When I wrote about Loki costume designer Christine Wada’s explanation as to why Loki stays in his TVA business casual outfit, some of our readers on social media responded with essentially, “Those pants are perfectly tailored, that’s why,” or “Because he looks incredible.” While these observations are true, I thought interested parties would also like to know that Hiddleston’s suit pants had even more impressive powers than meets the eye.
This knowledge emerged after I spoke with Wada about the enthusiastic response to actor Sophia Di Martino’s Tweet about her costume. A week before our conversation, Di Martino had tweeted a picture of herself from the Loki shoot, showing how Wada had specially designed her character Sylvie’s outfit to support Di Martino as a working mother.
It’s not easy being a working Mama! Genius #christinewada designed Sylvie’s costume & added concealed zippers so I could pump easily & nurse my baby between takes. Little (big) things like this that made it possible for me to do my job & be a parent. I’m forever grateful 💖 pic.twitter.com/nn0d8HYrFi
— Sophia Di Martino (@sophiadimartino) July 1, 2021
Di Martino’s Tweet received 170k likes, thousands of replies, and widespread coverage, as fans praised Wada’s “genius” work and advocated for more of this sort of thoughtful assistance to working mothers in Hollywood and beyond.
“You want people to work well in what you provide them with and you want them to be able to do their job,” Wada told me of the conversation around Di Martino’s costume. “It’s part of my job is to help her do her job well.”
I followed up with a question along these lines. “Were there any other kind of tricks or shortcuts you were able to build into any of the other costumes you can share with us?”
What I did not expect to hear was a fabulous revelation about lead Loki actor Tom Hiddleston’s magic suit pants.
Wada went on to describe how she and her team did “the magic gusset” for Hiddleston’s pants. If you are reaching for the dictionary right now (as I did), a gusset is defined as “a piece of material sewn into a garment to strengthen or enlarge a part of it, such as the collar of a shirt or the crotch of an undergarment.”
Why was such a remarkable gusset required for Hiddleston’s pants? It turns out, per Wada, that they “are actually made out of vintage 1950s suiting fabric.” This perfectly gels with the TVA’s overall retro-futuristic look, and you have to appreciate Wada’s commitment to the details. But 1950s suiting fabric was not built to accommodate a trickster god character who must prevail through intense fight scenes, soaking Roxxcart rains, and dodge pieces of an exploding planet.
“There is absolutely zero stretch or anything to it,” Wada explained of the fabric, “which makes it kind of even more cool and unexpected for him to do all that fighting in.” Indeed! But how do you solve a problem like Tom Hiddleston’s non-stretch ’50s pants? Wada had to improvise.
“We built in these—we called them the magic gussets—in that pants so that he could do some of the really hardcore action,” Wada said.
But sometimes even the magic gussets could not withstand the strain. And it seems as though pants-ripping is rather an MCU specialty. “Not that he didn’t rip out some of the pants, or that everybody did rip out some of their pants. I think that just comes with the territory and Marvel.”
There you have it, my friends. Tom Hiddleston’s exquisitely tailored vintage-fabric pants needed magical reinforcement to make it all the way to the end of Loki’s quest. It can’t have been easy for everyone involved, and audiences remain appreciative of Wada and Hiddleston’s efforts in this regard. Loki didn’t necessarily have to have the most close-cut of TVA pants. But he sure did.
— Val ४🔸MCU&StarWars🔸 (@SpaceLizard83) July 7, 2021
We can’t wait to see what’s cooked up for Loki to wear in season 2, magic gussets and all.
(images: Marvel Studios)
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