Sizzling Style! The Costume Design of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season Three

By Joe Kucharski - October 6, 2015

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is back for an action-packed third season, and they’re turning everything we knew on its head! With an explosive season two ending, Coulson, S.H.I.E.L.D., and the Inhumans were set on a completely new path. Costume designer Ann Foley has been dressing the show impeccably for the last two seasons, but she’s always up for a new challenge. She joins us to talk about what we can expect from this season, and how the costumes are evolving with the characters.

ABC's "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." - Costume design by Ann Foley (ABC/Kurt Iswarienkio)

Tyranny of Style: Can you start by giving us an overview of the transition from Season Two to Season Three, and what impact the story and action has had on changing the overall tone of the costume design?

Ann Foley: “There’s definitely a big shift happening in Season Three, and the costumes will reflect those changes. At the beginning of Season Two we were dealing with the fall of S.H.I.E.L.D., and as it progressed the introduction of the Inhumans. Our team had grown up and the tone of the show got a bit darker. We also found out about Skye’s past, her real name, and of course we ended the season with two big events: Coulson losing his hand and Simmons disappearing into the Monolith. So going into Season Three, we will immediately meet Daisy Johnson AKA Quake in her new tactical look and Coulson’s new robotic hand. Not to mention you’ll see the ramifications of Simmon’s disappearance and how that has affected the team, especially Fitz.”

ABC's "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." - Costume design by Ann Foley  (ABC/Kelsey McNeal)

ABC's "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." - Costume design by Ann Foley (ABC/Kurt Iswarienkio) (ABC/Kelsey McNeal)

 

T/S: Can you talk to us about what influenced the changes in the costumes for the more action-heavy field agents? What is SHIELD now, and how are these characters dressing for their current mission?

AF: “In Season Two May was in more of a civilian look mainly due to her story arc which is something that we will continue to see as we go into Three. Mack didn’t get to see a lot of action until the end of Season Two so going into Season Three that has definitely changed! He and Hunter are in full tac gear on the front mission line so to speak. Bobbi is still in recovery after her altercation with Ward and Agent 33 but knowing her I’m sure we’ll see her back in the field soon!”

 ABC's "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." - Costume design by Ann Foley (ABC/Kurt Iswarienkio)

ABC's "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." - Costume design by Ann Foley (ABC/Kelsey McNeal)

ABC's "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." - Costume design by Ann Foley (ABC/Kelsey McNeal)

ABC's "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." - Costume design by Ann Foley (ABC/Kurt Iswarienkio)

 

T/S: Can you talk to us about Coulsons new look and that new hand?

AF: “Taking Coulson out of his suits is a big moment for us this season. The writers and I talked at the beginning of the season about this being the perfect opportunity to move him in to a more bad ass civilian look for him. May is gone and she was the probably the one who helped him tie his ties at the end of last season, so now with her absence and his new robotic hand, it would be a challenge for him to tie a tie. We also wanted to manifest the seriousness of what happened to him at the end of last season with a dramatic departure from his standard wardrobe.

His new hand is going to be a huge part of his new look. My goal was to make it as cool as Fury’s eye patch, so it was also made at Legacy Effects along with Quake’s gauntlets and utility belt.”

ABC's "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." - Costume design by Ann Foley (ABC/Kurt Iswarienkio)

ABC's "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." - Costume design by Ann Foley (ABC/Kelsey McNeal)

ABC's "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." - Costume design by Ann Foley (ABC/Kelsey McNeal)

 

T/S: One of the biggest stylistic changes of the season can be seen in the new looks for Fitz and Simmons. Can you talk to us about what prompted those changes in the story, what inspired you in the creation of their new looks, and what we can expect to see them in this season? 

AF: “Fitz’s look has been evolving for a while. He started off with that Heritage vibe, where we were playing with texture, pattern and the whimsical ties. All that started to get stripped away as he struggled with his injuries in Season Two, and at the start of Season Three, he is the most effected by Simmon’s disappearance. Fitz has matured even more this season than last. The plaid shirts & cardigans are gone. I’m still playing with texture, but it has gotten simpler and we’ve moved him into slacks and boots, and out of the jeans and sneakers. His look is more adult and he’s even got some stubble on his face! I’ll have to get back to you about Simmons! #nospoilers”

ABC's "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." - Costume design by Ann Foley (ABC/Kurt Iswarienkio) 

ABC's "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." - Costume design by Ann Foley (ABC/Kelsey McNeal)

ABC's "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." - Costume design by Ann Foley (ABC/Kelsey McNeal)

ABC's "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." - Costume design by Ann Foley (ABC/Kurt Iswarienkio)

 

T/S: Im in love with Rosalind Prices striking look from the promo photos! What can you tell us about her character, her costumes, and your inspiration for her looks?

AF: “Thank you! In Rosalind, Coulson has finally met his match. She is a D.C. power player, so you’ll be seeing a lot of suits on her, but her style is a bit more feminine. With her I’m using a lot of Emporio Armani, Sandro, Tahari, and getting to play with color.“

 

ABC's "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." - Costume design by Ann Foley (ABC/Kelsey McNeal)

ABC's "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." - Costume design by Ann Foley (ABC/Kurt Iswarienkio)

 

T/S: Daisys new look as Quake is fantastic! Can you tell us about the inspiration behind her new look, the creation of it, and how we can expect to see it used in the show?

AF: “I am so excited about this look- it’s definitely one of the coolest costumes we’ve made so far! The most essential part of the outfit was to make sure that Chloe felt empowered and that the look felt strong. I think we accomplished that.

As for inspiration, I always start with the comics as source material. It was really important to me to incorporate the Quake symbol into her gauntlets, and we even repeated the symbol on the back of her suit. The gold detailing was also a nod to Quake’s original comic book outfit. Elements from her tactical hood from Season Two are present in the lines at the top of the costume, which was our way of connecting her looks across the seasons.

Obviously, Chloe was going to have to be able to kick some butt in this outfit, so practicality was a huge consideration. We used printed EuroJersey, that has a four way stretch which helps her in stunt situations because it gives more freedom of movement. It’s the same fabric we’ve used for Mockingbird and Deathlok, but with Quake we added a lot more leather. Her gauntlets and utility belt were made by Legacy Effects, and they’re made out of a flexible material but painted to look like metal to keep them light and easy to wear, especially in an action or stunt sequence.”

 

ABC's "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." - Costume design by Ann Foley (ABC/Kurt Iswarienkio)

ABC's "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." - Costume design by Ann Foley (ABC/Kurt Iswarienkio)

ABC's "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." - Costume design by Ann Foley (ABC/Kurt Iswarienkio)

ABC's "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." - Costume design by Ann Foley (ABC/Kelsey McNeal)

ABC's "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." - Costume design by Ann Foley (ABC/Kelsey McNeal)

 

T/S: Can you talk to us about the look for the Inhumans and what we can expect from Daisy and her friends stylistically?

AF: “As we saw in Season Two, the Inhumans are among us! So the idea was and will continue to be for them to blend in and avoid detection or notice. You’ll see in the opening episode, Lincoln is working as a doctor in a hospital trying to stay off SHIELD’s radar – he’s in scrubs, at work. Inhumans dress like regular people unless they’ve transitioned into something else like Raina or Lash. Then the costume works with the character. Raina was ashamed and constantly trying to hide her face hence the hood, although her costume still had flowers on it, they were just more subtle!”

ABC's "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." - Costume design by Ann Foley (ABC/Kelsey McNeal)

ABC's "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." - Costume design by Ann Foley (ABC/Kelsey McNeal)

ABC's "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." - Costume design by Ann Foley (ABC/Kelsey McNeal)

 

If episode one was any indication, we’re in for a wild ride on Season Three. I’ve signed my life away, and sworn to secrecy, but the things I saw up close on my set tour with Ann were jaw-dropping, and I’m excited for you all to see the twists and turns ahead! A huge thanks to the wonderful Ann Foley for all that she does, and for sharing that process with us here.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - Costume Storage (Photo credit Geoffrey Colo)

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - Costume Storage - Ann Foley and Joe Kucharski (Photo credit Geoffrey Colo)