Costumes needed to appear weathered and naturalistic. “This is actually a very difficult process when you’re working with custom moulded armour as 90% of the weathering and texture has to be sculpted into the armour moulds at the initial stage,” explains Partridge. “Only about 10% of it is done through the painting process. So you had better know what you want and love it. Once it’s moulded that’s it!” Celtic history proved to be invaluable when conducting the required visual research. “I choose to go back to the earliest Celtic references available, which start approximately 600 B.C. During those eras, the predominant artwork was called Le Tene and this artwork is completely based on circles and is compass based. It has a particularly beautiful aesthetic and that was what I used as the foundation for all the creativity in the Thor: The Dark World costumes. This artwork was abstracted and manipulated to create the Asgardian aesthetic and was used for almost all the detail work on the costumes.”
“The armour was more creatively designed than influenced by historical reference and that’s what gives it its fantasy feeling for the Asgardian nine realms,” remarks Wendy Partridge. “The number one priority is to make the look fantastic and once the looks had been approved, then it was strictly creative engineering to give the actors their mobility and functionality.” The Light and Dark Elves were handled by the Make-up Department while the stone man existed solely as a CG character. “Even though we did do a life-size mock-up of his costume for the actors to react against it was fundamentally done digitally.” The native of Britain had conversations with Charles Wood (Guardians of the Galaxy) who handled the production design for the project. “There were many in depth discussions with Charles to assimilate sets and costumes to create an overall artistic painting of all the visuals presented.”
“Thor’s cape was a pretty big challenge,” reveals Wendy Partridge. “I felt there needed to be a lot more fluidity and character to the cape than the first movie as there was so much more screen time and action in Thor 2 than Thor 1 . I went about trying to find a textile that would accomplish this. We finally had the material custom woven at a mill in Italy to specific specs and dyed to the deepest, richest red only fitting our leading man.” A particular scene occurred unexpectedly for the costume designer. “When Captain America appeared in the movie that was a surprise and not originally scripted.” Partridge adds, “The whole project was thoroughly enjoyable and I hope I get to do another Marvel movie someday.”
Many thanks to Wendy Partridge for taking the time for this interview.
To learn more visit the official website for Thor: The Dark World as well as Wendy Partridge on Facebook.