Strength and sensitivity are ingredients that have rarely been mixed in the super hero cocktail. Famed action figures have been hailed for their enduring efforts to defeat evil yet few have taken the initiative to question this ceaseless charade.
Director Patty Jenkins has brought to life a refreshing female icon in the new Wonder Woman feature film. The magnificent lead, Diana (aka Wonder Woman), played by Gal Gadot, is without doubt a tough feminist figure who refuses to take orders from anyone including her romantic interest and mighty gods. But what makes her genuinely unique is her humble womanly charm and endearing empathy. Examples of this heroine’s contrasting character include her sweet gratitude to a street ice-cream seller and an empowering scene in which she can’t bear to sit on the sidelines of suffering – she rises from the World War One trenches alone to take on the impact of the opposition’s bullets. Being an Amazonian warrior she also questions the downfall of mankind and humanity and assertively orders the pompous British Field Marshall to get out on the battlefield and protect his people against the ongoing loss of innocent lives. She faces and reflects on the wartime carnage realising that only love can truly heal the aftermath of destruction. She defeats her antagonist Ares through her passion for peace and will point-blank not team up with him as his unprincipled puppet.
The fashion in the film visually reinforces Diana’s juxtaposing gender essence. She originates from an all-female inhabited Amazon Island and her dress here is similar to that of an Ancient Greek warrior clad for combat. There are sandals, arm cuffs, a metallic bodice and a pleated Roman gladiator style skirt. Free-spirited 1920s’ art deco carvings cover the tribe’s armour and hair braids are seemingly embraced by the island’s fearless folk as a symbolic signal to strength in unity. Diana later adds her sacred womanliness to the legendary red, gold and blue Wonder Woman ensemble with thigh-high boots, a short skirt and flowing curled locks shaping her golden crown. The original cartoon’s star-print leotard is given a bullet-proof upgrade with a new coat of armour and added iron-man legs. The Wonder Woman logo is reinvented as a belt and boxing style hand wraps, while a sword and shield add conviction to the original weapon of choice, the Lasso of Truth. Diana pulls off the revealing look with pragmatic purpose and her super hero style can be easily mimicked as bracelet cuffs, metallic skirts and gladiator sandals are set add some Grecian goddess allure to the high street this summer.
A potent mix of masculine and feminine, Wonder Woman, much like society’s iconic justice seekers of history, possesses a strong will and a fragile heart.
‘It’s about what you believe. And I believe in love. Only love will truly save the world.’