I was writing and trying to figure out what characters were wearing. Corsets in a sub-tropical setting? No. Time for fantasy costume designs.
(On the left you see a Skywalker situation. Not intended. Not avoidable.)
I started doing research on the Edo period because 1) it is awesome and 2) its political structure and technology really gets the creative juices flowing. What do rich people wear when it’s friggin’ hot? What do the common people wear? Where do the textiles come from? Why?
But then I was all like, oh Edo, that’s so cliché. Let’s try to look at some other cultures.
Then I realized that I thought costumes look either “European” or “Japanese” because I totally didn’t understand the subtleties of historical dress.
And I still don’t. But I do respect now that the rabbit hole of high-tech, warm-climate historical costume goes very very deep, and just because a garment has layers and bell sleeves doesn’t make it Japanese.
I did just enough reading to crib and steal and think a little about function and source, but not too much, because 80/20 rule.
Learning is hard, but I will try to keep doing it.