Not so long ago (last night) in a galaxy not so far away (the Royal Albert Hall) Daisy Ridley attended the premiere of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. With designers positively falling over themselves to dress her, Ridley who plays lightsaber-wielding Rey in the trilogy has her choice of dresses to pick from. The break-out actress chose a black one-shoulder gown from Calvin Klein. But, it wasn’t just any LBD, this dress has meaning.
Designed by Raf Simon’s for the recently forged CALVIN KLEIN 205W39NYC label, the frock in question looks like it has been costumed out of a bin bag, not dissimilar to the kind one buys in packs of 20 at Tescos. Albeit one that’s been tailored with Grecian draping and a neatly cinched waist. In all honesty, this isn’t so far away from the truth as it’s been rendered from the waterproof nylon that’s most commonly used for tents. This isn’t some quick fire gimmick to get the fashion press gabbing about a new ‘hot’ textile, but, in fact, a message to the style masses about the state of the industry.
Since the ex-Dior designer moved to New York to work for the iconic American label, he’s used the platform to dissect American culture and how the world sees it through film and TV. He’s revamped cowboy boots and western shirts in technicolour shades, made reference to Hitchcock’s blondes and Warhol’s spellbinding muses. For the spring/summer show (from which Ridley’s dress was first debuted) he commissioned artist Sterling Ruby to create an installation of axes inspired by The Shining. At the time he told Vogue that fashion ‘has embraced too much the spectators’ expectations,’ Conversely, cinema has become a playground of creativity, even if it’s as much about, as he puts it ‘American horror, American dreams’.
Whether Ridley was consciously poking fun, along with Simons, at the hegemony of red carpet dresses, who can say? But, there certainly is a welcome discord between the actress’ classical silhouette and the newness of its fabrication