P:R Approved: Kelsey Michele Soderstrom’s Avengers-Inspired Dresses!

Note: T-shirts and other clothing inspired by superheroes has become a staple of culture these days, so why shouldn’t it extend to high fashion? Artist Kelsey Michele Soderstrom has taken the heroes of the Avengers movie and adapted their style into slinky evening wear dresses. In terms of fashion design and fandom this is gets an “A” in our book. Look below each image for Soderstrom’s stance on the designs. - Chris A.

On the Iron Man dress:

I mainly wanted him to stand in contrast to the more demure dress of Captain America, something that would translate both his suit and his flashy personality. i will admit to putting a lot more gold in it than his actual suit has, but i reeeeaaallly like the red and gold together!

On the Hulk dress:

Hulk went through SO MANY revisions. I decided on this dress for a few reasons. I liked the fluffy boa as a representation of his broad, hulky shoulders, and the asymmetry is supposed to reflect not only imbalance but the fact that his clothes basically get ripped to shreds every time Hulk joins the party. I also wanted it to represent in a way how banner relates to the Hulk; how Bruce Banner is such a reserved guy while this Hulk is just this darkness inside him.

On the Captain America dress:

Cap’s outfit was really fun, as I am absolutely in love with styles from the 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s. (of course, 40′s is his era, but 50′s is my favorite, thus the more classic 50′s look). I maaay have overdone it on the stars, but whocaresilovestars. His mask was translated into the fascinator on her head, and his shield of course into her clutch.

On the Thor dress:

Of all my designs, Thor’s is maybe one of the furthest from his actual costume, but it’s one of my favorite. the cape is a supposed to be a sheer material. I really wanted a better way to incorporate the hammer, but the clutch is as close as I’m getting this time round.

On the Agent Coulson dress:

Coulson was really tricky, and I’m not sure if I’m absolutely happy with him, but oh well. Ii wanted to keep his dress as suity as i could without making it too businessy while still matching his personality and demeanor. His tie morphed into a tied necklace, and his love of Cap into the star in his hair. as an added bonus (my boyfriend’s idea), I gave him a Captain America comic to hold. silly, i know.

On the Nick Fury dress:

I loved the idea of putting him in a big poofy princess dress for some reason. it is partially inspired after My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic’s gala dress for Twilight Sparkle, though more so in the original designs for it.

On the Black Widow & Hawkeye dresses:

Both very much inspired by vintage looks, Hawkeye more from the sixties, while i was going with a more classic Hollywood with Black Widow (diamonds are a girls best friend, anyone?). For some reason, I see her being a really sharp-dresser, despite her wearing a dress I just haaaated in Iron Man 2. i really feel like her characterization in the Avengers is completely different than that original appearance, though.

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23 comments on “P:R Approved: Kelsey Michele Soderstrom’s Avengers-Inspired Dresses!
  1. THIS is what I look for at P:R — awesome design creativity, interpreting and manipulating concepts beyond artistic style. Kudos! Major win.

  2. Wow,I love the Iron man and Thor dresses.It’s really creative that he did all the members of the Avengers and not just the core four.

  3. I like all of these except the awkward Iron Man dress. Thor is the clear standout, though it would have been even nicer if the cape wasn’t an actual cape.

    I’m still disgruntled over the fact that Nick Fury, Black Widow, and “Agent Coulson” are now recognized as core Avengers instead of the likes of (Gi)Ant Man, Wasp, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, etc. It’s pretty lame to allow movies to define superheroes that existed for 30-40+ years beforehand.

  4. Marvel chose for Ant Man & others to be Avenger, and Marvel’s choosing Fury, Widow & Agent Coulson to be Avengers. As serialized stories, things have to change and evolve. Done right, it’s great for outside media to define superheroes: for example, kryptonite. Created for a radio series then retroactively put in the comics.

  5. Further appreciation: the bracelet on the bow arm of the Hawkeye design, as well as the quiver-like purse.

  6. Chris A.: Marvel chose for Ant Man & others to be Avenger, and Marvel’s choosing Fury, Widow & Agent Coulson to be Avengers. As serialized stories, things have to change and evolve. Done right, it’s great for outsidemedia to define superheroes: for example, kryptonite. Created for a radio series then retroactively put in the comics.

    That’s a great point, Chris, Marvel is capable of choosing whatever heroes it wants to be Avengers, but that doesn’t means they should. I can’t help but to feel somewhat disrespected as a long time reader of the comics to have all my favorite characters swept under the carpet so that the major public can overwhelmingly act like the other members don’t exist or matter, or even aknowledge the existence of the comic book counterparts of the people who DID make it into film… Oh well, that’s Hollywood.

    Don’t want to turn the discussion away from these gorgeous redesigns, though. I usually come here for redesigns for the actual crime-fighting gear, but the creativity and tought put into this is just outstanding, good stuff.

  7. Ah, man, these are gorgeous. I’m in love with the diesel-punkish Iron Man dress, but the one I reeeeeeally want to wear is Thor’s. D8

  8. I quite like these, and would love to see them actually produced. Though I suspect the Iron Man design wouldn’t work as well as it does here; I think it would need a fair bit of structure to still look good, but minidresses don’t always lend themselves to that kind of thing.

    But I love the fact that Soderstrom went for the full cast of the film (except Loki — where’s the Loki dress???), and used them to showcase such a wide range of styles. For some reason, this has me thinking of that fan-art that redrew My Little Pony characters as “sexy girls;” they were all the same *kind* of sexy, and really tiresome as a result. These all have different faces, different kinds of dresses, different *personalities*. I think the only thing I wish for is more different body types, though I recognize that there’s a “fashion design” style of drawing that expects them all to be elongated sticks.

  9. These are so fantastic. The Thor dress is my absolute favorite. I know some people aren’t in love with the ‘cape’ but that billowing use of tulle isn’t uncommon in fashion and usually looks really great in person. I love the huge statement bow on Black Widow. A lot of people are talking about the unrealistic-ness of the Iron Man dress but that shape is actually pretty well known in fashion. It’s shown up at different periods of history throughout the world in different iterations. Thierry Muglier did it again back in the 90′s and Dolce and Gabbana did it more recently. If anyone here watches Project Runway (I’m assuming some do considering the blog’s title) Leanne Marshall did a version of this same structured sillhouette and shape in her season’s unconventional materials challenge where they had to strip a car apart to use the scraps as material for their garment.

  10. These are really fantastic! I love the Thor and Hulk dresses especially. Lovely art and some really unique and interesting designs!

  11. Why does Kelsey refer to the models as ‘he’ when they’re all women? What is she (he?) trying to tell us??

  12. Ash: Why does Kelsey refer to the models as ‘he’ when they’re all women? What is she (he?) trying to tell us??

    Hey, I’m the artist! I was kind of wondering if anyone would bring this up. It’s mostly because I didn’t think of this as designing female versions of an almost entirely male cast, but translating them as they are into dresses and accessories and such. So even when they were fully done, I’d still look at them and refer to them as “he” without thinking about it.

  13. Ash: Why does Kelsey refer to the models as ‘he’ when they’re all women? What is she (he?) trying to tell us??

    I think that is probably a reference to the characters that are being emulated in these styles.

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