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Jacqueline West’s Vision for Dune: Part Two

In the first installment of the Dune saga, costume designer Jacqueline West mesmerized audiences with her ability to weave an entire sci-fi universe through the delicate veils adorning Lady Jessica on Caladan and the rugged yet functional suits worn by the Fremen on Arrakis.

The sequel seamlessly continues the narrative left off by Denis Villeneuve’s inaugural film, following the journey of the messianic Paul Atreides (portrayed by Timothée Chalamet) and his beloved Fremen companion, Chani (played by Zendaya). Their quest for vengeance against the murderers of Paul’s father, Duke Leto (played by Oscar Isaac), and their struggle to avert the catastrophic future foreseen in Paul’s prophetic dreams form the crux of the storyline.

To bring this sprawling universe to life, West assembled a global team, spanning from Budapest for the Harkonnen armor to London for the embellishment of Lady Jessica’s attire, and even traversing markets across the Middle East in search of authentic jewelry.

Of particular focus for West in this installment were the Bene Gesserit, a formidable sisterhood wielding significant power. While the likes of Lady Jessica and Gaius Helen Mohiam represented the enigmatic group in the first film, Dune: Part Two introduces new faces like Princess Irulan (played by Florence Pugh) and Margot, Lady Fenring (portrayed by Léa Seydoux). With these additions, West seized the opportunity to expand upon the original characters, forging a cohesive visual identity for the multi-planetary sisterhood.

Drawing inspiration from the Tarot, West crafted the aesthetic of the Bene Gesserit, with nods to medieval paintings and the iconic imagery of Catholic nuns. Each member, while unified by a shared silhouette, reflects her social standing through distinctive attire. Lady Jessica’s evolution, from a regal concubine to a revered Reverend Mother, is evident in her transition from opulent fabrics to more humble attire as she integrates with the Fremen.

Pugh’s Princess Irulan stands out as the voice of reason, eschewing grand headpieces for subtle nods to her Bene Gesserit lineage. West’s incorporation of metallic headpieces as armor underscores Irulan’s role as a moral compass navigating the intricate webs of manipulation.

In addition to expanding the world of the Bene Gesserit, the sequel delves deeper into the realm of the Harkonnens, introducing Austin Butler as Fayd-Rautha Harkonnen. Embracing a darker, gothic aesthetic, West draws inspiration from medieval imagery and the art of Geiger, infusing the Harkonnen wardrobe with sinister undertones.

Through meticulous attention to detail and a keen eye for historical references, Jacqueline West breathes life into the vast and intricate universe of Dune: Part Two. Her vision, coupled with the collaborative efforts of artisans around the globe, ensures that every costume tells a story, enriching the cinematic experience for audiences worldwide.

Words: @annaamaso