words.
What do you think of Rodarte and Preen showing Star Wars-themed pieces on the Fashion Week runways this past season?
DM: They are both amazing. But I have nothing invested in their brand or their personal vision, so can easily view it as pure entertainment, regardless of its intent. I love fashion, and I love Star Wars, but if you are asking if I would buy the clothes, I guess that would depend on how I would look in women’s fashion. I’m guessing, pretty fabulous.
And what was it like working with Jared Leto and his band, 30 Seconds to Mars?
DM: I shot them in a hotel room in Pensacola, Florida, right before they went onstage for a music festival. As with many of my celebrity and music shoots, I didn’t have a lot of time, and the small hotel room was not ideal for photography. Jared, being a director himself—and basically one of the most talented people on earth—was very engaged and interested in my process. He listened to what I wanted, made suggestions at times, and really worked to make the shoot as good as it could be. After the editorial came out, I was retouching a portrait of Jared for my portfolio, and at that moment, he sent me a text saying how much he loved the images of the band. That meant a lot to me. I have so much respect for him as an artist, and I would love to work with him again, anytime, if I didn’t hate him so much for being so perfect and nice.