Designing costumes for America's most beloved and iconic superhero is an enormous responsibility. It's also a technological challenge of unimaginable proportions. But it's a challenge Oscar-nominated costume designer Michael Wilkinson eagerly took on - and achieved with masterful skill. Wilkinson is perhaps best known for his recent Oscar nomination for his work on "American Hustle," but the Australian designer has been designing costumes for years. His resume includes films such as "300," "Tron: Legacy," "Terminator Salvation," and "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn" Part 1 and Part 2. This week the Costume Council at LACMA paid tribute to his work on "Man of Steel," which he co-designed with renowned costume designer James Acheson. The conversation was moderated by Bobi Garland, Director of the Research Library at Western Costume, who said that she truly believes that costume designers are the pioneers of 21st century art. They not only design costumes, but innovate textiles, work in digital formats including 3-D design and source fabrics and materials all around the world. As I sat in the audience listening to the discussion, I couldn't help but think that Hollywood costume design is truly the couture of U.S. fashion. Though not mainstream fashion or offered for sale, costume designers are holding their own - and innovating - on the design front. In fact, just recently Colleen Atwood was recognized by the Council of Fashion Designers of America for her incredible work throughout the years. If you saw Atwood's costumes for "Snow White and the Huntsman," up close at FIDM's Art of Motion Picture Costume Design exhibition last year, you would know what I mean. And the same is true for Wilkinson's work on Superman. The designer along with Acheson, who did a large amout of the pre-production work on the film, went through countless steps to develop a high-tech Superman appropriate for today. Steps included researching iconic Superman costumes, storyboarding the character's background and life on Krypton, making clay maquettes, casting molds of actor Henry Cavill, creating 3-D patterns, innovating textiles and fitting Cavill for the part. Afterall, as Wilkinson said, "Who wants to be complacent? It's all about pushing forward with new possibilities." Here are a few pictures from the event.
More images after the break.