Today’s review features the amazing Galactic Knight dress by Catherine Elhoffer of Elhoffer Design. Taking inspiration from the jedi tunics from Star Wars, Catherine’s creation is a wonderful blend of themed geek fashion with runway style. While Catherine sews most of her designs herself, the Galactic Knight dress is the first production made garment for Elhoffer Design, which is an exciting sign of growth for the popular designer. First available for pre-order back in March, the dress is now in stock and can ship within 24 hours – Elhoffer Design can ship internationally, which is great!
Made from Beige Scuba and Chocolate Brown Stretch Vinyl, this dress has Vinyl Tabards down the front skirt, a Scoop Neck, attached Vinyl ‘straps’, and side seam pockets in the knee-length skirt.
As an extra bonus for The Kessel Runway readers, use code ‘Kessel15’ for 15% off from the Elhoffer Design Etsy store or website! Code is valid until August 31st 2016 – check out our earlier interview with Catherine for photos of her gorgeous Star Wars inspired dresses!
Shop the Galactic Knight dress on Etsy – US$200.00 to US$220.00 each – sizes XS to 3XL
The Galactic Knight dress is a sleeveless flared skirt dress of beige scuba stretch fabric, with an inset chocolate stretch vinyl belt, attached shoulder straps, and hanging front tabbards. The colours and fabrics give a distinctly prequel feel – especially the dark brown vinyl, which is similar to the leather tabbards worn by Anakin Skywalker and Bultar Swan. Vinyl can be creased, so I hung up my dress as soon as it arrived, to help the vinyl settle – please do not iron vinyl, it will damage the surface.
The top of the dress features a scoop neckline, in a tank top style. The vinyl tabbards are not attached at the shoulders, allowing you to adjust how they sit. This is also useful if you’re slightly bigger in the chest, as the vinyl doesn’t stretch quite as much as the dress fabric. Positioning the tabbards slightly wider on your shoulders will create a more dramatic shape, which looks amazing.
The tabbards are sewn into the top seam of the vinyl waistband. The waistband evokes the classic jedi belt, but with a fashionable twist – rather than being a straight band, the upper and lower front edges curve outwards. I love this wide fitted belt look, the darker colour adds to the flattering design, and the curved shape looks great on everyone. The band is sewn into the dress, rather than sewn on top of it, to reduce bulk. The vinyl has a soft backing, which is comfortable to wear against the skin, and the internal seams are all overlocked (serged).
I enjoy seeing neat, tidy stitching on garments – it’s a small detail but it makes so much difference. The edges of both the vinyl and scuba fabric are overlocked (serged), with a double row of top stitching along the neckline, armholes, lower hem, and vinyl shoulder straps. The shoulder straps are a single layer – that is, not double sided, to reduce bulk and allow the fabric to stretch where needed. While vinyl doesn’t fray like other fabrics, turning the edges over reinforces the edges and gives a much nicer finish than a raw cut edge.
Of course a great feature of this dress are the pockets! There is a pocket sewn into the side seam on each side, made from the same fabric as the dress. The pockets are large enough to comfortably fit your hands, keys,
comlink phone, credits etc. Personally, I don’t really mind if a dress has pockets or not, as I always carry a handbag with me, but it is an important detail for many customers. It’s clear Catherine designs her garments with practicality and comfort in mind.
The front tabbards are triangular in shape, rather than the standard jedi rectangular tabbards we see in the films. I simply adore this dramatic shape, it adds such an creative artistic element to the design, while still referencing the original inspiration. The hanging tabbards are double sided (two layers sewn together, right sides out), so the backing of the vinyl isn’t exposed as the tabbards move. They are not top stitched like the shoulder straps, so their shape is ‘softer’ at the edges but still hold their shape nicely, and the points are well defined.
It is hard to capture in photos just how amazing the beige fabric looks in person. The stretch fabric has a gorgeous sheen to it, a lustre that adds a feminine touch to the colour scheme. While some brown tones can be quite flat and drab, these two fabrics are warm and rich, coordinating very well together. The chocolate stretch vinyl also looks great in person – up close you can see the subtle faux leather texture.
The dress fabric feels quite light, but is thicker than the ‘t-shirt weight’ fabric often used for licensed skater dresses, so it has a lovely soft drape. I want to twirl around when wearing this dress, the combination of wonderful fabric and skater skirt shape creates great movement.
Like the hemming of the neckline, the lower skirt hem is also overlocked (serged), with two rows of top stitching. The hem length is around knee length if you’re 5’5″, so it will be longer if you’re shorter, and shorter if you’re taller. Catherine can even shorten the hem and/or adjust this dress for you, for a small additional charge – another great bonus of buying direct from a designer.
While the vinyl waistband is curved on the front of the dress, it follows the standard design of remaining straight across the back. This shape is more comfortable and practical for the concave curve of your back, and it just looks better.
There are no hanging tabbards on the back of the dress – the shoulder straps stop at the waist band at the back. As I’ve worn a jedi costume with floor length tabbards front and back, it makes sense to me to leave them out on the back for a real world garment. They bunch up when you sit down, get creased, and generally aren’t very comfortable! As I’m sure many of you would agree, having less bulk around your behind is more flattering too.
The finishing touch is the Elhoffer Design metal logo plate, hand sewn just below the back neckline, on the outside of the dress. I love this detail, it gives the dress a wonderful designer touch, adding to it’s uniqueness. When you get compliments while wearing this dress (and you will), you can let people know where they can buy one for themselves.
This dress has quickly become one of my favourite treasures in my wardrobe – a fashionable translation of the well-known jedi costume design into an everyday garment. While licensed companies are making yet more R2-D2 and Darth Vader dresses, it’s so refreshing to see a fan create something completely different to what is available. The striking design will drawn attention, yet only fans will clearly see the Star Wars reference. The smart touches like the curved belt, pointed tabbards and fabric choices take the design from costume to runway ready.
Catherine’s range of costume inspired dresses clearly show her skill and thoughtfulness when designing garments for everyday wear – every Star Wars fashion fan should own an Elhoffer Design dress.
Disclaimer: this item was supplied by Elhoffer Design for review purposes. The Kessel Runway stands by the position that this, and all of our reviews, are an honest analysis and opinion regardless of whether the merchandise was purchased or supplied by a manufacturer/retailer.