Birds of Prey Director Cathy Yan Breaks Down the Team's Unique Costumes

Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) hits theaters next week and while teasers and trailers for the film have already given fans a lot to talk about when it comes to the latest entry in the DC Extended Universe, it's the costumes that have been a major topic of conversation. A mix of comic-accurate influences as street style, the Birds of Prey costumes are visually unique, and according to director Cathy Yan, a big part of that was geared towards the individuality of characters. Yan spoke about the costumes with at the Birds of Prey premiere event.

"I love the costumes and so I'm so happy to talk about it. Erin Benach, our costume designer, is a genius and she really understands what women want to wear so the idea was like can we use inspiration from the comic books combine that with street style," Yan said. "So, we're looking at what cool kids were wearing in Tokyo and New York and London and then also high fashion too because we both love fashion so we were pulling stuff from the runway and then we're considering each character separately because what's great about this movie is the team-up only happens a little bit later and so you get to meet these women individually first so we really wanted to give them individuality with their costume their personality."

She also broke down a bit about what that looked like for the characters and how those influences all came together.

"And with someone like Harley you can do anything and so the idea with Harley and for all of them was really like I like the idea that it felt real and that anyone could grab some stuff in their closet and kind of turn it into one of the costumes for the Birds of Prey," Yan continued. "So there's a bit of a scrappy like handmade quality to it and with Harley you can kind of picture her making that jacket and being like wouldn't that be fun to pull some caution tape and stitch it in and she has clearly painted her own shorts and that's just who she is, loves glitter and she loves mixing and matching things and it was just so so so fun to design for her and I think Margo had a blast with that."

For Black Canary and Huntress, it was all about using cues from their comic book looks to create something unique.

"Then like you know with all the characters with Canary we were looking to make her feel like strong in and like a little bit and powerful and sexy but making you know and taking these homages shares from the comic books and we have her iconic fishnets by making them like these large fishnets in a dress, turning it into that dress," Yan said. "With Huntress we were thinking what can actually be very tactical and useful but pay homage to the purple and the black and the hood but likely be modernize a hood so it's not just like a cape but more like a hoodie, and again like that sort of athletic street style but still hinting at all of that so it was extremely extremely fun to play around with all of that and with Renee obviously I think I think the best part about that as her t-shirt, her accidental t-shirts."

And it wasn't just the inspiration and creative approach to the idea of the costumes that is a bit unique to the film. The execution is as well. Benach recently told Entertainment Weekly that black and yellow mesh dress worn by Black Canary in the film is one that was designed right on Jurnee Smollett-Bell.


"I literally designed it on Jurnee," Benach revealed. "It was one of those organic moments."

Upcoming DC movies include Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) on February 7th, Wonder Woman 1984 on June 5th, The Batman on June 25, 2021, The Suicide Squad on August 6, 2021, Black Adam on December 22, 2021, Shazam! 2 on April 1, 2022, The Flash on July 1, 2022, and Aquaman 2 on December 16, 2022.