‘Loki’ costume designer Christine Wada on immersing herself in the Marvel Universe [Exclusive Video Interview]

Christine Wada, who earned her first career Emmy nomination for her costumes on “Loki,” was not well versed in all things Marvel when she joined the Disney+ show. Luckily, 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 armor questions and horn questions,” Wada tells Gold Derby (watch the exclusive video interview above). “Working with Marvel, you have access to so many knowledgeable people and so many resources, but having Tom give you the backstory of of Loki, it does really inform your choices moving forward and especially because [the first season] was carving out a new look at a new trajectory and a new world for Loki. So having that backstory and all that encyclopedia-type information helped all of us and me to keep moving along the same path and have the design choices that felt correct to the backstory.”

While Wada learned all about Loki’s horns and armor, the ironic thing was that Loki does not sport either of them, much less his usual green outfit, that much in the first season. Captured by the Time Variance Authority in the series premiere, which is also Wada’s episode submission, Loki dons a brown jumpsuit and later a brown TVA jacket that says “VARIANT” on the back — a stripped-down, unfamiliar look for the 2012 version of Loki who has not yet reformed and is finding himself.

“Creating the TVA and the first look for Tom in that jumpsuit, there’s real intention to make him look vulnerable and really take him out of his so it will be jolting because you initially see him in his Avengers costume and then you just have to go to the complete opposite of something that just is bland, shall we say, then taking him into this sort of detective world,” Wada explains. “Sure, it was a TVA, middle management, sort of a uniformed look. But there’s still our Loki elements to it. He popped the collar, the fit. There’s no way that Loki would just be given an item of clothing and just sort of not begin to transform it. And we really talked about how would Loki take this issued clothing and Lokify it.”

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The outfit Loki primarily was in was also Lokified: a white button-down shirt with a collar that Wada put a unique twist on and perfectly tailored pants that were made out of 1960s sharkskin fabric that survived a lot of running and a lot of fights. “They are very Loki in that they shift from brown to green. It’s a sharkskin that goes from brown and then has a green shimmer to it,” the costume designer shares. “They are regular dress pants and they really are Italian mohair from the ’60s suiting. And it really takes a professional to wear those. And the fact that they’re fit perfectly. I think I can be proud that we made it through Season 1 without stretchy fabric on Tom.”

Wada didn’t have to Lokify the costume for Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino), but she did create a nursing-friendly costume, complete with hidden zippers, for Di Martino, who had just given birth to her first child. Di Martino called Wada a “genius” for her design.

“I think she literally had her baby 11 days, 14 days before that first fitting [in London], and I just took one look at her and I thought,  ‘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 assistant designer at the time had just had a baby. So I also really knew what it means and how difficult it is. And society isn’t really set up for that. It’s not really the easiest thing to be a working mother. So it was the first thing we worked on when I got back. And it’s just something, I guess, I’ve always just wanted. I see that actors’ comfortability is always important part of my job because it only facilitates the success of their acting. It helps them get into character. I mean, granted, there are times where you want the costume staff to get in the way if that’s what the story calls for. But, ultimately, you hope that you give them the tools to just focus on what they need to focus on. And then everybody’s successful.”

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