Designer Maya Mani Talks Team Arrow and The Flash’s Costumes

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Maya Mani who’s the costume designer for The CW DC Television series, breakdowns the costumes for Arrow (Stephen Amell), The Flash (Grant Gustin), Black Canary (Katie Cassidy) and Speedy (Willa Holland) for TV Insider,  explaining how the original costumes were designed, how she changed them afterwards.

Arrow:

Originally designed by Oscar winner Colleen Atwood (Alice in Wonderland, Memoirs of a Geisha, Chicago), Amell’s leather ensemble may appear to be a series of complicated straps and layers, but it’s actually only a jacket, pants, gloves, and Nike Frees that were adapted into boots for easier stunt work. In Season 2, Mani stayed true to Atwood’s designs while tweaking Oliver’s look as the Arrow: “I put more stretch [panels] into it because I don’t think anyone anticipates James Bamford’s fight choreography!” She worked on a complete overhaul that will be unveiled in Season 4. “It’s a different direction,” Mani teases. “When people see it, it will make total sense.” Thankfully, though, viewers don’t have to wait until the show returns on October 7 to get a glimpse of the new suit, which has thick shoulder pads and protective arm bands—a photo of it was revealed at this year’s Comic-Con.

The Flash:

Like Amell’s signature suit, Atwood also created Gustin’s scarlet Flash outfit, which had taken a beating by the time Barry faced off with the Reverse-Flash. “At the end of the season, everybody’s suits go in for touch-ups or rebuilds,” Mani says. Along the way, “minor alterations were made to make it easier to bend all of my extremities,” Gustin says, “but nothing about the look of the suit changed.” Except for one secret tweak: “Around the ninth episode, we stopped gluing the mask to my face and switched to a mask that just slipped on and off with a zipper,” he confesses. “That made me a very happy superhero.” Similar to Arrow, Central City’s own superhero will also be getting a suit upgrade for Season 2. Most notably, the lightning bolt emblem on the chest will be white going forward, instead of red. See a photo of the new suit, before the show returns on October 6.

Black Canary:

The gloves are a nod to the comic book character’s legendary fishnets. Mani updated Caity Lotz’s Canary getup for Cassidy so that “if Laurel didn’t have the holsters and the mask, she could just be a girl walking down the street.” A badass one, at that. “She had to earn it,” Mani notes of Laurel’s well-deserved transition to superhero in Season 3. “This was not handed to her on a silver platter. She worked very, very hard for it.”Adds the actress: “The best word to describe how I feel when suited up is empowered. Wearing the costume is not only a physical transformation but also an emotional one. A character’s wardrobe is an important part of the process for me.”

To read the full interview head over to TVInsider.com.

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