‘The Batman’ Costumes Offer Industrial “Bikecore” Chic
Matt Reeves’ new film, The Batman, taps into 2022’s obsession with all-black gothic, industrial garb. Whether it’s the Julia Fox latex craze—not to mention her smeared black eyeshadow—or Donatella Versace on the cover of VOGUE Italy in a shiny latex outfit, Rihanna in a peach PVC dress at Paris Fashion Week, or even Kanye West in his Balenciaga boots stepping out of his car in a McDonald’s commercial, it’s all a part of fashion’s obsession with the PVC craze.
Let’s face it: Black PVC is the hottest texture of 2022. This industrial look is what we’ve already started seeing everywhere, as a Berlin-inspired “bikecore” is taking over fashion racks and runways across the globe.
It’s rebellious in nature. It’s nothing short of badass. And it’s industrial chic, because it’s durable wear, not your typical fashion texture: It’s loud (squeaks when you walk), it’s hot to wear. It’s flattering (turn your thighs into liquid gloss in selfies). And it’s incredibly durable, too (spilling a martini on PVC pants isn’t actually a problem, it’s like wearing a weather-proof, stylish, ultra shiny umbrella).
It’s timely, for sure. Givenchy’s fall 2022 ready-to-wear collection presented angular, architectural cuts that are industrial in nature, so did the looks in the recent Balenciaga show at Paris Fashion Week, as well as the Heliot Emil presentation, which brought what Vogue called “industrial elegance” to the runway.
When it comes to the costumes in the film, they fit into the moody Gotham City—meaning they’re black bodysuits, and not much else. The black outfit Zoë Kravitz wears while playing a costumed cat burglar, Catwoman, aka a cocktail waitress named Selina Kyle, is sleek, yet practical.
The catsuit has been called one of this year’s “style protagonists” by Refinery29, as it is being worn by Dua Lipa, Cardi B and Ashanti. Rihanna recently wore the Amina Muaddi x Wolford catsuit with built-in shoes, which is selling for roughly $5,000.
And Batman’s own outfit is one bodysuit that stands out from the rest. Unlike past Batman costume versions—from tech-savvy body armor, to muscle-popping chest-pieces—costume team Dave Crossman and Glyn Dillon, this one has a special trademark: It’s real. In other words, its meant for the battlefield, but also, a motorcycle.
There’s may places to get these Batman-inspired looks. One is the Rumer Top by womenswear brand Hutch Design, another is the black leather pants by menswear brand Todd Patrick, which are a mix of sci-fi chic and real world grit. Berlin brand GmbH fuses Berlin’s nightlife techno flair with sustainable garb made from deadstock, while NachClubsBerlin is an Instagram account that traces Berlin club scene style (some could call it “Berghain lineup style”), in real time. Naturally, it’s a scroll drenched in tar black.
It’s part of the latest wave of industrial fashion, a trend that has been hugely popularized at Berlin Fashion Week consistently, over the past decade. According to the costume design team of The Batman, Venetian carnival masks were an inspiration point for Batman’s own mask.
“I liked the idea of it being very skull-like, I wanted it to have a grim reaper feel,” Dillon told Esquire.