TWG interviewed the fashion blogger and creator of The Kessel Runway, a blog dedicated to Star Wars fashion news and reviews. I first discovered The Kessel Runway on Tumblr sometime late last year, and I remember thinking to myself, “That is a fantastic name for a Star Wars fashion blog.” Updated daily and always a wonderful source of information, The Kessel Runway is the leading fashion blog in the Star Wars fan community with over 5,000 followers on Facebook.
With fashion brands, such as Ashley Eckstein’s Her Universe, taking geek fashion to the next level and various licenses designing more products catering to that audience, fangirls are constantly on the lookout for new products and trends. The Kessel Runway provides that and much more, making it my favorite place to visit.
You’re a Star Wars fan from New Zealand with the coolest Star Wars fashion blog out there. You keep everyone updated with the latest in geek fashion related to the galaxy far, far away, so first, tell us about yourself. How did you become a fan and what about Star Wars makes it so appealing to you?
I discovered Star Wars well over a decade ago, but late compared to some, when I decided to see Episode II on opening day to ‘see what all the excitement was about’. It blew me away. Walking out of the cinema, I knew I was hooked. Within a week I had bought my first piece of Star Wars merchandise (a R2-D2 action figure), and started searching online for more. I found the local Star Wars New Zealand fan community, run by Matt Glasgow, and we hit it off on a personal level straight away. Less than two years later, he proposed to me at the Episode II filming location of Villa Balbianello in Italy! It is amazing to be able to share our love of Star Wars and enjoy the associated hobbies together. Star Wars is just such a rich galaxy of stories and amazing characters with so many elements to explore, like novels, games, and costuming; there’s something for everyone.
You took two things you love–Star Wars and fashion–and created The Kessel Runway, but what sparked the idea for the blog?
A few years ago, I read A Guide to Quality, Taste and Style by Tim Gunn. There’s a chapter about finding clothes that best represent who you are, where he quotes Greek philosopher Epictetus, who said, “Know, first, who you are; and then adorn yourself accordingly.” The idea stuck with me, as I thought about my wardrobe full of Star Wars t-shirts and how much Star Wars has influenced my life. As a collector living in New Zealand, I shop online frequently, and I found myself spending more time searching for Star Wars apparel. I was amazed by how much I was able to find even at that time, but also by how much the market has grown these past few years. Back in 2003, I was unable to find any female Star Wars fashion locally to wear to my local convention. So, I made myself a women’s Star Wars t-shirt by printing out my favorite Anakin/Vader image onto t-shirt iron-on transfer paper! How I wish Her Universe had been around back then!
Finding myself actively researching Star Wars fashion on an almost daily basis, I thought back to Tim Gunn’s book and considered the idea of building a completely Star Wars wardrobe. The tipping point was discovering the Star Wars collection from Preen by Thornton Bregazzi. I realized I could afford to buy a couple of items I desperately wanted, if I shifted my priorities away from the ‘non-Star Wars‘ clothes that sat in my closet unworn. It was an epiphany for me–the choice was so obvious. I soon set about building a blog to journal my finds, a small personal project that has grown into something I work on every day.
In addition to updating us with the newest arrivals from the various brands that partner up with Lucasfilm, you also review clothes and accessories. What are your top three favorite Star Wars items that you own?
A favorite from my wardrobe is the Hoth pin-up dress by Her Universe. I fell in love the instant I saw the preview photos. For me, it was fantastic to see such a feminine Star Wars design. It clearly wasn’t a men’s apparel design just translated to a women’s equivalent. Second, I really love the original 1977 necklaces by Weingeroff, in particular the fantastic X-Wing necklace. The pendant size, angle, and detail are just brilliant. I wear it all the time. Lastly, I have to go with my Preen by Thornton Bregazzi “Padmé” shirt with Darth Vader print. Buying a licensed Star Wars item from a Fashion Week designer collection was so exciting. Plus, it’s just an amazing garment!
Who are your style icons and how do they inspire you?
I’m inspired by all who wear their love of Star Wars proudly–from leaders, like Ashley Eckstein and Kathleen Kennedy, to fans who create complete themed outfits of their favorite character.
What are some fashionable Star Wars items you’d love to see in the market that currently don’t exist?
I love to see more feminine footwear styles, like ballet flats or heels. The licensed Star Wars footwear available is generally very unisex. I love the pairs of Star Wars footwear I have, but with so many amazing Star Wars dresses and skirts available these days, I need something other than sneakers for my Star Wars wardrobe. More hair accessories would be great, too. I wish there were more Queen/Padmé Amidala themed apparel items out there, since she’s one of my favorite characters. I need more Naboo symbols in my wardrobe!
Which brand out there would you like to see partner up with Lucasfilm to make Star Wars themed apparel and/or accessories?
Continuing on from my previous answer, I’d love to see Jeffrey Campbell release a range of Star Wars footwear for women! They did a great collection with Black Milk Clothing using some of their popular prints on a range of shoes and boots, and they have also done a Disney collection featuring Minnie Mouse. The “Lita” and “Back Off” boots, and the “Dulce” and “Foxy” heels are just some of their styles that have been made in a variety of prints. It would be amazing to see these in Star Wars designs. Star Wars has so many great logos that translate well into a repeating print. I would adore a pair of “Nightwalks” with an Imperial cog pattern!
What is your next must-have purchase?
My shopping list is always a little long, but one item I’m really keen to buy is the lightsaber cuff from Han Cholo. They debuted their sterling silver jewelry at Celebration Anaheim, and I’m really looking forward to their upcoming stainless steel collection. There aren’t many options for Star Wars cuffs and bangles, so their lightsaber design is a brilliant idea.
We both hashtag our fashion posts and tweets with #GeekFashion and it’s a term that’s used a lot in the fan community. What does geek fashion mean to you?
Geek fashion is about being proud of what we love, wearing it our own way and not letting others tell us otherwise. Fashion is often seen as a superficial interest, with shopping put down as the hobby of the vain and frivolous–yet what we wear is such an important part of our personal identity. We shouldn’t have to put aside our personal style to show our geek pride, nor should we feel the need to conceal our geek interests because of our gender. Geek fashion should include all gender-identities, and it’s exciting to see more companies realize that.