Leia’s Hoth crown braid has no part, the hair is brushed back from the front of the face.
The back of Leia’s Hoth drown braid has no part, this is the tricky part, but there is no back parting to the hair, this is likely because the braids are a hair piece that is pinned on and not an actually crown braid. More on this later.
Leia’s Hoth crown braid has a side curl in-front of the ears where the side burns are, these are small and not very thick, they also do not go lower then the jaw line generally.
Leia’s Hoth crown braids are actually two braids, or if you like, one very, very long braid that goes over the top of her head. however, when the braid is wrapped around her head it forms two rows of braids. On the back of Leia’s head the two rows are very clear and separate. See pink and green marking them. Over the top of Leia’s head the narrower part of the braids are crossed over each other to look like one thick braid. Where as the back of Leia’s braids are positioned to look like a double braid.
Hidden Little Bun:
Leia’s real hair is short and appears to be pulled back into a small bun at the base of her neck. This bun is flat and hidden beneath the double row of braids that cross over the back of her head. This is why there is no back part to Leia’s hair, the braids are a hair piece and not a real crown braid so there is no need for there to be a part in the hair.
Leia’s braid is positioned further back on her head and behind the ears, notice the soft C shape that the braids back curving over the back of her head.
These behind the scene photos show Leia with the braids hanging loose and though it hard to see it dose appears that the braids one long braid that is pinned on the top of her head and wrapped around the sides.
Hair is one of the most stunning pieces of costuming in the Star Wars franchise, however, sometimes working with synthetic hair can be difficult. Here are some suggestions that might make working with synthetic hair easier.
Why Synthetic Hair?:
Synesthetic hair is a better option for making hair pieces for achieve Star Wars hair styles then human hair in most cases. Often times human hair is unethically sourced so avoiding it is a good idea, unless you know it’s origins. That said, if your human hair can he ethically sourced then it can also work well, however, it is always going to be a less affordable option.
Some articles that break down the ethical issues of human hair extensions
Synthetic hair is also more affordable, for many of the hairstyles in Star Wars a lot of hair is required, and that can become very expensive. Synthetic hair like Kenekalon Braiding Hair and other brands like it are typically a more affordable option when buying a lot of hair. Synesthetic hair can also hold up longer then human hair when taken care of
Another alternative to human hair is horse hair, buying horse hair extensions, they are less affordable and depending on the sealer may also be unethically sourced. However, as an option, the hair is natural and looks so.
Weight, real human hair can be heavy, synthetic hair is often times lighter weight then real hair and can be worn longer because of this.
Styling products, when styling with synthetic hair, styling products such as hair spray or moose, are not needed, because the hairs are all the same length unless altered there are few if any fly-always that need to be smoothed.
When using synesthetic hair for a costuming it can be hard to find a matching color, this is partly due to the fact that natural hair is not one color, humans have several different colors making up teach individuals hair including high-light and low-lights. Synesthetic hair is typically one color, and it’s hard to match and make it look natural right out of the package. For a more natural look blending 2 too 3 colors of hair together will help, see video for tutorial on blending. (Note: for making hair look more natural, using more of the base color and chose a smaller amount of your high-lights and low-lights.)
2 of the main textures for synesthetic hair are natural or yaki and silky, both will work great, however, most Star Wars hairstyles in the movies use a silky finish, this is not as important when doing a hairstyle such as Classic Leia (a.k.a Political Gown Leia), however, most of the headdresses that Queen Amidala wears require silky hair finish to be used, such as her Red Invasion Gown headdress.
Synesthetic hair can tangle easily, so to untangle it start by brushing or combing depending on the need, at the ends and slowly working up the tail of the hair. Starting at the top and going to the ends will only make the tangling worse and more difficult to get out. Sometimes using fingers to come the hair can be easier then a brush, and if using a brush a wig brush would probably work better then a normal hair brush. For general untangling and styling a wide toothed come works grate.
For some people synthetic hair can be itchy right out of the package, to remove the coating the hair comes with make a bath or water and vinegar and let the hair sock a while, then rinse and let dry. This processes might be easiest if the hair is still in its loosely braided form that it comes in right out of the package.
Storing the synthetic hair for reuse, put a fabric covered elastic at the center of the hair bundle and loosely braid the hair. Coil the braid into a circle and place inside a hairnet. See Alexa Poletti’s video on storing wigs.
The Heir To The Empire, or Thrawn Trilogy was turned into a comic adaptation in the 1990’s. In both the 1st part Heir to the Empire and the 2nd part Dark Force Rising, Leia wears a yellow vest and black shirt and pants combination. She notibly wears this outfit when visiting the Bimm’s on Bimmisaari (who notably wear yellow as part of their culture). Thus it has been named the Yellow Bimm Vest, because of this reference to Bimm’s in Heir to the Empire book.
Looking at Luke’s Black Vest outfits that he wears in the beginning of Return of the Jedi while at Jabba’s palace is would seem that his outfit is the inspiration for Leia’s Yellow Bimm Vest in the comic. The comics where drawn by three different artists, and the artists for part 1 had a very different style of art then the 2nd parts. Leia’s Yellow Bimm Vest is the most strongly similar to Luke’s black Vest outfit from ROTJ, in the first Volume Heir To The Empire. (Note: that they fist volume does not have consistent representation of the costume). For the purposes of this break down most of the images will be from volume 2 Dark Force Rising as they are more consistent in their depiction and simpler to breakdown.
Though The Phantome Menace did not come out until after the comics where released, however, there is some similarities in the width and shape of the arms howls of Padmé’s Pilot Disguise Vest, as well as the depth of the fabric that sits on the should.
Comic & Breakdown Design:
Because the comics had three different artists, Leia’s Yellow Bimm Vest goes through several variations in look. For the purposes of consistency this post is choosing to base the breakdown (for the most part) on the Dark Force Rising comics, which are the most consistently represented and detailed of the three comics for this outfit. This is why the look of the outfit changes from comic to comic and also why the outfit in the Heir To The Empire comics look more similar to Luke’s Black Taber Vest from Return Of The Jedi. Also why Leia’s Yellow Bimm Vest in Dark Force Rising looks more similar to Padmé’s Pilot Disguise Vest from The Phantom Menace.
Yellow Bimm Vest:
(Note: that Leia’s Yellow Bimm Vest is fitted but not skin tight, there is enough slack in the fabric to show that it’s comfortably loose while still smooth.)
Leia’s Yellow Bimm Vest has folded double sleeve, the sleeve appears to be one large piece that then has part of it folded or tucked under to create the double sleeve. Similar to (but not exactly like) how Obi-Wan’s Jedi tunic sleeves are tucked up.
There is a strait seem that runs along Leia’s shoulder, for construction of this vest side seems are likely.
The arm howl for Leia’s Yellow Bimm Vest is a inverted teardrop in the picture which translates to ‘V’ shaped arm howl opening. The arm howl is a deep one that goes all the way down to fall roughly in line with under Leia’s bust. And though it can not be seen in this picture falls roughly in line with the point of the deep V neck of the vest.
Leia’s Yellow Bimm Vest has a deep ‘V’ neckline, the ‘V’ neck width is not much wider the Leia’s neck.
The deep ‘V’ neckline of Leia’s Yellow Bimm Vest goes down to just under her bust line where the point ends.
The length of the Yellow Bimm Vest comes down to tunic length, the vests lower hem ends roughly around the point where Leia’s leg meets her hip.
There is a side seem on Leia’s Vest, likely a slightly curved seem to allow for her pregnancy. Though it’s hard to tell, for the construction of the yellow vest a back seem with an invisible zipper seems likely.
The shirt that Leia wears under her Yellow Vest is a black turtle neck, (it, however, does not have a folded over collar so it’s similar to a mock turtle neck , however, it comes up higher more to the height of an actual turtle neck.) The shirt seems to be a fitted shirt as there is no bulk viable under the Yellow vest, and likely make out of the same fabric as the pants.
The sleeves of the undershirt that Leia wears are tight fitting and break at the wrist, sometimes Leia wears gloves of the same color with this shirt that over lap the sleeves, leaving no skin visible.
The pants Leia wears with her Yellow Vest, are close fitting pants of the same black color as the shirt. Likely made out of the same fabric as the shirt, because of the close fitting of the pants a fabric with some stretch would be a good idea.
The boots that Leia wears with her Yellow Bimm Vest outfit, the boots are standard simple black riding boots. They appear to be unadorned and go up to the knee.
Hairstyle & Hair Piece:
Leia’s hairstyle is a simple three strand or English braid, the braids ends roughly mid back or at the bottom of the shoulder blades. The hairpiece that Leia wears is inconstantly represented, however, the most common way in which it appears in two separate combs similar in idea to the way that Slave Leia’s hair pieces appear.
(Dark Force Rising: Leia’s Yellow Bimm Vest: Hair Piece)
The Hair piece appears to be two separate pieces connected at the base by a small piece to each other that rests over the braid. They attach on ether side of the head with two distinctive curling decorative parts both above as well as by the ears. The first curl comes down near where the sideburns are, there is a second scowling piece at the very stop of the hair piece. There also appears to be three lobs to the hair piece, ranging from large to small descending in size as they go back away from her ear.
Blood Stripes appear in several Star Wars costumes (blood strips are the different colored stripes that go down the sides of paints.) The stripes appear in all of Han Solo’s costumes, which is likely why in the Legends EU, they are called Corellian Blood Stripes.
However, blood stripes also appear on Leia’s Commando outfit in (ROTJ), Luke’s end metal ceremony pants in (ANH) and also in the battle handmaiden outfit that Padmé as well as her handmaidens wears in (TPM).
Typically blood stripes are made out of one continuous piece of fabric; this is how the stripes on Leia’s commando pants are done. However, Han’s stripes are done differently, instead of being a single stripe of fabric; Han’s stripes are actually embroidered in a dashed line.
Blood Stripes Tutorial:
Though sewing would be more secure, this method would also be a good one for Leia’s Endor Commando Pants. Leia’s Endor Commando Pants have a traditional blood stripe that is one continuous contrasting color. Whereas Han’s are an embroidered dashes line and this method would not work for them.
Crepe is a kind of fabric, more a texture than anything else, it can be made out of many different kinds’ fibers, but for Leia, I’d say a crepe silk would be the best bet. Much of the fabric used in Leia’s wardrobe is silk so it goes to reason that the blouse used in Return of the Jedi would not be an exception.
The stitching that was done to put Leia’s Ewok village dress together can be see under the decorative chamois leather lacing done over the top on many, but not all, of the seems of the dress.
Twi’ek’s have a widely varied representation in Star Wars; eyebrows are one of the facial features that seem to vary a little. Pretty much all female Twi’lek’s have human-like hair eyebrows, Oola, Aayla, the purple Twi’lek singer Lyn Me, Hera, Numa and more all have this feature.
Males on the other hand seem to have large and heavy brow that protrude out from the forehead. Bib Fortuna has one of the largest brows seen in Twi’leks. Cham Syndulla and other male Twi’lek’s seen throughout Star Wars Rebels and The Clone Wars also seem to share this heavy bulbous brow. And also do not appear to have hair on their brows.
The shapes of Twi’lek teeth tend to follow to veins, female Twi’leks tend to have flat human-like teeth. Aayla Securra, Hera, Oola and others all have these kings of teeth.
Male Twi’lek’s tend to have pointed teeth, like Bib Fortuna and Cham Syndulla, however, a little Twi’lek boy from the Clone Wars has flat teeth. It seems that male Twi’lek’s may vary between pointed and flat teeth.
It is rare to have actual measurements on costumes from movies, however, in the book, [Star Wars Costumes: The Original Trilogy]. Leia’s slave bikini that she wears in Return of the Jedi at Jabba’s palace, appears in the book next to a ruler. The costume items seen in the pictures are not aligned perfectly on the ruler so a little figuring is required to get actual measurement. These pieces of course are measured to fit Carrie Fisher, and would have to be adjusted for every individual Leia. If you feeling like doing the math, these measurements plus knowing how tall Carrie Fisher was, can give you pretty exact proportions on the original costume. and from there adjust the costume to each individual Leia’s needs.
My measurement figuring comes out to roughly 8″ 1/2 inches for the bikini bottom at the top, (which in the photo is at the bottom of the picture, against the ruler). Leia’s armband is roughly 5″1/2 inches in length, measuring from one the curling end to the other.
In The Empire Strikes Back Leia wears a white snow suit through most of the movie, and with this snow suit she wears two different pairs of boots. On Hoth and while on the run on the Millennium Falcon Leia wears light grey boots with wedge heals. According to Star Wars Costume: The Original Trilogy, Leia’s boots where styled loosely off of mukluks,
when Leia’s in cloud city after she’s been captured by the Empire she changes her boots to a pair of white leather boots with a tall heal and a zipper up the back.
“Silk crepe de chine, from the French “crepe of China”, is a famously versatile silk, possessing a very glossy luster and a subtle texture, as well as a surprisingly light weight and truly excellent drape. The fabric, slightly more textured than silk 4-ply woven crepe, is made with tightly twisted weft yarns, or filling, running in reverse directions from left to right. These twisted yarns produce both the crepe texture of the material and its flexible drape. Silk crepe de chine is probably the most durable of cultivated silks – those woven of single, reeled strands – and is found to be exceedingly even and uniform in texture. Silk crepe de chine is popular for bridal and formal evening wear, and also works well in blouses and men’s shirts. Also used in home décor, the fabric lends a light and luxurious feel to any project. Silk crepe de chine is also an exceptionally forgivable silk when it comes to sewing, as it takes thread well and will typically not fray overly when cut. Dry cleaning is the recommended method of care for this fabric”.
The body of Leia’s political dress is very simple; the dress seems to be cut out on a ‘T’ pattern, the fabric being folded in half fully length ways and then again width ways.
Because of the way the fabric is folded before cutting there are only 2 seems one on ether sides. There is no front or back seems, there are also no shoulder seems and no seem on the top of the sleeves. There are really only 4 seems on Leia’s dress, the 2 side seems which are continuous up through the underside of the sleeves, 1 seem for the collar and the seem for the keyhole back opening.
The side seems are left open from about the knee down, to allow for ease of movement, this split in the dress does no go any high then Leia’s knee, (roughly just below the knee cap).
Leia’s political dress is self lined, meaning that the same fabric that was used to make the dress is used to line it. Leia’s dress has the raw seams enclosed between the lining and the body of the dress.
The bottom hem of the dress comes down to break at the top of Leia’s foot and is a folded hem that is secured down with invisible stitching, possibly sewn by hand.
The top of Leia’s dress is blouses and appears to have elastic ruching used to gather in the waist. (Sadly there are no pockets).
Though different necklines where plaid around with in the concept art faze for Leia’s political dress, the approved design has a turtleneck collar (possibly more of a mock-turtleneck since it does not fold over). This turtleneck collar closed in the back with what appear to be hooks and eyes that are sewn on the inside of the collar so they are not visible from the outside.
Princess Leia’s political dress closes with a series of hooks and eyes closer at the neck, and a keyhole back opening. This opening is more or less a strait cut opening down the center back that goes no lower than mid shoulder blade.
Leia’s hood is made out of a single layer of crepe de chine (so it’s not lined), the hood comes down to roughly just below the top of Leia’s hips. The hood seems to be likely cut out on a trapezoid shape and gathered on the edges before being sewn under the collar.
The hood is attached under the turtleneck collar and the hoods hem is a rolled hem which is stitched down by hand with an invisible stitch. The hood is also left open in the back and is not a closed hood, the fabric for the most part lays over the top of the head.
Leia’s political dress has open wide cut sleeves, Leia’s sleeves at the widest point, the wrist, appear to be more than 14” long (Pam’s Costumes: suggests 14″ inches in length for the sleeves). The image below shows Leia’s hand at shoulder level and the sleeves drops down to roughly Leia’s waist. (Perspective in the image has to be taken into account when figuring out the proper length of the sleeve.)
Note: that for movies there are lots of the same costume made, and often times those used during action sequences will have shorter hems and less full skirts and sleeves. It is likely then that Leia’s dress will appear slightly different throughout the movie and promo stills.
There are no shoulder seems or seems on the top of the sleeves, [some of the patterns that were released had raglan sleeves; however, this is not how the screen dress is constructed]. Since the dress is cut out on a ‘T’ pattern, the only seems that exists are on the underside of the sleeves where it’s the continuation of the single body seem on the side of the dress.
Leia’s political dress belt was made to have a medieval look, the belt itself is made out of leather with aluminum medallions. Leia’s belt also has a clear line of stitching around the entire border.
There are 7 to 8 medallions depending on the belt (the belt worn in ANH has more medallions then the belt worn in ESB). There are 6 to 7 rectangular medallions and 1 center diamond medallion (though more rectangular medallions can be added as needed as long as there evenly spaced). The medallions are made out of aluminum and snaps are used to close the belt in the back. In some versions of the belt, such as the one worn in ANH, a medallion covers up the snap closure, however, the belt worn in ESB appears to only have 7 medallions, leaving the snaps uncovered. (This picture pattern below for the medallions is a rough pattern and may have to be adjusted for each individual Leia, figuring out proportions helps.)
(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.)