Of course I know myself well enough that I was sure that I was going to try and do something for the premiere of The Last Jedi in Decemeber. Then the Vanity Fair cover with Carrie Fisher as Leia was released in the spring, and I fell totally in love with the costume.
I haven't taken a serious look at the costume, except being scared of how to create the cloak without any visible seams, until now though. By now some other photos of Leia has emerged.
There are some serious differences of the cloak though. I'm going to call the first one the VF (Vanity Fair) version and the other the grey version. The grey version has a collar that is a lot smaller, the fabric also shows an almost striped or checkered texture. My initial guess is that it's a basketweave fabric. To make it even more mysterious there is this photo showing a large collar, like the VF version, but with a seam that's not visible on the VF cover.
Personally I think that there are two versions of the cloak out there. One that was used for the VF cover, and it's quite pssible that the photo above is from the photo shoot since Mark Hamill is standing in the background. I can't be sure that this cloak will even be in the film. The other version has been shown in photos from the set though.
This grey version with its smaller collar is a lot more straight forward. The only tricky part might be the collar, since there are no seams visible it must be cut in one with the front pieces, with possible just a center back seam. I do have a shrug pattern that's cut like that though.
When it comes to what fabric it's made of. My first instinct was actally to make the VF version in neoprene, it would be incorrect but could give that smooth, but still structured, shape. The grey version with its basketweave pattern could not be made from that material though. Just on a whim I searched for black basketweave wool and stumbled upon this fabric.
|From b&j fabrics|
It is black and has that distinctive pattern. It's not wool though but a silk and viscose gazar. I had never Heard of gazar so I did a bit of googling on the term. It's a very stiff silk that was inventend by Balenciaga in the 1960's to get a fabric that was suite for very structured garments. One of his most famous pieces is this one seam wedding gown in silk gazar.
|One seam wedding gown, Balenciaga 1967|
The gown she's wearing under the cloak seems to be fairly simple.
A soft longsleeved gown with around neck, with a keyhole cut, gathered under the bust and with a belt of the same material. It's also possible that the belt is just govering the gathering and doesn't go all the way round the gown. The fabric looks quite dull but it's not transparent. I'm thinking that some kind of chiffon or similar would be good for it.
Now if she could only turn around so that we can see the back of the hair.