Wardrobe made for battle: Kym Barrett discusses working with production designer Sue Chan and the stunt team on Marvel’s Shang-Chi.

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…Visual effects supervisor Christopher Townsend worked next door to Brad Allan and his stunt team, who continually interacted with production designer Sue Chan, whose team was building sets and having to make sure that they could practically be climbed on and jumped from, as well as with costume designer Kym Barrett to ensure that the actors could move freely for their stunt work in their costumes.

Costume Designer Kym Barrett worked closely with Sue Chan and the stunt team to further develop the visual language of SHANG-CHI. First and foremost, she was aware of the need for empowerment of women and different cultural groups. 

Kym Barrett (Costume Designer): “We approached everything from that point of view, exploring where people find their own power. For the fight costumes I was interested in how a costume could enhance movement and give you a heightened appreciation of the skill of a performer. All of the elements on the robe are things that really did exist, down to the ties, which were used to attach armor plates to warriors’ robes.”

Early on, Barrett asked the stunt department to rehearse in the robes, to ensure the splits were in the right places and that they weren’t too tight for the required movements. 

Kym Barrett (Costume Designer): “I’m most proud of the way Destin and the other writers’ script, and the worlds that Sue and I and our teams created, harmoniously gelled together and that we created a story where all our paths were heading in the same direction. I feel like we created a truly unified whole.”

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