NO CAPES! The Costumes of INCREDIBLES 2
NO CAPES! We know why the heroes in INCREDIBLES didn’t have capes – Edna Mode, darling! But there is so much that goes on before the movie gets to the theaters, one of the most important things is costuming. Get a behind the scenes look at the costumes of INCREDIBLES 2, including an inside look at the wardrobe and costumes created for Elastigirl, Edna Mode, and Evelyn Deavor.
I have a few tidbits to share from my time with Character Artist Marsigliese, Shading Art Director Bryn Imagire, and Tailoring Lead Fran Kalal. These are the talents behind all the costumes you will see on screen when INCREDIBLES 2 opens on June 15, 2018.
Character Artist Deanna Marsigliese seems to be the perfect fit for the INCREDIBLES 2 because she wears the mid-century mod aesthetic in her everyday wardrobe! Impeccably dressed and so put together she was incredibly nice and welcoming when we had the chance to sit and talk about the costumes in the film.
With a love of art and design and an especially strong passion for costume and design, Deanna says she thinks that’s the reason why the creators of INCREDIBLES 2 brought her in to work on the film.
Costume design for animation is no different than costume design for live action.
Two areas of character costume design.
1. Creatively theoretical
Creatively theoretical is the abstract thinking through storytelling. She will focus on what she’s trying to say through costume or storytelling through clothing. She started with Edna’s fashion line as an exercise into her character, by looking at the first film.
Edna’s Personal Style
- Bold and dramatic
- Ahead of her time
- Mid-century aesthetic
- Adds her own elements
Deanna was trying to find Edna’s true motivation when designing her fashion line.
How do I create a fashion line for a fashion designer who loathes the people she’s dressing?
Ultimately she decided that Edna’s style was bold, dramatic, and heroic. Edna would use the fashion line as a vehicle to celebrate heroes and their powers.
2. Creatively practical
Costuming allows us to become the character. Not to think of the costume as separate from the character but as one. Costume choice should support the storytelling and if they’re done well they will tell you about the character and their motivations.
Here’s where the creatively practical comes into play. With hundreds of background characters that need to compliment the world, they should have costumes rooted in a mid-century mod. The people [of the era] were impeccably tailored. How do they accomplish this task?
- Studied sewing patterns, bold shapes, a perfectly tailored fit.
- Needed to find a look that is iconic, stylish, but will compliment and not distract from principle characters.
- Designed a complete wardrobe for each body type to share (men/women/children).
- Once we decide on the wardrobe pieces we come up a sewing pattern, using the same pieces and changing small parts, i.e. change the collars, pockets, etc.
Deanna modeled the pieces and a tailor came in to look at the styles, patterns, etc. Draw-overs (notes on the designs) and detailed notes on each piece were given to the creators and each piece is specifically tailored using their software. You may not think about it, but glasses, earrings, hair, etc. are also a part of each costume and each piece needs to be created. That is certainly a ton of work and attention to detail.
Shading Art Director Bryn Imagire also worked on the first INCREDIBLES film. On the first movie, they used collage to create stylization for the characters/costumes in the artwork. She says that INCREDIBLES 2 respected the design ideas and philosophy from the first film and because the film isn’t set in a specific time period they could choose to use designs that are more current if they thought it might work better.
Things are easier now than the first INCREDIBLES. These are not garments, they are a part of the character. In the new film, we made a garment that fit the characters and the logo doesn’t stretch.
We made a custom piece (6” across) with the Logo embroidered so that we had a tangible piece to feel and touch as a reference for the Super Suits and wardrobe.
Look who they chose for character references!
- Paul Newman for Bob
- Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe for Helen
- Diane Keaton for Evelyn
Styles ideas for the characters
- Plaid, pearl buttons, and clean, bold lines for Evelyn.
- Violet needed to be rebellious, we looked more toward 1960s clothing (i.e. rolled up jeans, etc.)
- Dash is like a normal kid and wears t-shirts and jeans. Fun fact: they created one t-shirt pattern and made it into different colors for him using red, yellow, orange combinations.
- Jack-Jack is only wearing diapers when Bob is home with him alone. He’s in his onesies when Helen is home.
- Helen gets a new super suit because she has to run around in the dark a lot, the darker colors worked better.
For something to be beautiful, it doesn’t have to be pretty. ― Rei Kawakubo
Evelyn Deavor’s wardrobe
How did they come up with Evelyn’s wardrobe?
- Looked at Japanese designers and they always looked really comfortable as compared to what they were creating for their models.
- Looked at nature, animals, mushrooms, flowers.
- Bryn made practical models out of paper and metal to help her think abstractly.
- How would Evelyn think of the environment? Ideas to use/reuse discarded materials in a new way.
- Bryn used collage as a quick way to get ideas on paper. Fun fact: Brad Bird (writer/director) didn’t like any of the shiny ones.
Evelyn’s wardrobe style
- Bohemian, smart
- Masculine style with feminine fit or details. Blurring the gender lines.
- Bold/striking patterns
- Faux zebra fur
The first passes were a lot of colors and away from the bohemian style. They ended up with a neutral palette, some were masculine, some soft and feminine.
Tailoring Lead Fran Kalal says they have to start from scratch and work with character artists for each film. Each costume has to be created for each character. Think about that for a minute. Every costume has to be created for each character. Every single one. That is a lot of work! No wonder it takes so long for a film to come to completion.
They had to build Edna’s wardrobe, including pajamas that lived up to Edna Mode. How did they do this?
- Built a 3d sculpture in the software
- Cut the sculpture
- Make it into a pattern, like a sewing pattern
- Turn that pattern into a bunch of triangles – attached to springs
- Tell it how to behave – they program the outfits to move like one fabric or another
They go through lots of iterations to make sure the garment moves exactly how they want it to and that it looks how they want it to look. They even have simulation mesh to make sure it flows the right way!
Edna’s new iconic dress was designed by Bryn and they had a tiny prototype of the dress. They created a collage and it felt like Origami. The outfit was designed with neoprene in mind – Bryn even brought some in so they could look at it and feel the texture. Brad wanted to have extra movement in the back of Edna’s dress.
Evelyn’s wardrobe is created with luxurious materials.
- Faux zebra hair
They spent a lot of time and effort to make sure the logo doesn’t move when Elastigirl moves and stretches. They let the fabric stretch – they don’t break the texture of suit when she moves.
The Family’s Hair
I know you aren’t thinking about the family’s hair, but it’s a part of them and has to be taken into consideration. The family’s hair went through an upgrade for Incredibles 2. It needed to retain the iconic shape and still move naturally. Now, you know.
They made the clothes stick to the body of the background characters. Each shirt has 250 points on the computer software. That’s a ton of work, so they made it easier on themselves by using the software to their advantage.
Creating 12 unique prints and six different body types they were able to get 72 uniquely costumed male background characters. They just refit the clothes for each body type. For the women, they created 20 unique garments and seven body types and were able to get 64 uniquely costumed characters for the women.
We didn’t get the chance to talk villains, but here’s a sneak peek at some of the baddies you will see on June 15th.