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.)
Leia’s Bespin hair consists of a bun with two looped braids tucked underneath the bun, this hair style is most likely achieve with the addition of hair pieces and or hair extensions. This style is not hard to do, however, most tutorials don’t have the right preparations, even if they have good technique, to get the right volume and length most people will need to use synthetic extensions.
Leia’s hair does not have a part of any kind; it is smoothed back into the style,
Leia’s bun is a medium sized bun of un-braided hair that is wrapped into a bun with the ends hidden within the bun. Follow the numbers from 1 to 5 to see the wrapping pattern of the hair.
The bottom edge of her bun is roughly in line with just above Leia’s eyebrow however, this sill chance from Leia to Leia.
The top of Leia’s bun is roughly in line with the crown of her head, Leia’s bun should not be higher than the top of her head.
Leia’s bun is placed in the center of her head; the width of her bun leaves an inch and a half at least on either side of her head. (Note: that a hair net matched to hair color should be put over the bun to finish it.)
Leia has two, English, or three strand, braids that loop from underneath her bun, the braids come out from the sides of Leia’s buns, this is important, as there are several inches left between Leia’s braids.
The bottom edge of the looped braids comes down to just above Leia’s shoulders. (Note: that Leia’s braids need to be about an inch in width if not a little more. They should also be a consistent width all the way through.)
To finish off this style, Leia has the hair in front of her ears are curled into a soft spiral curl, note: that these curls can be a little longer or shorter than the bottom of Leia’s ear lobe, however, they should not be much longer than this.
DIY: Bespin Leia Hair:
Version – 1:
Follow the steps in the video links, (Note: that this tutorial needs tweaking to be movie accurate.) Put your own hair into a ponytail on the crown of your head, if your hair is long enough leave it out to make the bun, if not then make sure to add in some synthetic hair to make the bun large enough.
Take pre-braided hair in a long enough length to loop down to the top of the shoulders. Pin this hair on the top of the ponytail, and loop the braids as shown in the video, however, make sure to loop them down to the top of the shoulders. (Also: make sure that the braids on hanging down from the sides, this is easy to achieve by pinning on the top of the ponytail, there should be several inches between the loops.) Hid the ends under the bun, make sure to wrap the bun following the pattern in the above picture with numbers. Make sure to position the bun in line with the top of the eyebrows and the head, also make sure that the bun is not too big. Finish the look with a hair net.
(Note: this video link has a bun that is note wrapped the right way and is too big, it also has loops that are too short and the braids need to be a little wider, it also leaves out the ear curls. However, the technique is good for achieving a movie accurate hair style.)
Version – 2:
If you are using a wig you may not need to add in any extra hair, follow the steps above with your wig hair to achieve the right look.
Version – 3:
Like with End Ceremony Leia, you could make a hair piece that you pin on over your own hair, make sure to follow the proportions indicated in the pictures. If you have long enough hair you can add a little synthetic hair into your own to make the right width and use your own hair to make the loops and use a clip in or pin on bun (See Links.)
Leia’s end ceremony hair is rather simple and can be achieved in several different ways to get a movie accurate look.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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).
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.)
A powder eye-shadow for both is most likely
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.)
An eyeliner pencil is most likely, (liquid eyeliner is general glossy and would not be as accurate.)
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.
A ruby pink lipstick with a slight gloss to it, the line follows the natural outline of the lip.
Regular semi gloss lipstick in the right color,
A non glossy lipstick in the right color with a clear gloss over the top
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.
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.
One of the common myths about hairstyles in the Star Wars universe is that these intricate styles are achieved with a person’s own natural (often times long and thick) hair. In reality a combination of wigs, hair pieces and hair extensions, among other techniques, where used to give the length and volume needed for these styles. Princess Leia’s and Queen Amidala/Padmè’s hairstyles are commonly attributed to this myth. However, both Leia’s and Padmè’s hair is achieved through the for mentioned hair help. Within universe the characters achieve these hairstyles with wigs, hair filler and forms among means other than their own natural hair. In [Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Season: 3 Episode: 11, Pursuit of Peace,] a short scene near the end of the episode shows Padmè talking with her handmaiden Teckla Minnau. In the scene Teckla is holding Padmè’s senatorial wig/headdress which Padmè wears with her (blue and gold) senate dress from the Clone Wars TV show.
A behind the scene photo of Padmè’s [Star Wars: ThePhantom Menace] (black Coruscant) wig/headdress from [Padawan’s Guide] shows that the wearers real hair is tucked beneath the wig/headdress.
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.
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’s buns are also pined flat against her head; there is no space between the hair and the side of her head.
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.
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.)
(Methods that should not be used for movie accurate 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.)