How the Blade Runner costumes were created

Blade Runner, released in 1982, became the first film in which people from the future were dressed in clothes from the past. This happened thanks to the costume designer, young Michael Kaplan. Ridley Scott praised his vision of clothing for the future “without hackneyed ideas about science fiction.”

Kaplan turned to 1940s fashion when creating images of the main characters. Rick Deckard’s costume was inspired by Humphrey Bogart’s costumes in The Maltese Falcon and Casablanca. Only the hat had to be abandoned: Ford had just finished filming in “Indiana” and flatly refused to star in a headdress again. Kaplan dressed the detective in a classic beige trench coat, brown shirt, and tie with a geometric pattern, and had to give up the hat.

When developing the image of the replicant, Rachel Kaplan was inspired by the divas of the golden era of Hollywood. The victory rolls hairstyle was inspired by Joan Crawford in Mildred Pierce; a languid look, red lips and a cigarette in his mouth, he borrowed from Lauren Bacall from “Deep Sleep”; and jackets with wide shoulders and tight skirts were inspired by Adrian’s suits: fur turned inside out and sewn in pieces.

Blade Runner later greatly influenced the fashion world. Punk designer Vivienne Westwood dedicated her 1983 collection Punkature to the film. In 1998, Alexander McQueen, Creative Director of Givenchy, dedicated the collection to the replica Rachel, based on the broad-shouldered silhouettes and perfect styling of the heroine. In the same year, photographer Steven Meisel shot model Eugenia Silva as Rachel for the cover of Italian Vogue.