Diana Prince returns, but this time she lives among mortals in the bold, sleek, and shoulder pads era of 1980s.
Starring Gal Gadot, Wonder Woman 1984, which premieres today (April 21) exclusively on HBO GO, captures the look and feel of the ‘80s in terms of clothing.
With costume designer Lindy Hemming at the helm, the film brings not only the mainstream looks of the decade but also the preceding decades and micro-cultures like the punk rockers and those in Western wear.
“There were lots of ordinary people who were still dressing from the late ‘70s, some still dressing from the ‘50s. There were the punks. We see Stetsons and cowboy boots and some bolos on people who have come into town from somewhere in Virginia to go shopping at the mall. There are Memphis print shorts and Hawaiian shirts, the extreme Jane Fonda-type workout leotards, leg and wrist warmers and headbands, as well as zip-up jackets tied around the waist with the arms hanging down,” shares Hemming.
She continues, “And of course the ‘80s ladies: I loved the original leather tailored suits—the ones with the puffy shoulders and different patterns of leather. There’s one with faux snakeskin panels set into a pink leather jacket with piped edges and a tight skirt.”
“To make a proper cross-section of people in the region at that time, we had to create a whole range of clothing.”
Big shoulders, bold colors
It is only when Diana attends a Smithsonian fundraiser that Hemming felt free to go full-on ‘80s.
“At the fundraiser you see more metallic fabrics, which had become popular just then. In secondhand shops we found loads of metallic dresses with frills and bows and such, so we created a mixture of younger people dressed like that and then older, more matronly ladies with Dynasty-style shoulders and draped dresses.”
Gadot relates, “It was fun to go through the process with Lindy of finding the right looks for Diana during the ‘80s, because we wanted to keep the tones very specific.”
Power suits and fanny packs
In devising the looks for male characters, Hemming put Pedro Pascal’s Maxwell Lord in suits reflective of the era and Lord’s desire to look the part of a wealthy businessman.
The film also contains a montage of looks for Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor designed to entertain the audience with a showcase of men’s options from the ‘80s.
“We had fun with it, of course, but in the end, for his ultimate outfit, it was not unlike our thought process for Diana: what were people wearing back then that you could put on now and look good?” director Patty Jenkins asks.
She adds, “All of it had to appeal to the military man in him who wants function and efficiency—movement, pockets, and obviously the most comfortable shoes he’s ever put on in his life. And the fanny pack, which makes perfect sense to him and gave us a great ‘80s touchstone moment.”
In fact, Pine found Steve’s primary accessory so handy that he bought one for himself. “I actually ended up getting my own fanny pack and used it constantly while I was biking around Washington, DC,” he shares.