Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/Netflix
Even among other anime and manga, One Piece has always had a very distinct sense of style. Eiichiro Oda’s series blends Japanese and Western drawing styles, creating colorful characters easily distinguishable from their fictional peers. That vibrancy and internationally-tinged blend of styles extends to the very clothes the characters wear. In One Piece’s first storytelling arc alone, most of which was adapted for Netflix’s shockingly good live-action adaptation, Oda introduces Navy officials, a swordsman sporting a Japanese haramaki (belly band), and a guy named Dracule Mihawk, whose appearance suggests an extravagant Spanish vampire hunter.
Clothing has always been part of Oda’s sandbox. Every character has a “default” classic outfit, but as the series has gone on, “costume changes” have become a central feature of each shift in the story. Oda’s vibrant color spreads, which are collected in their own compendium series called Color Walk, imagine the central Straw Hat Crew in all kinds of scenarios, wearing all kinds of costumes. These colorful illustrations, which often appear ahead of chapters of the manga, span the gamut from ronin to cowboys. Others are simply Cool Poses in Cool Outfits.
Considering this broad and well-established stylistic palette, costume designer Diana Cilliers had her work cut out for her when tackling Netflix’s adaptation. Cilliers’ translations of outfits from the manga into live action plays a noticeable role in the adaptation’s success, because she successfully translates the looks of the characters without them feeling stiff or out of place. Plus, no minute detail was spared, from the exact design of Nami’s flowery bandana right down to the fecal-inspired trim on Klahadore’s jacket.