Power Rangers sought to redefine the classic costumes for the modern era, but some were not so receptive to the change.
The old school spandex was out, replaced with more alien armor. The difficult task of bringing that vision to completion fell to costume designer Kelli Jones, who previously worked on projects like Sons of Anarchy. As she told Inverse, the process took some getting used to, especially since they were changing how the Rangers' power manifests itself.
“It comes out of their skin,” Jones explained. “It looks multi-dimensional and translucent. Weta, they’re magicians. They had never done anything like that before. It was a lot of R&D from every single angle. They were stressed as anyone making those suits.”
Some online saw the "breast armor" as another example of a common trope in fantasy or science fiction settings. While that might be the case in some instances, Jones doesn't really think that applies to Power Rangers.
“First of all, the original Rangers had skirts on,” Jones says. “People were up in arms about it, like, ‘Oh my god, these girls have boobs.’ The fact is these girls do have boobs, so to make them androgynous, what’s the point when the original Rangers had skirts? I think the alternative would have looked off. To fit those girls, they would have to be flat and so far off their bodies that it wouldn’t have looked right.”
Jones does go on to say that promotional images "maybe looked more pronounced" in that department, "but no one saw an issue with it" during production or on set.
Jones wasn't part of creating the original concept process in regards to the costumes, but everything from that point forward was her responsibility.
“I was thrown into the build process,” Jones says. “Weta sent us samples of rocks and materials, and then we [Dean Israelite and I] would go through materials for the exact mold. Shapes changed, more tweaking, changing the helmets — we didn’t really get them on the actors until about a week before they shot.”
That process involved a great deal of
Jones knows some are hesitant to change, but expects after fans get used to them they will just become another part of the legacy.
“the legacy stood up for people who have high nostalgia. Everybody’s tastes change. People shy from something new. As soon as they get used to it, it becomes familiar again. That’s what happened with the Rangers. I don’t like change either, so I get that.”
Power Rangers is out on Blu-ray and DVD now.