With the “Star Wars” universe serving as the DNA for Disney+’s “Andor,” costume designer Michael Wilkinson could honor a legacy while leaning into a new world.
For Diego Luna’s Cassian, Wilkinson draped him in warm, earthy tones with fabrics that were textural.
When audiences first meet him, he’s in “beautiful oilcloth from old leather jackets with iconic details such as a high neckline and a hood.” By the end, the silhouettes become leaner and streamlined.
“He has a beautiful tailored long-length linen coat that we made for him that moves beautifully for all the action sequences. It’s a grown-up silhouette.”
To outfit Genevieve O’Reilly’s Mon Mothma, he looked at prominent people, including leading senators and United Nations members, keeping power dressing in mind. “I imagined to what extent the futuristic off-planet version of that would look like,” he says. “I leaned into the pale neutral tones.”
Her blue senate robe with a gold lining is “extremely architectural and quite austere,” Wilkinson says. “With her, there was a lot of adventurous tailoring and an exploration of silhouettes and layering that we did in her costumes, which reflect her switched-on sophisticated sense of aesthetics.”
Clothing for Mon Mothma’s more private moments “where the mask slips” hint at another side of her personality. Wilkinson relaxed her silhouette when Tay Kolma (Ben Miles) visits, for example, giving her outfit a flowing look.
“It almost feels like a dressing gown,” he says. “That private look contrasts quite a lot with her senator robes.”
He was able to explore a duality for Stellan Skarsgård’s Luthen Rael, an antiques dealer and the leader of a start-up rebellion looking to take down the Galactic Empire. “Luthen had this lovely layering of velvety textures and high-end fabrics,” he says.
The jewelry was custom-made, as Wilkinson was “inspired by rings made from brushed titanium and rare metals.”
When Rael is out providing support for a growing Rebel Alliance, he wears a linen poncho.
“He’s a man of action when he’s off, Wilkinson says. “We go from jewel tones to an earthy look with natural fabrics such as linen and cotton.”
The stark white costumes worn on the Narkina 5 Imperial Prison Complex proved to be a design challenge. Stark white, they needed to feel mass-produced and disposable.
“It was one costume worn by hundreds and seen over three episodes. I knew I wanted the outfits to be bright white with a strong graphic,” says Wilkinson. “So, I used a hot press to fuse the orange graphics onto this white paper-like fabric we found that had a high-tech feel.”
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