A huge amount of thought went into fall’s most lavishly costumed new show. Below Fox’s Gotham designer, Lisa Padovani, reveals the inspirations behind the clothing for Gotham City’s most notorious villains (and hero):

Selina Kyle: “She is probably the most modern; we did a steampunk variation on her. Her goggles on top her head are like her ears. She’s always sneaking around so she’s all in black. It’s a cat burglar feeling.”

Oswald Cobblepot: “Everybody’s got such an iconic image in their mind of what the Penguin is. We’ve seen a lot of shows where he’s been portrayed in mostly comic book ways. I took from the storyline that he’s young, he’s working for Fish Mooney in a nightclub—so I riffed on more of a burlesque theater/1970s/Las Vegas/vintage look. His piece is from all different eras, yet made with modern fabrics. There’s a black-and-white tux shirt—which is his standard—and a mixture of blood-plum red and acid green. His shoes are pointed and pop up at the end—like a bird’s would. His lapels are sort of like wings. His hair is spiked up and punk—A Flock of Seagulls-feel. With the slight extension to his nose, together it evokes a bird-like quality.”

Edward Nygma: “We know he’s OCD and strange and fidgety and calculating. It’s very early 60s, which is a great era. His ties are skinny. Everything is tight to his body. His jacket buttons, if you pay attention, they’re kind of psychedelic and weird —they’re not normal. His ties are strange prints and color combinations. He has a little tie tack tie bar that has question mark from a key from an old fashioned typewriter — the actor loves it, he says it puts him in character.”

Poison Ivy: “We’ve only seen her in pilot so far. She is based on [Sex Pistols singer] Johnny Rotten, quite honestly. She’s a redhead and there’s images of Johnny Rotten where he has open weave mohair sweaters, acid yellows and greens. We put her in adult clothes so they’re hanging off her so it makes her look more waifish and strange. Her hair is a mess like vines.”

Fish Mooney: “We got to invent her look completely. She’s a nightclub owner and kingpin in a man’s brutal world. At first I wanted to do more Hollywood, more Jessica Rabbit. But when they cast Jada Pinkett Smith, she went to very green but more metallic and snake skin and alligator skin —all the reptile stuff. I don’t want my leading lady wearing something you’d see in a magazine. We made up backstories about her. She wears a wig all the time so we talked to [showrunner Bruno Heller] about very bad acid accident where all her hair was burned off as a potential future story. We don’t know what happened to her, but she broke and became very hard.”

Bruce Wayne: “I’m keeping him as traditional as I can. He’s dressing exactly how you think he should dress. It’s a timeless look—it could be the 1930s or 2014. It’s young boy going to boarding school. He’s still formulating.”

Episode Recaps

Ben McKenzie and David Mazouz star in a dramatic look at what Gotham City looked like before Bruce Wayne became Batman.
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