Created in the early 1940s, Wonder Woman has influenced more than eight generations of women—and men—who have looked up to her as a beacon of truth, justice and the feminine way. For many, she was the first feminist icon. There’s a reason for this: Wonder Woman was never afraid to call out or defeat the bad guys and fight off the inequality that dared to test her patience. With the upcoming Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice film coming out this weekend, 2016’s newfound incarnation of Wonder Woman—played by former FASHION cover girl, Gal Gadot—is intent on inspiring the next generation yet again. In terms of fashion and style, the crime fighter has been on point through the years, offering a few key looks that have reflected her moods, her careers and the signs of the times.
When the United States entered WWII in 1941, Wonder Woman was born. Her debut comic book look included a strapless bustier branded with an eagle motif, as well as some really loose-fitting culottes covered in stars. In 1942, she got a makeover with red shorts, high-heeled boots, bulletproof bracelets and a magic rope. Her creator, William Moulton Marston, a bondage-loving Harvard psychologist, was famous for working on a prototype for the polygraph machine and included her Lasso of Truth as her main weapon.
Wonder Woman goes Hollywood! Taking cues from Jayne Mansfield and Jane Russell, the crime fighter took on a thinner figure who traded in her heels for ballet slippers.
The ’60s were a bummer for our freedom fighter. She lost her powers, bulletproof bracelets and famous costume, and became a Diana Vreeland-y karate-chopping secret agent. This was when she ditched the cape for some mod looks—including some Mary Quant runway knock offs and all-white Courrèges pantsuit (she even opened up a mod clothing boutique). It was all so Lana Del Rey circa National Anthem.
In 1975, Linda Carter brought Wonder Woman to life in a campy/classic TV series. The theme song said it all: “In her satin tights, fighting for your rights!” Her sexy star-spangled briefs and red earrings made her look like a serious superhero boss. Gloria Steinem even stuck an empowered version of WW on the cover Ms. Magazine.
Like so many working girls, Wonder Woman became the ultimate ’80s power woman. She pre-dated Madonna’s muscular “Truth or Dare” body and took on an athletic form that she paired with bigger bracelets and bigger hair. Her outfit went on to inspire Versace’s famous Fall 1992 “Bondage” collection, complete with straps and buckles, and lasted more than ten-plus years.
Michael Wilkinson—the costumer who created the wardrobe for movies such as American Hustle—decided to go with a Beyoncé-meets-Xena-Warrior-Princess approach to WW. There’s also a little of Game of Thrones touch to her ancient Amazon sword, metallic skirt and thigh-high boots. This is, by far, the most badass design that our body-suited crusader has ever worn.
*with files from Mike Madrid
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