NEW YORK — In a galaxy not so far away, in fact one on West 54th Street, George Lucas will be moonlighting Thursday night as fashion show producer for the first "Star Wars" fashion show.
Leave it to the legendary director to orchestrate an extravaganza that will blend film and theater to showcase 35 of the extravagant designs created by Trisha Biggar, an unsung costume designer in Lucas' eyes. He plans to shine the spotlight on her work in the prequel trilogy, the three most recent "Star Wars" films. Hayden Christensen will be among the more than 1,000 "Star Wars" loyalists and fashion fans expected to pour into the Ziegfeld Theater's aptly egg-shaped auditorium.
During an interview, Lucas said, "I hope people will look at the costumes more like high fashion and possibly some designers will be inspired. There is a high amount of embroidery, unique fabrics and many things a lot of designers would want to see up close. Maybe they will say, 'Wow! I never thought of that.'"
The behind-the-scenes hustle and bustle required for fashion shows is something he relates to all too well. While filming his trilogy in Tunisia, a huge storm knocked over all the wardrobe tents and drenched all the costumes. But everything was cleaned and repaired in time for the next day's shooting.
"It's the same kind of comedy that happens backstage at a fashion show. The only difference is it goes on for days, weeks and months," said Lucas.
Then there was the time Ewan McGregor's cloak, made from World War II wool, unexpectedly shrank during filming from ankle-length to knee-length in three minutes. "Now it's funny," Biggar laughed.
Another scene called for an alien beach creature covered in latex and pebbles, but under the set's bright lights, the pebbles shot off, nailing the unsuspecting actors and crew.
All laughs aside, Biggar spent most of her time painstakingly preparing for the epic films, which called for "several hundred principal costumes and thousands of crowd costumes."
She made more than 50 costumes for the roles played by Natalie Portman, who demonstrated "immense patience and managed to stand perfectly still" for their innumerable fittings and often read to pass the time.
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