Alexandra Byrne Describes The Design Process Behind The Costumes In THE AVENGERS

Costume designer Alexandra Byrne looks back at designing each of the costumes for Earth's Mightiest Heroes in Marvel's The Avengers. Ever wondered why Captain America's suit was so different to his WWII one or why Hulk didn't have his purple pants? Find out here!

Talking in the latest issue of Total Magazine, The Avengers costume designer Alexandra Byrne has looked back at the creation of each of the suit donned by Earth's Mightiest Heroes in Joss Whedon's beloved superhero ensemble. There's quite a few interesting tidbits of information here, although as we've already seen from various images from Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, we won't be seeing them back on the big screen again...


"Joss was very clear that Captain America's look was a bit more 'superhero' than it had been in his own standalone film. The big differences between the WW2 character and the modern character are the fabrics that are available. Today we have a lot of stretch fabrics and there weren't any 'technofabrics' then. Cap's costume was the most technically difficult. Even though he's a superhero, it has to have integrity. There were a lot of versions with helmets, hoods, cowels, ears/no ears. It's the costume I'm most proud of."

"I wasn't really involved in the Iron Man suit - that's all handled by the visual effects team, it's built by Legacy in America. It's such a mechanical piece, there's a very specialist team that work on fitting it with him. I researched the rock star t-shirts, though. We drew up a shortlist with Robert and Joss and we worked out which way we wanted to go. Joss is fantastic. He's a really wonderful writer, he created his fantastic script - what better starting point? It was a great production, we worked very hard but it was very upbeat."

"The thing about Thor is you've got a big red cloak so you need to take that on board... Everybody felt quite strongly that the cloak would not be good on the heli-carrier. We had to find ways of using the cloak, but also he's a god from Asgard, so we had to make him fit in with the other characters, too. Thor's costume is made of many different things. Obviously a lot of it looks like leather, but a lot of it is moulded in soft materials to allow the fighting. Parts are leather. Parts of it are metal, there are lots of different things in there!"

"There was talk about purple trousers. As Bruce Banner he has a nod to purple when we come to him in Cacutta; we give nods in respect to things without being completely blatant. It's always a fine balance, you have to do your research. And obviously his trousers have to grow! I grew up watching the TV show and I loved it when he burst his clothes. If you're telling a good story, and people are engaged in the film, you're allowed to suspend a little reality. It's carefully plotted throughout the film, there is a story that holds true."

"Because Black Widow's is a form fitting costume, it's all about the body, and Scarlett's got an amazing body! You have the joy of just enhancing everything she has. Of course you want her to be a strong woman too, and Scarlett brings that. With any costume there are huge practical requirements because of all the fight sequences and the action. But also it comes from a graphic novel so they need to have a heightened physicality in order to be believable as these extraordinary characters."

"The comics use purple for Hawkeye. We integrated maroon his costume took on a combat look. Jeremy saw it early on, and clearly the arms are on view, so he worked out and built his arms. It's a big undertaking to play a superhero, they worked really hard. You do a bit of fine-tuning to make it work on camera and some of the fabrics don't give you the muscle cut that is reflective of the muscle physique. The seam, the bulge of the muscle, in some fabrics it gets quite neutralized. The majority of it is the actor."


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