The costume designer for Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) explains her DIY approach to Harley’s wardrobe.
During an interview with Collider, costume designer Erin Benach explained the reasoning behind Harley’s DIY looks and why they’re important for her narrative. In particular, when discussing the pink velvet halter top paired with the glittering, colorful caution tape jacket that’s shown off in the first trailer for the film, Benach explained that “behind [Harley’s] story is always something a little bit off from center and a little bit crazy.” She went on to add that they took the idea of caution tape being a place to stay away from “and tried to repurpose it into a costume.” The designers wanted to create something that “felt like Harley made it herself,” and that all of the costumes are “fun and a little bit crazy like her.”
“I think it was a combination of allowing myself to look at it and then also sort of keeping myself away because I really want to create something new but inspired by [the comics],” Benach said. “We started with those characters and all their looks and I was able to kind of see what had been done over the different versions of the comics over the years. I think we took more of the backstory and the personality from there and then used the world that we were creating with Gotham to actually create the costumes.”
Directed by Cathy Yan from a script by Christina Hodson, Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) stars Margot Robbie, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Rosie Perez, Ewan McGregor, Steven Williams, Derek Wilson, Dana Lee, Francois Chau, Charlene Amoia, Chris Messina and Matthew Willig. The film arrives in theaters Feb. 7, 2020.