Christine Wada, who received her first career Emmy nomination for her costumes in Loki, wasn’t well versed in all things Marvel when she joined the Disney+ show. Good luck, professor Tom Hiddleston was there to save the day. The actor famously held a Loki school to give the cast and crew a crash course on all things God of Mischief.
“I took notes and raised my hand. mainly armament issues and horn issues,” says Wada to Gold Derby (Watch the exclusive video interview above). “Working with Marvel gives you access to so many knowledgeable people and so many resources, but having Tom tell you Loki’s backstory really informs your choices going forward and more importantly because [the first season] carved a new look at a new trajectory and a new world for Loki. Having that backstory and all that encyclopedia-like information helped all of us and I continue down the same path and make the design choices that felt right for the backstory.”
While Wada learned all about Loki’s horns and armor, the irony was that Loki didn’t wear either of these in season one, let alone his usual green outfit. Captured by the Time Variance Authority in the series premiere, which is also Wada’s episode template, Loki dons a brown jumpsuit and later a brown TVA jacket with “VARIANT” written on the back – a stripped down, unfamiliar look for the 2012 version of Loki, who hasn’t reformed yet and is finding himself.
“In creating the TVA and the first look for Tom in that jumpsuit, there’s a real intent to make him look vulnerable and really take him out of his, so it’s going to be shocking because you see him in his Avengers costume first and then just has to go all the way to the complete opposite of something that’s just boring, say, and then takes him into that kind of detective world,” explains Wada. “Sure, it was a TVA, middle management, kind of a uniformed look. But there are still our Loki elements. He undid the collar, the fit. There’s no way Loki would just give a piece of clothing and not start morphing it. And we actually talked about how Loki would take and locate those issued clothes.”
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The outfit that Loki primarily wore was also Lokified: a white button-down shirt with a collar that Wada gave a unique twist, and perfectly tailored pants made from 1960s sharkskin fabric that endured many runs and many fights would have. “They are very Loki as they change from brown to green. It’s a shark skin that goes from brown to a green shimmer,” says the costume designer. “These are regular dress pants and really Italian mohair suits from the 1960s. And it really takes a pro to wear these. And the fact that they fit perfectly. I think I can be proud that we made it through Season 1 without a stretch on Tom.”
Wada didn’t need to locate the costume for Sylvie (Sophia di Martino), but she designed a nursing-friendly costume with hidden zippers for Di Martino, who had just given birth to her first child. Di Martino called Wada a “genius‘ for your design.
“I think she literally had her baby 11 days, 14 days before that first adjustment [in London], and I just looked at her once and I was like, ‘She has to play so many roles. She has to be a mom and be a badass.’ I really wanted her to be able to focus on both at the same time. I wanted her to be successful,” Wada recalls. “My designer assistant at the time had just had a baby. So I really knew what it meant and how difficult it is. And society isn’t really ready for that. It really isn’t easy being a working mom. So that was the first thing we were working on when I came back. And it’s just something, I guess, that I’ve always wanted. I see that the comfort of the actors is always an important part of my work because it only enhances the success of their acting. It helps them get into character. I mean, admittedly, there are times when you want the costume staff to get in the way when the story calls for it. But ultimately, you hope that you give them the tools to only focus on what they need to focus on. And then everyone is successful.”
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