Rod Stewart would agree

Melissa Benoist, as production ramps up on Supergirl, wears it well.  Making reference to the outfit made by award-winning costume designer Colleen Atwood.

Speaking to Variety, Atwood, who also made costumes for Arrow and The Flash, spoke about what it takes to design a costume for a superhero TV series.

For example, on the CW’s hit Flash, Grant Gustin’s outfit not only looks good on TV despite its muted colors, but is also functioning.

“The thing with a superhero costume is it’s an incredibly functional, high-functioning costume because of the level of activity that takes place within it. So as I develop the costume and see the actor, I see A, what they look great in, what makes them look super and, B, what the actual costume has to do for them, physically how it has to function. Then I have an overall concept,” Atwood said.

And one might even say with these outfits it’s the shoes.

“Designing the right kind of shoe that have a cool factor, but that the guys don’t slide around in. Especially for The Flash, he really runs in that costume, so it’s a big deal for him. I took the shoes that he had been training in and built his shoe over them to make it,” Atwood said.

For The Flash it may come down to two or even three outfits for Gustin to wear.  But as for the mask to hide Gustin’s Barry Allen identity, it’s all about details,

Laughingly, Atwood said “the headgear is always tricky and a great challenge to pull off, to make a guy look cool with a bathing cap on.”

Some bathing cap.

But if anything, the suit must also be comfortable.  Twenty-five years ago, when The Flash with John Wesley Shipp in the title role came out, the costume was bright and overtly comic book in nature…and quite bulky which made for a sweaty situation.

“For the scene work they do, I made it so you could unzip it really quickly, and so he could just open it in between when he had more than a two minute break, which kept it from being a hotbox,” Atwood said, as Variety noted how materials and techniques have evolved over time.

As for the slightly darker Arrow Atwood said that outfit would make it in today’s world.

“That was a big goal with Arrow and the way the story was set up with his character,” Atwood explained.

For Supergirl, Atwood took a feminine, almost modest approach to Benoist’s version of Supergirl’s red and blues with subtle hints of yellow. Interviewer Laura Prudom offered high praise for Atwood’s take, saying it “prioritizes practicality over…revealing a lot of skin” unlike other costumes dating back to Lynda Carter’s star-spangled swimsuit as Wonder Woman in the 1970’s.

“I feel like there’s a real love for Americana with Supergirl, and I wanted to really embrace that heart of women — there’s enough skin out there in the world, it’s not for everybody and Melissa was just the right person to pull it off” she said.

Atwood also fell in love with the story.

“I wanted the character to have a strength and presence of self without a bunch of stuff,” Atwood said.

A weak script killed the 1984 Supergirl movie with Helen Slater, who ironically plays Kara’s Earth mother Sylvia Danvers, despite her grace and charm.

Melissa Benoist’s Supergirl costume is beautiful on her.  And in the right light, the colors pop.  The one thing that got some people worried were the very high boots.  Upon multiple looks it adds the right amount of attitude without being so sexy. To me a woman doesn’t have to show her skin to get a man’s attention.  Modesty is character; and that can be beautiful.


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