#ELLEExclusive: Costume Designer Christine Wada Talks About Marvel's New Show Loki's Fashion Trajectory Advertisement
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#ELLEExclusive: Costume Designer Christine Wada Talks About Marvel’s New Show Loki’s Fashion Trajectory

It's all in the details!

By Ruman Baig  July 20th, 2021

From his first appearance in the marvel universe, Loki’s notorious persona and flamboyance were accurately captured through his costumes. In the initial movies, you see the power-hungry version of him that is adamant about taking his brother down and rule Asgard (eventually the planet), which depicts in the way he dresses, like a potential ruler. The leather layered elaborate costumes with horns and capes are swapped for simplified outfits in the later films as his character arc deepens and he comes into his own.

Loki

Image via: Disney+ Hotstar Premium 

In the recently debuted series on Disney+ Hoststar Premium, Loki’s story once out of his brother’s shadow focuses on different angles altogether as he falls in love with the lady version of himself (Sylvie). His silhouettes in the show follow the shift in the narrative. Sylvie is a concoction of multiple characters in the comic books and has an agenda of her own. The exciting part about the series is that it has introduced the concept of variants, where newer versions of familiar characters are introduced in a new light.

Loki

Image via: Disney+ Hotstar Premium 

To further break down the analogies behind what goes into the making of these grand costumes, we sat down with costume designer Christine Wada. In an exclusive conversation with ELLE, she spoke about the thought process behind creating the garments for each of these characters and how even in the world of superheroes, unrealistic costumes don’t fly.

ELLE: Loki’s costume has undergone various transformations over the years in order/ Since the TV show portrays him at his most vulnerable yet, what changes did you make to his original costume?

Christina Wada: The season starts off by stripping him off his armour which was the starting point for us. I didn’t really make any changes to his original costume.

Loki

Image via: Disney+ Hotstar Premium 

ELLE: What was your thought process behind designing each of the Loki variants’ costumes? Richard E Grant’s costume, for example, was typically comic-like and even resembled Vision’s Halloween costume from WandaVision! 

CW: The idea was to pick elements from the different eras and characters Loki might be stuck in at the time and then adapt and scavenge it into a costume. For a lot of the characters, I took inspiration from a specific timeline, or a task or a moment in time. For instance, somebody using a set of bicycle handlebars inspired the horns, so it was a culmination of a lot of vision and history. Then came the part where we bounded the looks in the classic Loki colour palette of black, green and gold.

Image via: Pinterest

ELLE: The internet exploded over the simple turtleneck worn by Loki in one of the episodes where he confirmed his bisexuality. Did you give special attention to what he would be wearing during this scene?

CW: One thing we wanted to do through his looks was to break down his personality in multiple facets and show his vulnerability. The turtleneck added a bit of softness to that moment, and it worked for the atmosphere he was in. His costumes went through a natural progression and encapsulated his various moods and vibes. For example, towards the end, we established a little bit of a heroic moment by adding the harness to his costume, a detail that only those who observe closely can translate into an emotion.

Image via: Disney+ Hotstar Premium 

ELLE: Your thoughtfulness of adding concealed zippers to Sylvie’s costume so that Sophia Di Martino could pump or nurse her baby between takes has sort of gone viral. Can you tell us about any other features of the costume which you put special thought into?

CW: I think every part of the costume had a special thought. It began when I thought that every piece of design should have a purpose, and in the Marvel world, we get the room to have fun with the costume but also combine history and functionality together. What is their weapon, where do they come from, what do they need to guard, and what do they want to reveal: there are so many elements that come into play in the initial stage. For her costume specifically, I didn’t want it to reveal the gender right off the bat, and that was important throughout the whole series, so the armour, battle suit and the drop-crotch pants became pivotal in the whole idea of keeping it genderless.

Image via: Pinterest

ELLE: Hyper-sexualisation of its female characters has always been a deeply concerning issue in the extended superhero multiverse. Did you consciously steer away from the sexualised female superhero trope while designing Sylvie’s costume?

CW:  Absolutely, because Sylvie is a badass, and I think when her character doesn’t hold her back from anything, then why should her costume appear to hold her back from any action or dialogue. So, I thought it was very important to peel away from gender stereotypes to just be about her performance and arc. I also feel like you want to believe in these characters and root for them, which is hard to do if they are running around in high-heels. To take these characters further away from reality by dressing them in completely unrealistic ways makes it unrelatable for the audience. It is vital for the audience to relate; that is the most important message for me.

Image via: Pinterest