Dune’s costume co-designer Bob Morgan goes back in time to the future [Interview]

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You and Jacqueline put artists from all over the world to work on the film. Or exactly?

We started in Los Angeles and we knew we were going to go to Budapest and Jordan. Obviously you start at home, but you create three worlds. A lot of things have to happen simultaneously, and when we started in 2018, it was in November. Again, as it is now, the movie world was a very busy place, which meant a lot of the artisans we wanted to use were busy.

Fortunately, I have been able to find a lot of artists that I have worked with on previous films and many of them come to Budapest. But many of them work independently from us, in different places. I left for Budapest knowing that we were going to build everything there. Logistically, it made sense to go. When we got there we realized we had three, four full-time stores. An armory die store, a textile store, an aging department, a sewing department, an accessories department, all in the studios of Budapest.

We started making costumes in Spain. We made costumes in London. So I was going to come and go to London with our salesperson. FDSS was amazing. We were a sort of traveling circus mainly across Europe. Not to mention that we had crew members from all over. From New Zealand, Australia, United States, Spain, Budapest and England. We were a giant global family, sailing right over Budapest.

What were your first ideas for “Dune”?

At first, Denis was incredibly collaborative and so clear in his vision. He gave us a beautiful setting of what it was and what it wasn’t. And then we had this great window for us to create inside and explore everything in between those two things. And so, as we set out, the book was obviously our starting point.

For the future, we had to sort of go back a thousand years to go back 10,000 years, knowing that they were human beings. It was an epic adventure of these three worlds, of these three fighting families, and that’s kind of how it started. Knowing that Caladan was very deep, rich and lush, knowing that Arrakis was very dry, knowing that Harkonnens was oppressive and incredibly sinister and dark, this was the first triangle of these three opposing worlds that would intersect.

How did medieval times and Greek tragedies influence you and Jacqueline?

I’m a painter and artist, I still have a gallery that represents me in LA, and I love art history. I tend to look at what has been, because it sort of dictates what is and what will be somehow. My take on design is to always think about the function of the costume. Not only where is it geographically, but what are the demands geographically and the demands aesthetically? What is the situation you are in? Just like if you fly to Alaska, you know you are going to buy a Columbia jacket.

It is knowing that the function of the garment will also dictate the shape of the garment and the style of the garment, it is work. It all had to make sense, if you think about what’s appropriate. I think if you start with the function you make it believable and then you can put the beauty and the creativity into it. And so, that’s how I approach costumes.


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