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Interview: Meghan Kasperlik on Designing the Intricate Costumes of ‘Moon Knight’

Moon Knight‘s costumes are incredible. Full stop, they’re the very best the MCU has to offer when it comes to superhero suits. The actual suit of Moon Knight is unlike anything that was ever designed before in the franchise yet and looks so cool when seen for the first time at the end of episode one. You can tell that there was an incredible amount of detail and depth while the suit was being conceived, which was one of the many challenges costume designer Meghan Kasperlik faced while making the series, where the fabric of the suit had to produce a tremendous amount of depth to it:

“So we didn’t make that fabric, we found that fabric and I wanted to make sure that it was a textured fabric so that the suit had a lot of depth to it. And it just wouldn’t go flat on camera because a three-piece suit being a flat fabric is just gonna go kind of flat.”

Working during the COVID-19 pandemic also caused many challenges for Kasperlik, who “could not fly to London to be at the fittings and do the suit” since the United Kingdom was under strict lockdown at the time:

“So FBFX was sending me bi-weekly packages of just fabric samples and talking about the 3D and the print level and the height of the 3D print, the colors, the concepting of that. So I would lay it all out on the table and mark which ones I liked, and get on the Zoom with them and say what I needed and what I liked about it, and then send back some samples, or they would send me more.”

In the comics, Moon Knight’s Moon Blades aren’t embedded in his suit, whereas in the series, they are. This was an early creative decision with Marvel:

“So it was an early discussion of where those should be placed and how that will work. And then it was a continued discussion throughout the series where we first saw the suit: does kind of come out and regenerate itself?”

In the fourth episode, Layla El-Faouly (May Calamawy) fights a Heka Priest. In designing the costume for the Heka Priest, Kasperlik described the process as being inspired by ancient Egyptian artifacts:

“The whole idea is that a Heka Priest was a real thing. It was a person that would embalm the mummies in the tomb. So we took it from the ancient Egyptian artifacts and information and then made it into our own and that he was still living. So there were some really cool aspects, including the Canopic jars– we 3D printed those and then put them on the belts. And the bracelets, the rings, and everything was custom made. They were metal and then we rubberized them for safety for the sock person.”

In crafting the look of Ethan Hawke‘s Arthur Harrow, which differs from the traditional MCU villain, as Harrow’s antagonist powers come from his mind instead of his physical body, Kasperlik collaborated with Hawke on crafting his look, which would resemble that of a cult leader:

“I brought up the idea of cult leaders. With a cult leader, you see them, and there’s nothing like super flashy or super interesting about them, except for one element, whether it be glasses or the hair. And in this case, I wanted to have his sandals be the more interesting element. And then Ethan brought into it the story of monks, who are part of the people, and there’s nothing flashy about them. So we took the elements of both of those, and I came up with the design of this linen outfit that he probably wears most of the show. There are a few different changes, but it’s always a similar silhouette, that this character is part of the people and seems inviting as you would maybe come and tell him your secrets. And then he has this incredible power.”

In designing Layla’s Scarlet Scarab suit, Kasperlik mentioned some easter eggs that were created early on in the series, that would hint at the character’s eventual transformation to the first Egyptian superhero in the MCU:

“There’s an Easter egg early on in Episode Four when met when Layla is in the asylum. Those sweatpants that she wears have the print of Scarlet Scarab on it. So it’s a little easter egg that I put there when the Scarlet Scarab happened. So there are little tie-ins to each character with their coinciding Avatar or coinciding persona that they have early on in the season. So with the Scarlet Scarab costume, we have a lot of Egyptian details and I wanted to add those in.”

There were also plenty of easter eggs that were added into Oscar Isaac’s Jake Lockley costume, during episode six’s post-credits scene:

“I took the Khonshu symbol so it’s on the center back of the collar. And then around that is the date of the first time that we ever see Moon Knight in the comics, which is in Werewolf By Night number 32 in 1975. So that is in there and then there is Oscar’s birthday in there. Michael Hernandez, his brother, was also a part of the show. And so I put his Mayan Calendar symbol in there. And then it incorporates with an Egyptian symbol throughout the collar, so it’s just like another little easter egg.”

You can listen to our full conversation below and stream all episodes of Moon Knight on Disney+ today.

[Quotes were edited for length and clarity]

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Written by Maxance Vincent

Maxance Vincent is a freelance film and TV critic, and a recent graduate of a BFA in Film Studies at the Université de Montréal. He is currently finishing a specialization in Video Game Studies, focusing on the psychological effects regarding the critical discourse on violent video games.

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