“Superman: The Movie” Costume Designer Yvonne Blake Dies

Yvonne Blake, the designer behind Christopher Reeve’s iconic “Superman: The Movie” costume, has died. She was 78.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Blake died Tuesday in Madrid, after suffering a stroke in January.

Yvonne Blake’s most recognizable work was on Richard Donner’s Superman, for which she adapted the comic book design of the superhero costume for the cinema screen. In her original design sketch made before Christopher Reeve was cast in the leading role, Blake’s annotations read: “Leotard in shimmering blue two-way stretch fabric worn over false muscles & harness for flying. Capes to be made in various flowing fashion for resting. Boots in glove leather or elastic with small heel. ‘S’ motif in red & gold on breast & again in all gold on back of cape. Gold metal belt with ‘S’ buckle.”

For Blake, the focus was on making a practical costume for Reeve to wear while balancing its authenticity to her audience. “It was a question of reproducing what looked like a pretty silly costume into one that could be worn by an actor that would look attractive and believable to Superman fans,” she said. “It was important that the tights and shorts did not look like ballet dancers’, so the problem of lumps and bumps was solved by wearing a plastic protection shield normally used by boxers.”

Read the complete article at The Hollywood Reporter.

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