Classic Leia Dress Fabric: A New Hope & The Empire Strikes Back

Princess Leia’s classic white dress (follow link to image), which she wears in A New Hope and the end of The Empire Strikes Back, is a hard fabric to figure out, there has been a lot of speculation about what kind of fabric it is. Star Wars Costumes: The Original Trilogy says that it is made of crepe de chine silk, which is a light weight woven fabric.

Leia dress fabric
(Stat Wars Costume: The Original Trilogy: Picture From DIY The Galaxy Of Star Wars)

A more affordable fabric that that has been used by some costumes is Jet Set Polyester, this fabric is a jersey knit with a tiny bit of stretch, however, if you are looking for a more accurate fabric, other options that might be more affordable would be to get a synthetic crepe de chine.

(Note: crepe de chine is most likely the fabric used for the dress, as the other construction details in Star Wars Costumes: The Original Trilogy seems to check out with what is known about the dress from other sources.)

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A New Hope: Leia’s End Ceremony Hairstyle: Movie Accurate

Leia’s end ceremony hair is rather simple and can be achieved in several different ways to get a movie accurate look.

Breakdown:

Leia’s hair is pulled back into a high ponytail on the crown of her head, the tail is braided in a three strand or English braid. The tail of the braid that hangs down Leia’s back should have at least 6” to 12” inches left un-braided.

Leia End Hair 1
(ANH: End Ceremony Leia Hair: Braid Length)
Leia End Hair 5
(ANH: End Ceremony Leia Hair: Three Strand Braid)

The bun has three English braids wrapped around the outside, the bun is very large, the bottom edge towards the back of the head starts around the top of Leia’s ears.

Leia End Hair 3
(ANH: End Ceremony Leia Hair: Three Braids Wrapped Around the Bun)
Leia End Hair 2
(ANH: End Ceremony Leia Hair: Bottom Edge of Bun Starts at Ears)

the height of the bun is roughly 5” inches, measuring from the crown of the head to the top of the ears is about the same height as the bun. Play around with it to see what looks best for each individual Leia, in some cases this measurement may exceed 5″ inches, but it is advised to keep the height of the bun 5″ inches or under. The Bun is also clearly viable over the top of Leia’s head and the width of the bun does not go past the edge of Leia’s head, and infarct is smaller then the width of Leai’s head.

Leia End Hair 4
(ANH: End Ceremony Leia Hair: Height and Width of the Bun)
end leia hari 6
(ANH: End Ceremony Leia Hair: Height of Leia’s Bun, Top of Head to Top of Ear)

DIY Leia’s End Ceremony Hair:

This hair style will need hair help, for shoulder length and long hair two packages of synthetic braiding hair can be used to achieve this look.

It is important to note that often the techniques used in the tutorials for Star Wars hair are good, however, often times the proportion are wrong for movie accurate hair.

Version – 1:

Put your hair into a ponytail on the crown of your head; add some synthetic braiding hair into the ponytail and braid. All of Leia’s braids are think and the width if even all the way through, the 82” synthetic hair might work better for adding the right length to the braid down the back. Make or buy a clip on bun, make it by taking two hair daunts and sewing or gluing them one on top of the other. Cover your clip on bun with the hair and stitch the three braids around the hiding the ends inside the clip on bun. Once finished, clip the bun over the top of your long braid that hangs down your back and you’re all done.  If you’re using a wig then putting the hair into a long braid and adding a clip on bun would work well, for security it’s recommend sewing instead of gluing the when attaching the built items in this style.

Version – 2:

 

 

 

 

 

Follow the steps in the video tutorial above, however, the style needs tweaking, the hair is not long enough so make sure to use the right length of hair to achieve the look. It might be a good idea to use the 82” synthetic hair, or, if you have short hair and can’t make as large of a bun braid only half of a bundle of synthetic hair, use the unbraided half to make your bun larger and then wrap t he braided half around to make the first of three braids. To make the braid that hangs down the back, use a separate bundle of synthetic hair that is the right length and pin it to the bun before wrapping the three braids around the bun.

 

 

Another video tutorial, has a similar technique the the tutorial above, and like the above mentioned style needs adjusted to be movie accurate. However, the technique has helpful methods.

Version – 3:

 

Follow the steps of the video tutorial above, only make sure to smooth out the hair, and to get the right volume and length consider adding in a second bundle of synthetic braiding hair. One for the braid that hangs down Leia’s back, and another bundle to split into three and wrap around the bun.

Notes:

Remember that in all of these ways of making this hair style, a hair net should be placed over the bun. The hair should also be smooth as possible and try and keep the volume and length as close to movie accurate as possible.

Items Needed For This Style:

Version – 1 Items Needed As Well:

  • Clip in bun (matched to hair color)

Or

  • Two hair donuts (matched to hair color)
  • Sewing needle and thread (matched to hair color)

Links And Methods:

A New Hope: Leia’s Makeup: Movie Accurate

All Lucas era Star Wars movie makeup generally follows two trends, it is semi reflective on current trends (in the time period that the film is made) and it is more or less in the natural/neutral rang.

Below are the approximations of what Leia’s makeup was like in A New Hope, from analysis of the photos. These are the basics of Leia’s makeup and can certainly be plaid around with to get the perfect look for each individual Leia. This is a general guide line for movie accurate Leia makeup colors and application. (Note: Leia wears the same makeup throughout the entirety of A New Hope.)

(Note: Leia’s makeup is done using 1970’s makeup techniques so applying it will be a little different then most people may be used to.) Links at the bottom.

Leia’s Foundation:

Leia’s foundation is done in a very natural way, and any average well color matched foundation with a setting powder over top should work well, if needed use a little concealer. The key here is to keep it light and as natural looking as possible.

It is also relevant to mention that there are most likely high-lights and low-lights added to the makeup for the purposes of movie magic which aren’t important to cover for the average Leia. (Note: Leia does not have any significant contouring in her makeup.)

Leia’s Eye-shadow:

Leia’s eye-shadow is more or less blush-pink, the shadow is only applied to the back of the lid up to the socket and eye crease. (no smoky eye, for Leia).

1leia makeup 4
(Classic Leia: Blush Pink Eye-Shadow)
end leia 2.1
(End Leia: Blush Pink Eye-Shadow)

 

Above the eye crease and below the eye-brow there appears  to be a light taupe color on the brow bone. (Note: it also appears that there may be a little white eye-shadow in the tear-duct and possibly a very thin line just above the eyelashes on the top lid. This is optional for the look as it is hard to say for sure that there is any, the white or light color in the corner  of the eye may be foundation or condenser.)

 

Leia Makeup 5.5
(Classic Leia: Taupe Eye-Shadow)
end leia 2.3
(End Leia: Taupe Eye-Shadow)
  • A powder eye-shadow for both is most likely

Leia’s Eyeliner:

The eyeliner that Leia wears appears to be black, though brown would also work; a very, very thin line of eyeliner is applied to the top lid, that is latter almost completely covered by mascara. Below the lower lashes a thin line of eyeliner  is applied under the eyelashes, (not on the water line, but below it). The liner does not extend all the way to the tear duct, but instead stopped close to 2/3rd of the way to the duct.

(Note: Leia’s eyeliner dose not have a wing or anything fancy, it is simple eyeliner that runs along the lashes both above and below.)

(Note: black mascara is worn on the lashes, which are natural look lashes, nothing special.)

Leia Makeup 5.6
(Classic Leia: Eyeliner)
end leia 2.4
(End Leia: Eyeliner)
  • An eyeliner pencil is most likely, (liquid eyeliner is general glossy and would not be as accurate.)

Leia’s Blush:

Leia’s blush is close to, if not the same color as, her eye-shadow, the blush is applied to the entire apple of the cheek. In one large oval section from the cheek bone to the apple of the cheek, keeping at least two finger widths away from the mouth.

1leia makeup 3
(Classic Leia: Blush Pink Blush)
end leia 2.6
(End Leia: Blush Pink Blush)
  • Powder blush

Leia’s Lipstick:

A ruby pink lipstick with a slight gloss to it, the line follows the natural outline of the lip.

Leia Makeup 5.7
(Classic Leia: Ruby Pink Lipstick)
end leia 2.5
(End Leia: Ruby Pink Lipstick)
  • Regular semi gloss lipstick in the right color,

Or

  • A non glossy lipstick in the right color with a clear gloss over the top

Resource Links

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Classic Princess Leia: Belt Medallion Materials

(Medallion Body)

A good material to use for Leia’s belt medallions is aluminum flashing, it is inexpensive, (around 6.00$ for a 6X10 roll). The Flashing can be cut easily with hand scissors, and requires little or no sanding to finish.

Flashing

(Medallion Center)

The round center part of the medallion can be made with cover buttons, (these are buttons that you cover with fabric yourself, however, when left uncovered they make good centers for the belt medallions.) Pam’s Costumes says that 1 1/8” size works well. The Costumes and Art Work blog, uses thread and a curved needle with a backing button to go through the cover button shank to attach the cover buttons to the medallions. Pam’s Costumes, used epoxy glue to attach the cover buttons, she removed the shanks and filled the backs with resin, hot glue could make a good alternative for filling the backs.

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Princess Leia Cinnamon Buns Hairstyle: A New Hope.

Leia’s Cinnamon Buns:

princess-leia-ii

Leia’s Buns Debunked:

The hair in Star Wars is some of the most fantastic hair in Sci-Fi, possibly the most famous hairstyle is Princess Leia’s classic cinnamon buns from Episode IV A Hew Hope. A common myth about these buns, (as well as most of the hairstyles in Star Wars) is that they are achieved with Leia’s own naturally long hair. This of course if a myth, (Carrie Fisher) had short hair while filming Star Wars, Leia’s buns are most likely achieved through hair extensions. The volume and length required for Leia’s buns are almost impossible to achieve without hair extension.

Breakdown of Leia’s Buns:

A breakdown of Leia’s cinnamon buns reveals that they are not likely to be a wig or a hair piece. The shape and placement of Leia’s buns change almost every scene, although only slightly, and the hair can be seen coming unraveled after action scenes. Also note that the hair of Leia’s buns are slightly different color then (Carrie Fisher’s). The shapes of the buns also change from very round, to slightly oval throughout the movie.

leia-bun-position-2
(round shape of buns)
leia-bun-position-4
(oval shape of buns)
leia-bun-position
(buns’ stop after ear)

When the buns are more oval this is because the tail of the bun is starting to come out from behind the other coils. Or sometimes it has been pinned in that shape instead of a round shape. Leia’s buns are twisted and coiled in one layer into a large bun that is shaped like a snail’s shell (fallow the numbers from 1 outwards.) Leia’s buns covers the entire ear and almost none of the check.

leia-bun-position-3
(bun flush with head)

Leia’s buns are also pined flat against her head; there is no space between the hair and the side of her head.

leia-bun-position-5
(bun height and placement)

The placement of Leia’s buns as seen in the images above have the top edge of the bun come to about an inch above Leia’s temple. The lower edge of Leia’s bun comes down to about the bottom on her lower lip, (though this changes slightly throughout A New Hope, depending on the scene). The center of Leia’s buns starts roughly around eye height and behind the shell of her ear.

leia-bun-position-7
(center part)
leia-bun-position-6
(slightly off center part)

The part of Leia’s hair goes from the center (or very slightly off center) to the base of her neck in one strait line. (Note: that all of these aspects of Leia’s buns will change slightly from person to person.)

Images from Cap-That.com

(Methods that should not be used for movie accurate buns:)

  • Sock buns,
  • Doughnut buns,
  • Rolled buns,
  • Buns on the back of the head,
  • Buns that are above or behind the ears,
  • Braided buns/braided hair,
  • Buns that cover the cheeks,
  • Buns that have multiple coiled layers,
  • Hair with visible bangs,
  • Hair that is parted on the side (or other then center),
  • Buns that have not been twisted before coiling,
  • Buns that are not smooth.

(Note: that all of the above mentioned don’t method for Leia’s buns are specifically for  making movie accurate buns, and are all fine methods for Leia inspired buns.)

DIY Application of Leia’s Buns:

To achieve Leia’s buns there are many methods, (Kayley Melissa’s) video tutorial shows one of the best ways to achieve Leia’s buns in a movie accurate style.

Tips When Using Kayley Melissa’s Method:

Before putting the natural hair into an elastic tie use hair spray from 10” away to coat the hair and brush through, this will keep the hair smoother with less frizzing. (Note: that all hairspray should be used from a distance of about 10” for best results when a little flexibility is desired.) (Also Note: that hairspray should not be used on the synthetic hair.)

The kind of pins that should be used in this style are large hair pins, there are a lot of pins for hair out there but large hair pins will work the best.When the buns are pined in place use bobby pins to tuck any stray hair that might need it, (this may happen more with shorter hair). Then add a hair nets over the top of the buns to finish the look.

(Note: that Kanekalon hair tangles easily when loosed from the ties and packaging and should be handled with care.)

(Note: Kanekalon hair tangles easily when combed, if the hair needs untangled, gently finger comb until more smooth.)

Things You’ll Need For Leia’s Buns:

From start to finish buying every item on the list the total cost of Leia’s buns comes to around 25$. (without shipping.)

Links To Other Methods:

Other methods of making Leia’s cinnamon buns are as followed in the links below.

Attachable hair piece (the insta-bun method: Write Up)

Attachable hair piece (Rebel Legion member ArtooAnna: Write Up)

Attachable hair piece (Costumes and Artwork: Write Up)

Attachable hair piece (Chleo Ey: Video)

Attachable wig piece (Kay Dee: Write Up)

Hair extensions plus own hair (Pam’s costumes: Write Up)

Hair extensions (Kayley Melissa: Video)

Hair extensions (Katernicus Prime: Video)

Wig styling (Rebel Legion member Galacticat: Write Up)

Wig styling (Sew Corellian: Write Up)

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