Tag Archives: costume design

Case #6: Lillian Branski

Dr. Leopardskin: What is it like working for Cruella De Vil?

Lillian: You know, I have this re-occurring nightmare where I am in her office and she keeps telling me to get Harper’s Bazaar on the phone, and I look down and my hands have been replaced by mink fur muffs. So, I can’t get Harper’s Bazaar on the phone.

She starts yelling, “GET HARPER’S BAZAAR ON THE PHONE!!!” I tell her I can’t, and she clubs a baby seal. She yells again. I tell her my hands are muffs, and she clubs another baby seal. This goes on until a pile of baby seals starts to form. She manic laughs as she clubs more baby seals. I still can’t get Harper’s Bazaar on phone, and then, Gene Kelly rises out of the dead baby seal mountain, and he’s just about to do his Singin’ in the Rain routine when I wake up in a cold sweat.


Ms. De Vil terrifies me. She’s pretty much ruined Gene Kelly for me. I can’t look at a baby seal without fainting. You know, she made Diana Vreeland cry once.


Yes, the Diana Vreeland of Vogue, the former reigning queen of fashion.

Well, we were at a meeting for Ms. De Vil’s feature in the magazine, and Diana told Ms. De Vil that her armadillo berets (from three seasons ago, mind you) were atrocious and that she wasn’t going to use them in her magazine, ever.

Ms. De Vil stood up, practically cheek to cheek with Diana, and told her that her face was atrocious, so atrocious that it would make a fabulous beret. Diana’s face melted! Can you believe it?! Oh! And one time, she made the Smithsonian clone the wooly mammoth so that she could turn it into a coat with a matching hat and gloves.

She’s such a horrible person. She hates puppies. She treats me like crap, and on every third Wednesday, she drinks the blood of virgins. I know this because I have to warm it up to 97.8 degrees and add half a teaspoon of vanilla grown by shamans in Madagascar because she likes the sweet/irony combo. The stuff has to be served to her in a hand-blown crystal chalice from Northern France, or else she’ll throw it in my face.

It doesn’t taste half bad, actually.


Dr. Leopardskin: Your boss sounds like a very toxic person, Lillian. I think you should consider finding a job that is more suitable for a healthy psyche.

Lillian: (looks appalled) Are you kidding me?! Cruella De Vil is the most fabulous, most powerful woman on the planet! I want to be just like her!

-Lillian Branski, assistant to Cruella De Vil, London, UK.

101 Dalmatians (1961)




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Star Wars Study, Case #3: Bibbe Rhodesian

“You see this girl. What’s her name… Ron… Rye… Rey! That’s it! Rey, like my late Uncle Rey-Rey. Rest his soul.”


“Can you believe she’s in that new documentary about war the between The First Order and The Resistance? She’s practically a celebrity now, with having The Force and all. I just wish that she would’ve come into the boutique to see me first before she ran over all place in those butt awful rags I gave her a light-year ago.

(whispers) You know she’s an orphan right. Poor thing. She was barely out of her training bras when she came into my boutique, Couture Creations by Bibbe — I specialize in the finest couture creations in Jakku. Anyone who’s anyone on this planet shops with me because I’m the best, obviously. Anyway, the girl walks in just filthy, covered in sand, hair a mess, tore up from the floor up. She looked as hungry as a wookie at a human barbeque. I could not deal. I asked her where her folks were. She said that they just basically dropped her off in the middle of the desert and said they’d be back.

What kind of crazy shit is that to do to a child?!


So, I do my good deed for the day, feed her and clean her up. I make clothes for sophisticated grown-ups, so I didn’t have anything for her to wear. I grabbed an old t-shirt and rummaged through the strap fabrics I had left over from my Nomadic Sand Goddess collection that year, which was the talk of the desert by the way.

Anyway, I found enough to throw together some capris, but it gets super hot on Jakku, and the girl is as white as a Storm Trooper uniform. So, I got the last minute idea to drape her in the fabric that was left and wrap her arms with bandages from that first aid kit I never used. I gave her something to wrap her head with for the sandstorms and heat, but those hideous goggles she had on, child. Those had nothing to do with me. I would have burned them and buried the ashes. They’re that hideous.


Despite her terrible sense of style, I’m quite proud of Rey. I offered her a place to stay and a job in the boutique, but she chose to go it alone, just in case her folks came looking for her…(long awkward pause). But now, look at her. She’s famous! I’m sure I had a tiny part in her becoming a star and all. I just wish she would’ve worn that same outfit for so long. It’s tragic. I just hope she has a stylist now. If not, tell her to call me.”

– Bibbe Rhodesian, owner of Couture Creations by Bibbe, Jakku.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)




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“I don’t know if you know this, but only the members of Emperor Ming’s court can wear the shiniest polyester. Perfect example, I’m Ming’s royal robe designer, which he says is not considered a high status. I mean, hello?! Mingo City would be blinded by a naked Ming if it weren’t for me! Yet, here I am wearing the cheap, flammable stuff. I hope that Flash Gordon guy kicks his ass.

Wait, don’t tell Ming I said that or the part about his old, wrinkly body blinding people.”

– Norma, Royal Robe Designer; Ming City, Mongo Galaxy

Flash Gordon (1980)


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