In this project, I recreate a popular modern character (Black Widow) in a different time in history (the Elizabethan Era). This time in history seemed perfectly suited in many ways to her original design. Pale complexions, red lips and hair, and dark lined eyes were in vogue at the time. On top of that, the gowns tended towards an hourglass shape with bold colors like red and black worn by noble women.
What wasn't in line with Natasha's original design were these cumbersome gowns that would be a bother to a fast, deadly spy. In her passive pose, she wears the full gown, hair, and make up suitable for a noble woman at the time. Below, in her active pose, she has exploited the costume for battle.
Her elaborate gown has now become more weapon than obstacle. The busk is a hard shell made of fine fabric stuffed with reeds, whale bone, or horn that sits over the corset. Here, it has become a makeshift shield. The hoops of her farthingale, the structure that held up huge Elizabethan skirts, is also acting as protection for her legs while the remains of the gown partially obscure her. The knife has been produced from an apron worn under the skirt, which many women of the time would have as a precursor to pockets.
During this time in history, noble women favored a masculine shape and an otherworldly appearance. They wore corsets and stomachers to smooth out the torso and remove the appearance of breasts. Their make up made them ghostly pale with drawn on features.
In contrasting the passive and active poses, I sought a contrast between masculine and feminine in ways that I felt suited the character. In her passive pose, she is in full dress with a masculine chest and exaggerated shoulder ruffs. She is poised, tall, and otherworldly. In her active pose, I wanted to reveal her femininity and humanity in her fierceness. Both sides have their strengths, but I liked being able to make the masculine passive and charming and the feminine active and fierce.