Dune Is Already Influencing Fall 2023 Fashion

You'll want to hop on this fashion caravan early. That way, when the rest of your friends are obsessed come March, you'll be able to say you've been there, "Dune" that.

The "Dune" aesthetic has dominated our fashion consciousness since the first movie's debut in 2021. Although the sequel has been delayed until 2024, red carpets are already proving that designers are headed back to the desert. The unique appeal of the style comes from the film's ability to feel simultaneously futuristic and ancient. As costume designer Jacqueline West explained to Vanity Fair, the movie's 'fits embrace a "Mod-evial" motif, imagining what a past civilization would look like in the future. "'Dune' is about a world starting over," West said. "I thought, What better than to pull from the distant past for 10,000 years in the future?" 

While our idea of Dunecore is sure to evolve with another year of red-carpet appearances and big-screen styles, eager fans of the franchise are already drawing inspiration from the award-winning first film. In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, West shared that the costume team designed around 2,000 costumes ... that's a lot of exciting ways to express your inner Zendaya. As you explore the Arrakis aesthetic, you too can draw inspiration from the past and the future—examining the creative looks of long-time fans and the trend-setting fashion runways.

Dune embraces dramatic draping

Frank Herbert's "Dune," the source material for the film, incorporated vivid ethnic and religious themes, drawing inspiration from real-life Middle Eastern cultures. While the movie adaptation loses much of the unspoken, narrative history of Arrakis, it pays homage to these roots in other ways. The costume design, which earned Jacqueline West and Bob Morgan an Oscar nomination, tells a story of its own. The stunning draping characteristic of Middle Eastern fashion naturally makes an appearance in the film's designs, as well as in everyday tributes to the franchise.

Explore dusty neutrals

Zendaya's iconic Balmain couture red carpet look may be one of the most memorable "Dune" outfits, even though it never actually appeared in the film. Still, the dusty color of the garment is immediately evocative of the film's sandy set. While we have no doubt that Zendaya's styling for the sequel will be equally jaw-dropping, her original look is worth remembering as we embrace Dunecore.

Flowy dresses create breathability

The "Dune" aesthetic has decisively moved from the sand to the stage, with major fashion collections showcasing silhouettes that immediately remind us of the film. In 2023, Schiaparelli styles featured free-flowing, loosely styled gowns. We can only imagine how stunning these pieces would look in the blustery winds of the sand dunes.

Chainmail keeps you ready for battle

Balenciaga's use of chainmail has always been undeniably cool. With the rise of the "Dune" aesthetic, these looks are not just tough, but also trendy. These bold styles are beautiful and battle-ready and have been worn by Zendaya both on and off-set. The star famously rocked a chainmail crop top at the London Film Festival while promoting the film.

Accessorize with hoods and facial coverings

One of the most iconic scenes in "Dune" is the debut of the Bene Gesserit, a striking sisterhood that dons robes, hoods, and facial coverings. It's only natural that fans of the film and its style would incorporate these wardrobe-elevating accessories into their looks. In "The Art and Soul of Dune," author Tanya LaPointe explains that the fashion of these mysterious women draws inspiration from the artistry of tarot cards and chess pieces.

Embrace regal jewelry

While much of the jewelry in "Dune" emphasizes more historical elements like beads and rope, the gold motif throughout the film has inspired stylists to embrace the power of gold medallions, stunning jewelry, and overall regality. The large, sparkling pieces evoke the beating desert sun and also embrace the regal aesthetic of iconic characters like Lady Jessica Atreides.

Sharp angles invoke the future

Of course, the futuristic aspects of the "Dune" aesthetic should not be ignored – they're one of the most enjoyable parts! Iris van Herpen incorporated sharp design details into an otherwise drapey look. Not only does this embrace the "Dune" sci-fi style, but it also pays homage to the subtle, structural boning in the film's more armored outfits.

When in doubt, layer

While high fashion has readily embraced this latest trend, you don't need to go couture for your costume. Incredibly on-trend styles can be crafted by layering pieces you already have. Neutral colors, distressed fabrics, and delicate draping can quickly get you desert-ready, as the Dunecore TikTok trend has shown.