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timothee chalamet and zendaya coleman in dune part two
timothee chalamet and zendaya coleman in dune part two
Niko Tavernise / Warner Bros
Style > Fashion

Dune part 2: Everything you need know about the costume choices in the new movie

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Casper Libero chapter.

Dune Part Two continues where director Denis Villeneuve’s first film left off, following the messianic Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet) and his then love interest Fremen Chani (Zendaya) as they avenge the murder of Paul’s father Duke Leto (Oscar Isaac) and try stop the terrifying future he sees in his clairvoyant dreams. 

Costume designer Jacqueline West makes a brilliant comeback and brings back what she calls the ”mod-eval” duality between modern and medieval. The production and script of Dune Part Two are richer and deeper into the story than in the first movie, reflecting the preparation of more elaborate costumes. West told Harper’s Bazaar  ”The difference is that the story really evolves, and therefore the closet changes. In Part Two, we go to the Emperor’s world, we have new characters […].”

West goes on to say that she has two degrees in Art History from Berkeley, where she first read Dante:  ”With Giedi Prime’s expansions of the world of the antagonists, for example, I looked at The Divine Comedy and treated it as if I were going through the different layers of hell. And Arrakis is like a kind of purgatory. I was totally immersed in medieval art – it’s the future, but it’s starting all over again.” Jacqueline also revealed in an interview for the Designing Hollywood Show with presenter Phillip Boutté Jr that she is very detail-oriented and always thought that the costume was all in the details. 

Jacqueline West’s works are impeccable in both films, relating perfectly with the costumes what the characters are living through. In cinematic productions, it’s very common for costumes to be obtained by shopping around, mining, working with brands and so on, but for Dune Part 2 it was different. West revealed to Harper’s Bazaar that around 4.000 pieces of clothing were made: ”We made masks, we made all kinds of jewelry, we hand-dyed and hand-painted all the fabrics, and we even had to rebuild the jumpsuits because they got beaten up in Part One.

The costume designer was also inspired by old paintings, such as the one of Arabs in Morocco and North Africa. West’s references for Part Two were very old Jacqueline West’s look at the Fremen as to ancient Islam as they are actually survivors in the desert. 

For Timothée Chalamet, the costume designer gave him a wise, monk-like quality, as he took on the religion and philosophy of the Fremen, with different interactions of how he is camouflaged in the movie. When it comes to Zendaya’s costumes, West kept her closet very simple and diaphanous, ”So you can see her shape when she’s backlit. That choice was to soften her and get her out of the neoprene clothes.”, she says. 

Where West focused much of her attention was on the Bene Gesserit sisterhood, the costume designer was particularly inspired by the Tarot, especially the Queen of Spades, ”I realized that when I was using the Tarot cards, there’s a certain shape that evokes a holiness throughout,” Jacqueline tells Vogue Magazine. The costume designer also told them that she attended Catholic school as a child and was captivated by the nuns and their habits. “I remember seeing the nuns walking down the corridor together and their habits flying as they caught the breeze outside”. Saying that she loves this image, West tried to recreate it through Dune Part Two with silhouettes. 

Although the Bene Gesserit is an all-powerful sisterhood, like a religious organization, West makes it clear that it is not based on Catholicism or Islam, but on a religious combination that has been translated into the characters’ clothing. One of the film roles who stands out among the Bene Gesserit is Princess Irulan (Florence Pugh). West describes her as the voice of reason in the production, she wanted to avoid the big helmets in favor of a more subtle gesture to her Bene Gesserit roots. In the movie you often see Princess Irulan wearing smaller metal helmets, which Jacqueline compares to armor. ”She’s a moral compass in Dune Two [The Bene Gesserit] is designed to control the future and make it go a certain way. She sees through it and is playing the long game.” 

Dune Part Two shows an expanded view of the world of the Harkonnens, including Austin Butler as Fedy-Rautha Harkonnen, the Baron’s ruthless and bloodthirsty nephew. Through this, West points out that the Harkonnens are sartorially bound by a lot of black, leather and spandex. ‘It’s quite sinister. There’s a vampire quality to it. I took a lot from Geiger’s art. It’s very, very, very gothic,” she says. “I drew on very dark medieval imagery, like dark nights and dark armor and all the embossed leather. It’s quite bondage-y.”

Jacqueline West, a brilliant costume designer, quotes the author of Dune himself when arguing for her perspective on dressing such a vast universe. ”Frank Herbert always said that to understand the future, you have to look at the past.”, she says. ”And I think Dune is the world starting again after some kind of apocalypse.” 

Dune Part Two’s costumes are rich in detail and history, and West manages to portray the story told in the movie in a magnificent and exceptional way. She clearly shows how detailed she is, and the importance of delving into the story, thus subtly revealing to us that Dune’s budget wasn’t cheap. 


The article above was edited by Larissa Buzon.

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Vitória Venturin

Casper Libero '27

Journalism student at Casper Libero university, lover fashion, movies, culture and communication :)