Style Inspiration: Catwoman of The Dark Knight Rises

Full disclosure: I had a major goth girl phases in my misguided early twenties. My aesthetic has changed immensely over the years–no more black pleather with chainey things, no more piercings jutting out of my face, no more Black No. 1 hairdye. But I still adore wearing black; it makes me feel self-possessed, crisp, and it has the potential for unrivaled elegant minimalism.

Cut to my in my PJs, working and zoning on some fluff tv in the background. The Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy as “fluff” reveals much about my dark broody nature but I digress. The trilogy is okay, I don’t feel particularly strongly about it, except for Selina Kyle’s character. The first watch, her semi-snarkiness seemed a bit over the top for me; the second watch, I was in love with her I’m-a-hardass-but-really-not vibe, her complicated morality, her color scheme choices. Something about the dark elegant costume pieces with retro inspired lines and feminine but not overtly sexual styling just mesmerized me. Which is to say: there shall be costume design emulation in my future.

catwoman style lines

The catsuit is functional and gorgeous as superhero costumes go. I love the curves of the waist and the almost corseted look of the curves there, as well as the raglan sleeve and the almost Mandarin stand collar. There is a curve hugging dress she wears in another scene which appears to have kimono sleeves and a 50s era waistline, but the styling is so perfect it doesn’t look like a period piece. In her airport scene, the suitjacket and skirt ensemble are pure 50s glamour. I haven’t been able to find much about the inspiration for the wardrobe, since most costume discussion of the film focuses mostly on the action hero suits and more obvious costume choices. But if I had to wager money on it, I’m betting there’s something interesting happening with femininity and contemporary womanhood driving those concepts.

And during my obsessive internet scouring for future sewing and styling inspiration, I found a few images from shooting of scenes that apparently never made it in the film. Imagine, Gentle Reader, my squeals of girlish glee and the jazz hands that ensued.

catwoman not in filmA capelet AND a coat dress. Maybe a little too glaringly vintage for the film, but really cool to see given a Hollywood treatment. Definitely trying to sew the capelet soon. There’s something about the aesthetic of the whole world that I deeply enjoy. Contemporary but with these nostalgic overtones in everything from the design elements and architecture to the story itself.

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