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Zendaya appears at the premiere of ‘Dune: Part Two’ dressed as a robot: The story of the suit of armor that is also a fashion treasure

The actress chose a vintage Thierry Mugler design from 1995

Zendaya attends the World Premiere of "Dune: Part Two" in London's Leicester Square on February 15, 2024
Zendaya at the premiere of 'Dune: Part Two' in London.Samir Hussein (WireImage)
Beatriz García

Promoting a movie around the world without resorting to red carpet classics — you know, strapless gowns that emulate old Hollywood glamour — is something only the greats know how to do. But doing it by turning to one of the most influential designs in fashion history and wearing it with such grace and poise is something that only Zendaya does these days. The actress has become the undisputed queen of the red carpet thanks to original fashion choices, the meaning of which help us see her appearances to promote her work as another artistic element of everything she does. The 27-year-old Californian doesn’t seem willing to do anything by chance or simply because her contract says so. When Zendaya does something, she does it well.

Zendaya attends the World Premiere of "Dune: Part Two" in London's Leicester Square on February 15, 2024 in London, England
Zendaya wears a 1995 Mugler design. Samir Hussein (Samir Hussein/WireImage)

At her most recent public appearance, for the premiere of Dune: Part Two in London, the actress brought back a Thierry Mugler design from 1995. The piece simulates an android costume, which the French designer presented at his autumn-winter haute couture show; that show became one of fashion’s greatest moments ever. Held at the Cirque d’Hiver in Paris, it was more than a fashion show: it was a performance in which the models did not just strut the catwalk but played creatures from the future. At the time, the show was so highly anticipated that it was broadcast live on French television.

Zendaya attends the World Premiere of "Dune: Part Two" in London's Leicester Square on February 15, 2024 in London, England
A detail of the Mugler design from behind.Samir Hussein (Samir Hussein/WireImage)

Mugler designed this metallic and see-through bodysuit with an eye to how a female android would look and dress. In doing so, he was assisted by aeronautical engineer Jean-Pierre Delcros. Zendaya paired the design with a spectacular Bulgari necklace, giving the android look a queenly vibe.

Timothée Chalamet and  Zendaya attend the World Premiere of "Dune: Part Two" in Leicester Square on February 15, 2024
Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya at the world premiere of 'Dune: Part Two.'Gareth Cattermole (Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

It wouldn’t be fair to give Zendaya alone credit for this fashion choice. For years, the actress has been working with stylist Law Roach, who started at a thrift store in Los Angeles and ended up becoming one of the best stylists in the world. Together, they form a duo that uses every event to tell a story through clothes. Obsessed with virality, Roach pulls a lot of designs from the archives to ensure millions of likes and reposts on social media.

Zendaya, fashion detail, attends the World Premiere of "Dune: Part Two" in Leicester Square on February 15, 2024
A detail of the gloves from the Thierry Mugler outfit. Samir Hussein (Samir Hussein/WireImage)

Roach made history by becoming the first black man to be ranked number one on The Hollywood Reporter’s annual list of top stylists (an honor he repeated in 2021 and 2022). Roach and Zendaya met when the actress was just 14 years old. “She wanted to be a fashion star,” the stylist recalled in a Vogue interview. Together, they have succeeded in making her one.

Timotheé Chalamet and Zendaya.
Timotheé Chalamet and Zendaya.Dave Benett (Max Cisotti/Dave Benett/WireImag)

Dune: Part Two will hit theaters on March 1. Zendaya costars with actor Timotheé Chamalet. The sequel will follow Paul’s rise to power among the Fremen and the resulting rebellion against Emperor Padishah Shaddam IV.

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