Selina Kyle answers reader questions.
I'm a doll collector and I'm displeased with the two 16" Robert Tonner
Catwoman dolls. (One has this really strange-looking cowl and has this
odd light lavender version of the skirt costume you once wore, the other
doll is costumed in black and while not exactly wearing goggles it's . .
. not great. Perhaps you should have a word with these people. I'm
assuming the use of your likeness is under some licensing scheme through
Wayne Enterprises.) I am trying to make a costume for another, better
"Catwoman" doll - dark curly hair, bright green eyes, and not at all
What would you say are the most crucial elements of your iconic purple
costume are? I don't think I can sew leather (or faux leather) on such a
small scale (certainly not in a flattering manner), but I believe a
suitable knit would suggest the same effect. The tabloids don't seem to
have a universal image of what the purple catsuit looks like. Belt? No
belt? WHISKERS? There was even one strange depiction with a tail! Any
help or images you could contribute for the sake of accuracy would be
What an insightful question, Emily. For those are unaware,
Robert Tonner is a doll maker
who began at the Parsons School (Project Runway fans know it) and did a
stint at Bill Blass, enabling him to create dolls that are a bit more
grounded in the world of fashion than something like Barbie who is
certainly about the clothes, but is a doll first. He has
worked with both DC and Marvel to produce versions of their comic book
characters, and his two Catwoman efforts are pictured below:
Now, I must
admit, I rather like both of these. The skirted costume shows
off the leg beautifully, and the low-cut neckline puts my lack of
complexity front and center--meow. The colors are, as Emily noted,
a little... strange. That is a very pale lilac with a very...
vivid green on the cape. It's odd, especially on the cowl. I
think a deeper and redder purple would certainly work better. The
fit and drape of the gown is spectacular though. So let's
give it a meow. The catsuit on right - I've got to say, they've
got the color right, and the suit looks spectacular over the bust.
I also like the high heeled boot. And the hair is better with that
light curl. On the downside, I'm not fond of the belt, the lacing
on the boots, or the open-fingered gloves.
your question, Emily, I think the important features to include are:
long black hair flowing out the back of the cowl, light curl of the left
one preferred. Black gloves with claws that rise above the elbow
halfway to shoulder, black high heeled boot coming over the knee
half-way up the thigh, whip holster without a belt as belts break up the
line of the catsuit. Color is that deep reddish purple. Now
the cowl is where Mr. Tonner is clearly having problems on both, and I
sympathize. It took me a while to get one that fits properly*.
whole, I would have to agree with you that the real key is purple,
and the all-important rejection of the goggles, the short hair,
the zip-up front, and the square buckle that are all emblems of the Post
Now, as for
materials on the suit, I also agree that leather is impractical for this
scale. While I am no seamstress, I would think any kind of stretch
lame would get the desired effect, clinging to the curves of the body
while creating some texture variation. It looks like they may have
used some sort of stretch velvet on the right, which seems odd at
first but which appears to have produced that effect with the napp
creating highlight and shadow that you could "shape" even more with a
little strategic brushing.
with your project, and as always, thank you for asking Catty.
we say in the real neighborhood,
Note: You will see from Catwoman's Second Life Avatar that she too
opted for a black mask with purple highlights rather than going the
other way around. While it is less strictly accurate in
reproducing the Balent costume, it looks right.