By Jocelyn Buhlman
Loki Season 2 promises to be just as twisty and full of time-hopping adventure as its previous season—taking the characters not just to new eras, but new timelines! When it comes to crafting a series that jumps through decades, a key part of world-building is the costumes that set the time and place. Returning to Loki Season 2, costume designer Christine Wada has created a new wardrobe of memorable outfits, from dapper 1800s duds to the glitz and glamor of 1970s style. We had the chance to chat with her about designing for the new season, talking new eras, new characters, and making costumes durable enough for Tom Hiddleston’s warm-up routines:
D23: The Official Disney Fan Club: For Loki Season 1, you started the season with the goal of making Loki look visually vulnerable—how did you want Loki to appear at the start of this season?
Christine Wada (CW): Well, the start of this season actually attaches to the first season—but once he getschoice, which is also kind of thematic in this season, it was a matter of giving him a new sense of armor. We wanted to take away a lot of the protective armor and really put him into clothes where you see that he still has a real bond with the TVA, because of the relationships of the people he’s met. I don’t want to take him too far out of that TVA palette—but now he’s putting a little more Loki into that costume.
D23: While designing for Season 1, you described some of your work as “Loki-fying” costumes. What kind of details go into “Loki-fying” an outfit?
CW: Tom [Hiddleston] has such a specific moxie in his outfits. There’s always the tipping of the collar and the fitted suit look—but also green and black and gold is an instant nod to all the Loki eras, including the movies. Also, the chevron shape! I feel like that has been an anchor in all of the Loki costumes; trying to find a way to weave in the chevron motif throughout his clothes. But for sure it’s that black, black-green, and gold palette that just always transcends and speaks to his character.
D23: Super Heroes end up in all kinds of unique physical situations, from fighting to flying—what’s the weirdest thing or situation you’ve had to design for on Loki?
CW: The one thing I definitely have to keep in mind with Tom is that he has an extensive behind-the-scenes warmup routine. He does a lot of jumping around, squats, and all of that in costume. It’s just making sure that everything [in the costume] can actually hold up through a full day of shooting. That’s a very difficult task!
I think there are many things—I don’t want to give too much away, but there are moments where you’re trying to think of, how can a costume work in wind or how can they work through flying through the air and fighting? But I think what was most interesting about this season is figuring out how to make things awkward. You can see in the trailer the big spacesuit. It’s incredibly challenging! You realize how incredibly adaptable the human body is. You can add all this volume and make the boots big, and people still seem to walk naturally in it—so make it bigger!
D23: Ke Huy Quan joins the cast this season as O.B.—did you get to meet with him about costumes and if so, what kind of takeaways did you get from him?
CW: Well, it always starts in the illustration mode, so there’s a lot of concept art—but we knew that he would live in this world, an even older TVA, and the TVA was very mid-century inspired. Now, we’re pushing it a little more into the 1930s and ’40s world.
By the time I met with him [Kwan], we spoke about that whole idea and he really, really loved the patches. So, we talked a lot about bringing some patches to the character. He really brought that to the table. It was just a real collaboration of illustration, pre-Ke, and then working with him—bringing it all together for the final costume.
D23: You design for all eras and all kinds of planets in Loki—how did you approach that challenge?
CW: Just tons and tons of inspiration and research. Like, how is this world described? And then how can the costumes elevate that and really keep all the worlds separate? So that it feels like the characters are traveling? I mean, we’re traveling through time on this one, but we traveled through a lot more planets in Season 1. We traveled through a lot of different times in this season, but world-building is definitely about the references and collaging until you just hone it; you start taking things away until you just find the one. To do that with the art department is a joy on Loki. What’s so fun and so successful about this show is it’s always been a very cohesive environment, between the writing and visual development and the art department and hair and everybody. I think it really makes this show exciting and successful and great to look at—and fun to watch!
D23: We got to see so many fun costumes last season, especially with all the Loki variants—is there a costume you’re most excited for fans to see in the new season?
CW: I am definitely excited about the 1970s costumes, because I think they’re great—especially because it happens post-TVA, so it’s a real transition for some of the characters. You get to actually see them be really glamorous and taken out of the TVA’s strict dress code world!