Justice League costume designer Michael Wilkinson is defending the costumes worn by the Amazons in the new film. The superhero team-up movie brings together Bruce Wayne/Batman (Ben Affleck), Diana Prince/Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), Clark Kent/Superman (Henry Cavill), Barry Allen/The Flash (Ezra Miller), Arthur Curry/Aquaman (Jason Momoa), and Victor Stone/Cyborg (Ray Fisher) to fight Steppenwolf (Ciarán Hinds) and his parademons. Despite the cast of superhero favorites the film has struggled with both critics and box office numbers, getting beat by Disney and Pixar’s Coco over Thanksgiving weekend.
Before Justice League was even released it had a rocky start with pictures from the film starting a controversy online. It appeared that the Amazons’ costumes, designed by Wilkinson, were more revealing than what they wore in Wonder Woman where the costumes were designed by Lindy Hemming. Many people joined the conversation online, calling the costumes a “step back” after the success of female led Wonder Woman. However, several Amazon actresses including Brooke Ence who plays Penthesilea and Samantha Jo who plays Euboea defended the look.
In an interview with Fashionista, Wilkinson explained why the Amazons look different in Justice League.
For the majority of screen time in Justice League, the Amazons appear in 2017: one hundred years after the events of the Wonder Woman film. We wanted to show the passage time by having a slight development in their armor, so some of the lines and details are different.
It does make sense, Wonder Woman was set during World War I, while Justice League is a present day film. Even Wonder Woman’s own costume is slightly different as well as her reliance on more modern apparel (which Wilkinson says is “all custom- from head-to-toe“) throughout the film. The clothes the characters wear help tell the story of the film. There is a reason behind the choices a designer makes, like during the flashbacks to the Amazons of ages past. Wilkinson says:
Zack (Snyder) wanted a more primal feel. So we harkened back to a time where armor was more primitive, metal was less developed, and the Amazons had a more tribal feel.
If the actresses, most of whom are athletes themselves, are comfortable in the clothing chosen for them in the film than that is the most important part. These women are powerful and have trained hard for their figures and rarely do we see female bodies such as these on screen. As long as the choices in clothing make sense overall for the film, there really isn’t much to complain about.
Wilkinson is currently at work designing the costumes for Disney’s live action adaptation of their classic animated film Aladdin directed by Guy Ritchie.
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