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Sunday, April 14, 2024
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Law Roach and Zendaya: Reviving archive

On and off-screen, the 27-year-old actor knows how to make heads turn.

Over the course of her 13-year career, former Disney star turned HBO powerhouse, Zendaya, has proven her ability to completely inhabit her characters and worlds they’re a part of. Her most recent press tour outfits take us below the mantle of Arrakis, the fictional planet where most of “Dune: Part Two” takes place.

These looks are a product of a career-long relationship with image architect, Law Roach, who is frequently seen alongside Zendaya. In his work, Law continually reimagines celebrities, pushing them to tell a story without speaking words. His efforts were recently recognized when he became the first Stylist Award recipient at the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) Awards in 2022. This recognition comes after years of being overlooked for the radical work he does in fashion, dressing non-sample sized women and centering Blackness in his work. In his own words, “We cannot elevate and expand without the Black talent. I was able to do it because one, the way I work, I think, is different.”

As a visionary and hustler, Law has seen success for both himself and Zendaya, who have both become fashion icons. The duo promised each other early in her career that they would do their part to create looks outside of typical expectations for a young Disney star. According to Zendaya, this creation of Zendaya the individual, detached from her work, is what allowed major studios see her in roles outside of Rocky Blue and K.C. Cooper from “Shake it Up” and “K.C. Undercover,” respectively. This trajectory has landed her on the Met Gala’s red carpet five times. This upcoming May she will serve as a co-chair for the Met Gala, celebrating the museum’s newest showcase, “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion.”

Zendaya’s fashion is what draws us into the allure of the actress. During the press tour for the highly anticipated follow up to 2021’s “Dune”, the 27-year-old star successfully brought Arrakis, and its futuristic fashion, to red carpets in Mexico City, Paris and most recently London. Across these locations, fashion houses and labels like Bottega Veneta, TORISHÉJU, ALAÏA and Louis Vuitton seamlessly blended contemporary dress and hyper futuristic silhouettes to show us that the world of “Dune” is not entirely foreign. Zendaya’s looks draw us into the desert world of her character Chani’s home planet. Much like the spacecraft and machinery that have invaded Arrakis, Zendaya shocked spectators when she arrived in “Maschinenmensch,” a catsuit only ever seen 30 years prior in Thierry Mugler’s 1995 fall collection. This suit brings together what makes a film like “Dune” so relevant to viewers in 2024: A universe where houses fight over psychedelic substances like Spice to enable intergalactic travel is not entirely removed from our own, as technology like Elon Musk’s Neuralink, Apple’s Vision Pro and OpenAI’s ChatGPT become more and more relevant in everyday life. Fans can only hope this commentary is furthered when “Dune: Part Two” arrives in theaters on March 1, or that we get a glimpse into more of the film’s narrative in Zendaya’s next red carpet look.

Regardless of what lies ahead for the characters of “Dune,” Zendaya continues to prove that although Timothée Chalamet’s Paul Atreides is at the center of the film, we are all eagerly anticipating her next move.