On Wednesday, Wonder Woman filmmaker Patty Jenkins tweeted a photo of her franchise star in a resplendent battle uniform that will be among the action-wardrobe choices in the 2020 sequel to the 2017 hit.
The new costume is a far cry from the metallic red-white-and-blue costume Gadot wore in the first film, but there’s a long tradition in Wonder Woman comics and screen adaptations of switching up the character’s fighting fashions.
You can hardly blame the heroine for trying to lasso some new fashion statements. The character’s familiar look is essentially the Bicentennial bikini you might get if Betsy Ross and Madonna collaborated on contestant costume designs for a new season of American Ninja Warrior.
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While Superman and Batman have costumes that have evolved in small ways over the years, they rarely have changed as drastically or as often as Wonder Woman (although Superman did rock an all-black wardrobe briefly in the 1990s comics).
Wonder Woman hasn’t matched Cher’s penchant for wardrobe changes (although the new outfit looks like it could have been in the singer’s Disco-era closet). Traditionally, Wonder Woman’s look has been altered by adding accessories (a cape, a star-spangled skirt, a Greek warrior helmet, etc.) or tweaking the design elements (her eagle logo, for instance, was made into a double-W design in the 1980s).
But there have been major makeover moments, too..
In the 1960s, for instance, there was the regrettable Mod make-over that made the greatest female character in American comic books look like Marlo Thomas as a groovy Laugh In cast member.
Then in 1972, in the era of bra-burning, Diana Prince ditched her Wonder Woman alter ego and her famed costume after re-thinking her fashion through the prism of feminism. The “Women’s Lib” issues of the DC Comics monthly series were still written and drawn by males, however, and Diana’s new look (white slacks and a matching turtleneck) was about as radical as a Woolite commercial.
On the 1970s television series Wonder Woman, star Lynda Carter was challenged by the physical requirements of an action role that required her to wear the skimpy satin costume that matched the comics. In some episodes she twirled away from that problem by wearing a sleeker suit for motorcycle riding or stealth missions.
“Understatement” wasn’t the watchword in the mid-1990s when Wonder Woman’s look was revamped for the landmark Kingdom Come story event. Kingdom Come was set in a dystopian future where the DC characters grapple with their legacy, corruption and despair. With all those bleak challenges, how hard was it for Wonder Woman to face them down while wearing her Golden Eagle look? Fans of this shiny-bird ensemble will say it was majestic, gleaming and informed by antiquity – sure, and that aesthetic might best be summed up as “Buick hood ornament.”
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