According to Jane Holland, the costume designer for Netflix’s upcoming live-action adaptation of Cowboy Bebop, Faye Valentine’s appearance was designed as less-than-character-accurate because Holland personally “felt resistant to the idea of the lead female character being gratuitous or overtly sexualized.”
Holland defended her choice to radically alter Faye’s iconic appearance, a decision which has been met with considerable backlash amongst fans of the original anime, in a recent interview with Business Insider, explaining, “The sort of threads that I was pulling on to kind of draw it together came from the same place and the same thought process that I had to go through for Spike and for Jet.”
“I feel like it’s a respectful rendition of the anime,” the designer asserted. “I do have to say, as a woman, I felt resistant to the idea of the lead female character being gratuitous or overtly sexualized.”
She further argued, “It’s not about it not being revealing, it’s not about any of that, it’s actually got all of those elements. But my take on it is that it’s designed by a woman and it was made by a lot of women, and it’s worn by a woman.”
“So the same elements are there but they have just manifested in a different way,” she added.
Holland also claimed that the costume was changed for real-world practicality reasons in order to make actress Daniella Pineda more comfortable during night time shoots.
“There’s a lot of action,” she said. “We filmed over a long period of time through different seasons. We had a lot of night shifts in Oakland so Jet and Spike were fine, because they had practical, much more practical clothing, in the anime. She needed that as well,” – a curious argument given how actors are typically provided warming materials or allowed to change during moments when they’re not actively filming.
The designer then turned to some of the details on Faye’s outfit, noting that its fastening on had a “tiny little labyrinth” engraved on it, while “down the back of her leggings, there’s this abstract print. It’s the top view of block letters of ‘Babes in Arms,’ which is the name of the musical that the song My Funny Valentine comes from.”
“And Faye Valentine’s episode, when she’s cryogenically frozen, [is called] My Funny Valentine,” she concluded.
Interestingly, during the interview, Holland admitted that before signing on to Cowboy Bebop she was “ignorant” about just how concerned fans were regarding the respectful treatment of the source material, telling the news outlet that a number of fans had previously told her, “Don’t f–k it up.”
What do you make of Holland’s opinion of Faye’s outfit? Let us know your thoughts on social media or in the comments down below!