One of the beautiful parts about Christopher Nolan’s take on Batman is that he gives a real concept behind The Dark Knight. There is always a reason to why each character has their own unique style in presenting themselves as they are. For Catwoman, Lindy Hemming gave her a costume that is “the female version of the Bat suit.” However, it is more simplified and a ready to go suit when Catwoman has to vanish unlike Batman’s wear you can trail him just by following his cape. Hemming addresses the concept behind Catwoman’s costume design and what inspired her give specific elements to the costume:
How would a woman who is sort of modern and trendy and cool, why would she go around wearing ears. (laughter) So there’s two nods to it in the film, one is that she is wearing ears, which you’ll see and is explained, but we said, “What is forming these ears? What’s the logic behind the ears?” And the logic you will see behind the ears is that when the goggles go up, the shape of the goggles make the ears, and we think it’s really cool.
We’re very, very pleased with it. (laughs) But oh God, we went through so many incarnations of how to make it happen, but I don’t know if I you’ve seen jewelers when they have jewelers’ loop or when you go to the dentist—that was my inspiration. When you’re at the dentist and they’re looking at you and they’ve got the thing that looks into your mouth and they’ve got magnification and everything, well just both of us looking at different versions of that and then we bought loads of sunglasses and we made them do things with cardboard and what we have you and we worked out what our principal was and then we got a product designer to come and work with us, so we then started making our version of a night vision goggle or magnification goggle that she uses when she’s doing her cat burgling and made it so that when it goes up, it forms the ears. Her heels are weapons and I mean, there are fashion shoes like that, but they’re like knives, so she uses them.
We like the silhouette of her a lot, we like that look a lot, and it seemed to suit Anne to go that way, and I was kind of keen to go with Thierry Mugler the designer and have much more of that shape in her costumes generally, which you haven’t seen any others of.
I won’t be able to look at a jeweler or a dentist the same way again. I won’t even look at heels the same way again. If her goggles are for magnification, why is she using them when she fights or rides the Batpod? Does her goggles have target lock on them that help her fight better? How in the world was she able to pay or get those? I didn’t peg her to be an engineer… Catwoman as Selina Kyle, Ms. Kyle’s style is much more retro and sophisticated. However, is that truly her style or just a disguise to make her appear that? Hemming answers
Anne is more fashionable but slightly retro looking, but in a different way, but I don’t
want to give too much away about Anne because her whole character is that you don’t really know…. you have to learn who she is through the film, so the costumes nod towards these things all the way until you find out. You’ll see when you see the whole scan of the thing that she’s got a look that goes through her day-clothes and into her Catsuit, and its all quite minimalist…
I think the word, “minimalist,” describes Selina Kyle/Catwoman very well. She does not have one disguise, she has many. It makes her a very complicated character just as complicated as Bruce/Batman. Match made in heaven, there.
Comment below about what you think of Catwoman’s concept costume.