Punk Princess Leia from Star Wars

Character Name: Princess Leia Organa
Series: Star Wars
Specifics: punk vest interpretation
Cost: $35
Time: 20 hours
Started: March 2016
Completed: August 2016
Debuted: FanExpo 2016



Photo credits: Elemental, Kira, Adrien, Very Frank Pictures, and Glay.

Costume Information

In March 2016, I was in the middle of a Star Wars kick, punk vests were in the midst of making a comeback, and I saw this lovely piece of fanart by Julian Callos. I started thinking that it would be fun to make a Princess Leia-style punk vest, especially since I could totally picture Leia rocking such a vest.

I brainstormed a bunch of ideas for patches and pins I thought would be cool, and after about a month of playing with different ideas, I decided to go ahead and make a punk version of Leia.

The vest:

I started by finding a white denim jacket to alter. The one I found happened to be a cropped jacket, so I bought a larger size than I needed. I cut off the sleeves and took in the sides to transform the large jacket into a form-fitting non-cropped vest.

The buttons on the jacket were originally gold and had a brand name stamped into them. My friend Adrien and I worked together to remove the brand name and paint them silver. We wrapped the vest in plastic with only the buttons poking out, and then covered the buttons in layers of spray primer to get rid of the brand name. Then Adrien spray-painted them silver.

The patches:

The R2-D2 and Jedi Order patches were bought off Etsy. The rest of patches on the vest were made by some combination of myself and Adrien.

I conceptualized and drew the "Rebel Scum" and "Rebel Leader" patches by hand and then Adrien rendered and improved upon them in Illustrator.

I came up with the ideas for and made my own "Down with the Empire", "Stop Building Death Stars", and "Justice for Alderaan" patches. Then Adrien surprised me by making me better ones. I thought mine were good, but the versions he made were a hundred times better than what I came up with on my own. For example, he actually 3D-rendered parts of an X-wing for the "Justice for Alderaan" patch.

I came up with and designed the "Fight Human-centrism" and "End Outer Rim Slavery" patches. Adrien came up with and designed the "DisOBEY" patch on his own and gave it to me as a gift.

All of these patches were printed onto iron-on paper and then ironed onto white fabric. Then these patches were cut out and stuck to the vest with both heat-and-bond and fabric glue.

I made the large red Rebellion logo by backing a piece of red fabric with head-and-bond, cutting the logo out of it and then ironing it on to the vest.

The pins:

I made the "scruffy looking nerf herder" pin, but the rest of the pins were bought off Etsy. These pins are as follows: a Rebellion logo and a pin that simply says "no", and pins that say "Han Shot First", "Red Squadron" and "the force is strong with this one".

I actually collect social justice and resistance-related pins, so I was originally going to cover the vest with parts of my collection. In the end, I went for something simpler and more consistent with Star Wars canon.

The hair:

I was planning to wear my hair like Leia does in The Empire Strikes Back, but I ended up putting my hair up in her classic buns from A New Hope.

To do this, I split my hair slightly to the left of center and used elastics to tie it up into pigtails just above my ears. I then tied some hair extensions these elastics and twisted the mixture of my real hair and hair extensions into buns. I used bobby pins to secure the hair into place.

You can barely see it in photos and in real life, but I put fine hair nets around the buns to keep the hair in place and looking smooth.

The rest of the outfit:

I wore a pair of black jeans and a black tank top. I also wore black finger-less gloves I borrowed from my friend Becky and my knee-length lace-up black boots. I also wore a silver necklace of the Rebel logo that my friend Rin bought me for my birthday. I completed the look with red lipstick.


This is a really fun outfit to wear especially since it's both comfy and recognizable. I was really pleased by how warmly people reacted to this otufit. I had people excitedly shouting "punk Leia!" at me at cons and asking for photos. Also, many people took the time to appreciate the home-made patches, which I thought was really nice of them.

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