Blade Runner Fashion



Blade Runner is a film directed by English director Ridley Scott. The film was released in 1982 with costumes by American costume designer Michael Kaplan and Charles Knode who also worked on Monty Python’s Life of Brian. Make-up was by Hollywood make-up artist Marvin Westmore. In 1983, Knode and Kaplan won a BAFTA for Best Costume Design for their work on Blade Runner while Westmore was nominated for his work on the film. This film is a very iconic film for style and incorporates fashion from the 1920’s, 1940’s and the 1980’s.

The story follows Rick Deckard played by Harrison Ford as he goes on a journey to track down and kill four replicants. These replicants are bioengineered and have come to earth illegally. They have only a duration of life that lasts four years and might have come to prolong their lives.

Ford’s character falls in love with one of the replicants Rachael played by Sean Young. In the course of their romance she sports many iconic costumes mainly with 1940’s influences. In her first scene she wears a silk and gold threaded two-piece couture suit which is grey and beige. Her hair in victory rolls. Racheal’s make-up while she answers the questions in the voight-Kampff test is red lipstick and black eyeliner. Red lipstick was the lip colour of the 1940’s with stars like Ingrid Bergman giving it their seal of approval. She was sporting a black silk and snake skin two-piece suit. Sharp tailoring, red lips and rolled hair were parts of Rachael’s look and are reminiscent of Joan Crawford’s look when she starred in the 1941 movie Mildred Pierce. Another example of Rachael’s clothing includes the coat she sports when she goes to Deckard’s apartment following her realisation that she is a replicant. It is a stunning coat which is created from blue silk brocade and has a fur trimmed stand up collar and huge bat wing style fur sleeves.

The movie inspired the “Power Suit” of the 1980’s and also shoulder pads. The character who was most inspirational for the style of the eighties was Pris played by Daryl Hannah. She is another replicant. She wore legwarmers which were like the style of Fame and Flashdance but infused with a cyber punk twist. She also wore a dog collar, a long fur coat and ripped tights. Her hair was bleached blonde and she wore blue make-up that went completely across her eyes. This make-up image is one of the most iconic make-up looks in film. She also sports a very pale complexion.

The 1920’s is represented by orientalism in the movie.  In the film, the theme of Asian culture is hugely present at all times.On the billboard there is an Asian woman in traditional oriental dress which has a huge resemblance to a Japanese Geisha while many of the Asian people working or shopping in the market during the market scene when Deckard is trying to find Zhora played by Joanna Cassidy who is another replicant are wearing oriental clothes.



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