Background: I had the good fortune to meet and interview top costume designer Deborah Landis when she visited Glasgow School of Art on Wednesday this week. For those not familiar with her work, her CV includes: The Blues Brothers, American Werewolf in London, Animal House, 1942, Coming to America (for which she received an Oscar nomination), The Devil Wears Prada, The Bourne Identity, Michael Jackson's red Thriller jacket, and, of course, Indiana Jones' iconic Raiders of the Lost Ark outfit. During her many years in the business, Landis has been president of the Costume Designer’s Guild, founded the David C. Copley Centre for Costume Design at UCLA, and now lectures and writes books about her craft, and recently curated an exhibition of Hollywood costume for the Victoria & Albert museum in London. Charming and witty, she was very obliging when I asked her to give me a small insight into the evolution of Indiana Jones image, a subject of much debate here and on other websites. It was literally a five minute interview, but she gave a very concise precis of the development of Indy's image. As such, I've presented her words as a straight transcription with only a small amount of adjustment for ease of reading: On Indy's jacket: "It’s great to be able to tell this story first-person, because it was my jacket, I created it. I had designed the 1941 costumes for Steven Spielberg, it was a big flop but I did my job the same way I always did, it was nobody’s fault [that it failed], that happens. Then I went to Chicago to design The Blues Brothers, and as you know Steven Spielberg is in the final scene of the film. So he came to the Chicago set and while he was there he said: ‘look, I’m working on a project with George Lucas, and I’d love you to design the costumes. It’s a low-budget movie, it’s a B-picture.’ I recall saying: ‘okay, so we’re are going to be A-people working on a B-picture’. "So he sent me the script. The script made absolutely no sense to me because it had lots of ghosts coming out of the Ark of the Covenant, and you're trying to imagine what it’s like on paper, and that's hard, right? So I read the script, and then I came back down to LA and we continued to talk about it. Steven and I sat and watched a couple of movies together. We watched China, which is an Alan Ladd picture from the 1940s; we watched the Lost Treasure of the Incas, starring Charlton Heston as Harry Steele. It was made in 1952, and he [Heston] really wears the costume, more or less, of Indiana Jones. Then I watched The Greatest Show on Earth, in which Charlton Heston wears a brown leather jacket and a brown fedora, pretty much the costume of Indiana Jones. And if that wasn’t enough, Steven used to run Saturday morning adventure serials, where a lot of these guys, because it was just post-war, were wearing flight jackets and brown fedoras. "So I had an archetype to work from, and if you ever look at the Hollywood Costume catalogue I wrote for the V&A, I actually have a picture in it that Steven Spielberg drew for me. It’s like something done by a 12-year-old boy, with a brown leather jacket, big boots, a brown hat and dressed all in khakis, and with the name Indiana Jones. So I knew the brief, I'd had it fixed very clearly in my head, so it wasn’t as if I had to make it up on my own. Now, that’s basic research. Every costume designer goes into a movie reading the screenplay and talking to the director, and then figuring out what this person wants, and doing research. So all those films that I watched, all that information from Steven, was my research. "After that, all I had to was make the costume, and that was a big journey. For instance, *digs fingers into bi-swing on the back of interviewer's jacket* you have a small action flap there. Now I knew that Harrison, or Indiana Jones, was going to be using a whip, and I wanted to be able to keep this jacket tight around the waist but able to have Harrison use his arms very fluidly and be able to really throw that whip. So this action flap on the back of the Indiana Jones jacket had to be really deep because I wanted it to be zipped in the front but to have a lot of mobility in the action. I also wanted him to have a really big hero silhouette. I didn’t pad the shoulders, but what I did do was I created a jacket that finished at the waist, and on the sides of the first Indiana Jones jacket in the first film, it has brass D-rings, which allows you to make the waist quite tight. If you do that, you create a V-shape that really makes you look like a superhero and really creates a very athletic silhouette. So to create that masculine silhouette was very much in my mind. I was creating a hero. On Indy jacket reproductions: "I've seen so many reproductions of the jacket, and they’re always wrong, the main thing is that they get the leather wrong. The first one I made, the leather was very soft. I aged it myself with sandpaper and a suede brush, and the copies never get that quite right." On Indy's fedora: "In the creation of the hat, I’ve heard Penny Rose, who’s the designer for Pirates of the Caribbean movies, tell similar stories about trying to find the right tricorn for Jonny Depp. This is very much the same process. I went to Berman's and Nathan's [in London] which is now Angel’s Costumiers, where I emptied every fedora they had, every grey and brown and black fedora, on to the floor of the fitting room. So Harrison Ford was knee-deep in fedoras, and then we went through them one a time time trying each on. "Now everyone knows how impossible it is to find a hat that looks good on them. Some people say ‘I’m not a hat person’. You are a hat person, because in the old days you would have had to wear one, you just don't have the availability of the right hat and you don’t have your personal costume designer to help you find it. So, we went through hundreds of fedoras, and I found the right crown height, the right brim width, which were not together on the same hat, and then I had that correct crown height and brim width made bespoke on fedora in London. Her last word on Indy's outfit: "The most important thing about the jacket is that all costume designers work the same way. We work so specifically, and we work the same way on hits and flops. But we don’t create the icons, the audience creates the icons. When you fell in love with Indiana Jones, I may have had a part in it, and Steven helped, but it’s the public that creates the image, it was the public that made him a hero."