Speaking to Clothes on Film (the interview contains major spoilers), costume designer Lindy Hemming has detailed her work on Christopher Nolan’s spellbinding conclusion to his Batman saga, ‘The Dark Knight Rises.’ In the interview, Hemming opens up about her discussions with Christopher Nolan through the production of ‘The Dark Knight Rises,’ her research process, plus, perhaps most interestingly, she speaks in-depth about the looks of Tom Hardy’s merciless, masked villain Bane, Anne Hathaway’s Selina Kyle, Marion Cotillard’s Miranda Tate, and Christian Bale’s Bruce Wayne. For the look of Batman’s latest adversary, Bane, Hemming revealed that she looked at references from the comics, because, when dealing with heroes, anti-heroes and superheroes, there are millions of fans with expectations, but she added that her job is to try to “find ways of incorporating those expectations into a more realistic looking character, giving visual signals or references to the original Bane.”

Providing some great insight, Lindy Hemming shed some light on the look of Bane’s shearling coat, which she designed herself, “Because of my research for this character; he is a man who has travelled the world as a kind of mercenary. I was looking at two main areas, firstly his military surplus scavenging, which has gone into making up his entire wardrobe and breathing equipment; I fell in love with a very old, matted Swedish army sheepskin arctic wear coat with huge collar and lead weights as buttons, a great characterful garment. Secondly his idealistic, romantic, revolutionary aspirations, which was how Chris Nolan had explained an aspect of him; this lead me to think about the French Revolutionary style / military greatcoat look with ample collars. We also has a feeling that this garment could be a ‘sign/signal’ of the change for the mania in his behaviour of and his worsening destructive megalomania as he enters the football field. Obviously this combination of ideas in a garment did not exist so I decided to set about designing it and having it made in L.A. It was a very difficult project, and there were the issues of multiples, the non- matching aspects of sheepskins, and, for poor Tom Hardy as Bane, an extra hot, heavy horror, as he was already facing torture by face and mouth with the covering mask.”

Alongside Tom Hardy’s fantastic, physically imposing and oddly charismatic performance as Bane, one of my favourite ingredients of Christopher Nolan’s third and final Batman movie was undoubtedly Anne Hathaway’s Selina Kyle/Catwoman. That character brought mischief, humour and humanity to the film in abundance as this mysterious cat burglar desperate for a fresh start. Speaking about the look of Anne Hathaway’s Selina Kyle, Lindy Hemming revealed that key influences were ‘La Femme Nikita,’ Audrey Hepburn, and the theatricality of Thierry Mugler, “Selina Kyle we decided was a kind of female version of Bruce Wayne, she is a cat burglar and an opportunist, so must, rather like James Bond, be able to ‘pass’ or be ‘hidden in plain sight’. My influences were La Femme Nikita, and Audrey Hepburn, with a medium dose of Thierry Mugler thrown in for theatricality. All her clothes were designed by me, and made by / in our workshops, including all her underwear which needed to be worn under the cat suit. Whatever event she decided to be at, she could invent a look that would work, from Maid at Wayne Manor, to Woman Going to a Funeral at the airport.

Once the credits started to roll after the final scene in ‘The Dark Knight’ – the visually stunning montage scene featuring Gordon’s epic “he’s the hero Gotham deserves” monologue, capped off with that last beautiful shot of Christian Bale’s Batman on his Bat-pod going off in the distance – a third instalment in Christopher Nolan’s Batman series had been sitting gloriously and comfortably at the top of my “most anticipated film” list. The screenplay for ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ is written by Christopher Nolan and Jonathan Nolan, from a story by the Nolan’s and David S. Goyer. Based upon the characters appearing in comic books published by DC Comics, ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ stars Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle/Catwoman, Tom Hardy as Bane, Gary Oldman as Commissioner Jim Gordon, Joseph Gordon-Levitt as John Blake, Michael Caine as Alfred, Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox, and Marion Cotillard as Miranda Tate. Matthew Modine, Daniel Sunjata, Christopher Judge, Ben Mendelsohn, Juno Temple, Aidan Gillen, Liam Neeson, Cillian Murphy, Josh Pence, Daniel Sunjata, Nestor Carbonell, Tom Conti, Joey King, Brett Cullen, Chris Ellis, Josh Stewart, Christopher Judge, Adam Rodriguez and Rob Brown co-star. Check out the production details and official synopsis for ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ below. My interviews for the film can be read here: Christian Bale interview #1Christian Bale interview #2Christopher Nolan interview #1Christopher Nolan interview #2Anne Hathaway interview #1Anne Hathaway interview #2Gary Oldman and Joseph Gordon-Levitt joint interview, and finally Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman joint interview.

It has been eight years since Batman vanished into the night, turning, in that instant, from hero to fugitive. Assuming the blame for the death of D.A. Harvey Dent, the Dark Knight sacrificed everything for what he and Commissioner Gordon both hoped was the greater good. For a time the lie worked, as criminal activity in Gotham City was crushed under the weight of the anti-crime Dent Act. But everything will change with the arrival of a cunning cat burglar with a mysterious agenda. Far more dangerous, however, is the emergence of Bane, a masked terrorist whose ruthless plans for Gotham drive Bruce out of his self-imposed exile. But even if he dons the cape and cowl again, Batman may be no match for Bane.

Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ “The Dark Knight Rises” is the epic conclusion to filmmaker Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. Leading an all-star international cast, Oscar® winner Christian Bale (“The Fighter”) again plays the dual role of Bruce Wayne/Batman. The film also stars Anne Hathaway, as Selina Kyle; Tom Hardy, as Bane; Oscar® winner Marion Cotillard (“La Vie en Rose”), as Miranda Tate; and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, as John Blake. Returning to the main cast, Oscar® winner Michael Caine (“The Cider House Rules”) plays Alfred; Gary Oldman is Commissioner Gordon; and Oscar® winner Morgan Freeman (“Million Dollar Baby”) reprises the role of Lucius Fox.

The screenplay is written by Christopher Nolan and Jonathan Nolan, story by Christopher Nolan & David S. Goyer. The film is produced by Emma Thomas, Christopher Nolan and Charles Roven, who previously teamed on “Batman Begins” and the record-breaking blockbuster “The Dark Knight.” The executive producers are Benjamin Melniker, Michael E. Uslan, Kevin De La Noy and Thomas Tull, with Jordan Goldberg serving as co-producer. The film is based upon characters appearing in comic books published by DC Comics. Batman was created by Bob Kane.

Behind the scenes, “The Dark Knight Rises” reunites the director with several of his longtime collaborators, all of whom worked together on the “The Dark Knight.” The creative team includes director of photography Wally Pfister, who recently won an Oscar® for his work on Nolan’s “Inception”; production designer Nathan Crowley; editor Lee Smith; and Oscar®-winning costume designer Lindy Hemming (“Topsy-Turvy”). In addition, Paul Franklin and Chris Corbould, who both won Oscars® for the effects in “Inception,” supervised the visual and special effects, respectively. The music is composed by Oscar® winner Hans Zimmer (“The Lion King”).

In helming the film, Christopher Nolan is utilizing IMAX® cameras even more extensively than he did on “The Dark Knight,” which had marked the first time ever that a major feature film was partially shot with IMAX cameras. The locations span three continents and include the American cities of Pittsburgh, New York and Los Angeles, as well as sites in India, England and Scotland.

“The Dark Knight Rises” is a presentation of Warner Bros. Pictures, in association with Legendary Pictures. Slated for release beginning July 20, 2012, the film will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.