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Star Wars: why C-3PO is this season’s fashion hit

C-3PO is on the cover of the latest issue of style magazine Love, and, like all the best male models, he is deploying his signature look: wide eyes, square jaw and cheekbones as contoured as a Kardashian. Though the image was styled by the magazine’s editor Katie Grand – a Jedi master of the fashion industry – there is no need for clothes. Instead, this is a celebration of the protocol droid’s innate high-shine style. The only accessory – a dog the exact shade of this season’s Gucci handbag – is the stylist’s own.

Star Wars’ glossiest robot is having a bit of a moment in fashion right now. He’s also on the cover of US GQ, working those preternatural angles with Amy Schumer. The comedian is resplendent in blond plaits and a Princess Leia bikini and assiduously sucks C-3PO’s index finger. Inside the magazine, the mood gets even more Terry Richardson: there’s a three-in-a-bed scene with R2D2 and a lightsaber blow job (“Lucasfilm Disney did not approve, participate or condone this inappropriate use of our characters,” the studio tweeted afterwards).

Balenciaga’s gold leggings were pure Tatooine humanoid. Photograph: Rex Shutterstock

With its monastic robes and tone-on-tone tunics, the Star Wars trilogy (obviously we are talking about episodes IV to VI) is a perennial fashion fascination. Louis Vuitton creative director Nicolas Ghesquière – one of the most influential designers working today – is a particular fan. While at Balenciaga he created Star Wars-inspired jumpers, sweeping Darth Vader-style headgear and high-shine gold leggings that were pure Tatooine humanoid. His bedroom fireplace is decorated with a white plastic Star Wars helmet; when he joined Instagram, the first image he posted was of a Stormtrooper.

With his high-shine style, C-3P0 shows that the only accessory he needs is a dog. Photography: David Sims; Styling: Katie Grand

For autumn/winter 2014, the force was strong with Rodarte, where floor-length dresses were printed with pictures of Threepio, Yoda and Luke Skywalker. The same season, Preen turned to the dark side, plastering tops and tunics with menacing Darth Vader headshots while a squad of monochrome-clad Stormtroopers took selfies with models and editors backstage.

The cover of the latest issue of Love. Photography: David Sims; Styling: Katie Grand

Even when designers do not express their love for Star Wars explicitly, the influence is there. The Princess Leia effect is mainly seen in hair – not the absurd earmuff buns, but the plait headband worn in The Empire Strikes Back, which is very Keash braid bar. Her oversized floor-length polo neck tunic dress is very now, too, and would have looked perfect at Solange Knowles’s Givenchy campaign of a wedding.

Elsewhere, the flowing ghetto goth robes of Rick Owens feel like an ode to Obi-wan Kenobi. Kanye West’s collection for Adidas – all dusty-coloured, awkwardly fitting utility wear – was one-part Yoda to two-parts Prada. The fuzzy oversized furs of The Row are a clear nod to Chewbacca; nothing from this season’s Céline collection – the oversized, sand-coloured tunics – would look out of place in the debauched environs of the Mos Eisley Cantina. Is it too much to suggest Darth Vader’s precise helmet and blacked-out eyes are quite Anna Wintour? In any case, the evil overlord has a brilliant way with monochrome.

Preen turns to the dark side, plastering tops and tunics with menacing Darth Vader headshots. Photograph: Rex Shutterstock

Though you may not look at Jabba the Hutt’s dangerous curves and immediately think of fashion, it’s hardly a surprise that Star Wars fascinates the industry. For one thing, many of today’s top creative directors are children of the late 70s and early 80s – so this is the haute couture equivalent of playing with Stormtroopers in your bedroom. Not only is it incredibly visually rich – even the weapons look like Tracy Emin sculptures – but its costumes are packed with historical references, from samurai robes to Nazi guard’s uniforms, that amplify its musings on good and evil. Most designers would kill to create collections so imbued with meaning.

LOVE 14 ’The Talents’ issue Autumn/Winter is out now. thelovemagazine.co.uk

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