I’ve been calling them the Dune Fab Four – Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Florence Pugh, and Austin Butler, the young cast of Dune: Part 2, who just kicked off the press tour last week – because of the place they each occupy in pop culture, all of them internet fixations in their own right, and together… well… it’s a publicist’s dream. That said, in terms of, like, entertainment factor outside of the film, it’s probably really just three of them who are going to be giving the kind of interview and video moments that will get the most attention.
Which is why the latest Vogue Off the Cuff feature, with Timotheé, Zendaya, and Flo works so well.
It's basically ten minutes of them riffing off each other, and it’s not that there are major quotable moments, it’s just their energy – these big stars of the same generation, who speak that common language, who understand each other on the same level of fame and celebrity, kinda just vibing and hanging out.
What I’m most interested in, and for the purpose of this post, is what they say at the end, when they’re doing a rapid fire and Flo shows Timmy and Z a photo of a piece of an outfit, not the whole outfit but just a piece of it. And Timmy is able to clock it right away. For fashion lovers, most of us should be able to ID that look too. But that’s my point – Timmy is our kind of fashion lover in how we catalogue in our memories specific celebrity looks from specific occasions, and he does it again a few seconds later when he's asked to name his favourite press look from the first Dune movie and he immediately comes through with Zendaya’s in Paris; it was Alaia, and while, sure, maybe they edited it to seem that way, I do really believe that he has a fashion brain, that he’s wired to retain this kind of content.
The Vogue feature ends with all three of them promising that there’s going to be “a lot of fabric” and a “lot of looks being served” on the Part 2 press tour. You don’t know how happy this makes me. Of course I’m excited to see all the fabric and the looks, but it’s just the unapologetic, overt acknowledgement of it. Acknowledging that this is what people are waiting for – and they’re sitting down for a Vogue video so, yes, it tracks. But that’s what I mean: it’s a press tour for a F.I.L.M. and we’re no longer pretending that the press tour just involves them talking about making the movie and what the story is about and character development and etc etc. They’re selling the movie with their wardrobes, literally. A huge part of making sure everyone knows about this movie and wants to go see it is through what they’re wearing.
For the converted, I know you know. And you must be tired of me going on about it. But I promise you, there are still people out there who are like, stop asking about the clothes, it’s so disrespectful! Here are three of the biggest stars of young Hollywood making sure we look at the clothes and focus on the clothes and obsess over the clothes. And are openly guaranteeing that they will be wearing the clothes that we will thirst over. I appreciate it.
Now to the clothes, or rather Zendaya’s clothes. This Bottega Veneta in Mexico City the other night? The high collar to the underboob crop, that leather band, the holsters on the side… and brown, dark brown, evocative of sand and desert landscape…
Again and again, she is operating (with Law Roach) at a level that others could never.