Costume Designer Stephanie Maslansky Shares Styling Netflix’s New Show Iron Fist
Iron Fist premiered on Netflix today. The series takes a deeper look at the Defendersverse, which Netflix has been assembling over the last two years. Each Netflix series has a unique design that encompasses clothes, score, style, color palate, and more.
We sat down with Iron Fist costume designer Stephanie Maslansky and asked her about her inspirations in designing these new Netflix characters. Joy and Ward’s style is classy, posh and modern. Their style contrasts with Danny’s look, which is that of a traveler. Colleen’s style is more functional, trendy, and sporty. Her stylish jacket is a trend we explore in this week’s Fashion Friday.
The Marvel Report: Colleen wears certain clothes when he’s working as a sensei in her dojo, but then she changes into that striking white athletic suit in the cage fight, what inspired both of those looks?
Stephanie Maslansky: It was really fun to style her. Jessica Henwick was so focused, so devoted to her training. I almost have to compare her to Charlie Cox in her focus and commitment. Outside the dojo, Colleen has a very tomboyish, athletic look with a downtown NYC vibe. In the dojo, her wardrobe was very hardcore workout gear. She needed to look cool, sharp, edgy, and comfortable. In the cage fights, we wanted to evolve her look into the “Daughter of the Dragon” design, which is the white pantsuit. We added a hood, which gave her a slight disguise. It really came together. She was hiding in the darker clothes and the white outfit was her stepping into her “Daughter of the Dragon” role.
Walk me through your inspirations for Danny Rand — what colors influenced your design for him?
Danny is just coming into himself as the Fist in this series, so we knew that his color palate had to start with dark green and deep gold. We did this as an homage to his comic book design. We didn’t always stick to this — we made a creative choice to not pigeon hole him into these two colors. We wanted to convey his evolution from his time as a child to his time in K’un Lun and then to his re-entry to NYC. We all made this choice together since it’s a very collaborative process.
When Danny finally puts on a suit he looks modern and sharp, but he’s wearing very different shoes, they’re comfortable and not tight fitting or trendy, why is that?
We really wanted to get into Danny’s head here. There are no washing machines in K’un Lun. Danny was used to living in a place where he wore naturalistic and loose-fitting clothes. When he arrives in New York he’s not wearing shoes at all. His clothes are ragged and dirty. When he finally comes into his inheritance he needs to update his style, but he’s not fashion forward. He needs to keep his own style. We pattern his style after the “Urban California” look, which is comfortable and slightly more casual.
Ward Meachum is a very sharp dresser, what inspired his look?
Rand Enterprises is in Mid-Town, so Ward’s style had to reflect that. He’s very traditional and classic and doesn’t deviate from that look much.
Joy wears a lot of different outfits in the series, can you describe your wardrobe choices for her?
Jessica Stroup, what fun to dress her. I see her character, Joy, like Ivanka Trump, a woman who could model and was born into wealth, but who actually has a career and a path that she’s setting for herself. Joy looks at clothing as an investment. She has special designer pieces, bags, shoes… We selected clothing that has that regard to it. We didn’t go high/low with her at all. If she did have free time, I can see Joy going to a lot of fashion week shows. She’s a very confident, polished, complex young woman.
We also spoke to Stephanie about her work on Luke Cage, where she helped design Luke’s classic bulletproof hoodie. You can check out that interview here.
All episodes of Iron Fist are now streaming on Netflix.