Special Sneak Peek at the Costume Design Process for Incredibles 2
I can’t believe it’s been over a month since I visited Pixar Studios to go behind the scenes of the making of Incredibles 2. The movie is set to open in theaters in thirty-one days and I can’t wait to see the whole film. During our visit, we had the opportunity to see the first twenty-three minutes and a few key scenes, and I’ve been anxiously awaiting more since then. Today I’m sharing about the costume design process for ElastaGirl, Edna Mode, and newcomer Evelyn Deavor. Our panel included Shading Art Director Bryn Imagire, Tailoring Lead Fran Kalal, and Character Artist Deanna Marsigliese.
The presentation started with Deanna Marsigliese, she talked to us about how she creates the wardrobe for the characters we see on the screen. I honestly have to say this woman has some impeccable style. I loved that she showed up with some of her vintage pieces to show off and she even dressed in some sixties vintage clothing. Just one look at her and you could tell she’s serious about her love of vintage fashion.
Deanna brought in samples from her own closet for us to see the era she chose to pull her style inspirations from. When tasked with designing for Edna she decided to think outside the box.
To start the process Deanna shared that she started with what she knew about the character Edna. She knew she was bold, dramatic, and she even had superheroes afraid of her. The whole theme of the Incredibles 2 is designed around a mid-century modern. Deanna used design patterns from the 50s to create her costumes for Edna. She even created models and several of the character’s costumes pieces so Pixar animators could get a feel and look at the designs while they worked on the computer.
One thing that struck me as the most interesting is learning about how designers work with animators to ensure their vision is created and comes to life through animation. Almost everyone we talked to that day was excited about all the new things they were able to achieve with Incredibles 2 due to advancements in technology since the first movie.
Insider Tip: When you see the movie be sure to look at the change in the Incredibles 2 logo and the first movie. The team at Pixar were happy they would finally get the logo to move with the clothing on the characters compared to the first film where it was created more like skin.
Dressing Background Characters
Next Fran Kalal talked to us about her job in the filmmaking process. She is responsible for dressing all the background characters. When thinking about animation movies we may think it’s easier to create costumes for the characters, but it’s actually just as costly to dress all the characters for an animated film as well. It would cost the studio an arm and a leg to create individual style profiles for all the characters in the film, so they create generic design models for male and female characters.
The team at Pixar created 12 unique garments for men, that can be used on 6 different body types. That gives them 72 unique options for the male background characters in the film. Using this method cuts down on cost and work required by the team when designing the ‘extras’ we see in the background.
For the women background characters, they created 20 unique garments, that can be reshaped to 7 different body sizes, giving them 64 unique female characters.
Individual Character Updates:
As I mentioned before, the team at Pixar all talked about the updates they were able to make in this film that they couldn’t create in the first movie. Several of the characters received design updates to fit the mid-century modern style and to include improvements in wardrobe design and movement.
- Dash: Although he was the less expensive character to create a wardrobe for, Dash’s character benefited from a few updates in his overall look, and wardrobe. The team used the same t-shirt and shorts on Dash, and just changed the colors or designs when needed.
- Jack Jack: We get to see so much from Jack Jack in this film, including two different design options for each of his parents. When he’s with Mr. Incredible (Bob), he’s only in a diaper, compared to when he’s with Elastagirl (Helen), he’s in actual clothing.
- Elastagirl (Helen): Roles are reversed in the new film, so Elastagirl gets an updated wardrobe to include her character’s new job and role as breadwinner for the family. She also benefits from the new hair tool used in this film that improves hair movement and bounce in this film.
- Edna Mode: We see more of Edna’s fashion style in this movie, along with an expansion of her fashion line Mode.
Bryn talked to us about her work on the Family, Elastagirl, Evelyn Denvor, and Edna Mode. In the first film, the suits were actually more like skin. It made the logo overstretch and act weird. The new logo is more like an element on top of clothing, so it moves the way it was designed to move. Bryn was even able to add a fabric pattern and textures to the logo, so it looks much more realistic.
She created a custom logo for the team to touch and feel while working on shading and design of the logo for the film. She noted that it’s always good to have a model as a frame of reference for people to touch and feel while working on these kinds of designs.
Bryn decided to look at actors and other entertainers who embodied the characters for style elements for their wardrobe. For Elastagirl they looked at Mary Tyler Moore, Audrey Hepburn, and Marilyn Monroe. For newcomer Evelyn Denvor they looked at Patti Smith for a lot of her costume ideas. Violet was the only character who was not dressed in the 50s inspired wardrobe instead they looked to the 60s to create her rebellious look.
When working on Edna Bryn looked at Japanese designers like Rei Kawakubowho always looked more comfortable in their own clothing compared to what they created for their models. She wanted Edna’s costumes to look more like a piece of sculpture than a piece of clothing.
Visiting Pixar gave me a whole new appreciation for animated movies and the work that’s involved with creating these films. There are so many great things to look forward to in Incredibles 2, be sure to grab your tickets early. You can purchase advanced tickets on Fandango now.
In INCREDIBLES 2, Helen (voice of Holly Hunter) is called on to lead a campaign to bring Supers back, while Bob (voice of Craig T. Nelson) navigates the day-to-day heroics of “normal” life at home with Violet (voice of Sarah Vowell), Dash (voice of Huck Milner) and baby Jack-Jack—whose superpowers are about to be discovered. Their mission is derailed, however, when a new villain emerges with a brilliant and dangerous plot that threatens everything. But the Parrs don’t shy away from a challenge, especially with Frozone (voice of Samuel L. Jackson) by their side. That’s what makes this family so Incredible.
INCREDIBLES 2 opens in theatres everywhere on June 15th!