Moon Knight Costume Designer Meghan Kasperlik Dishes On The Details Of The Series' Costumes [Interview]

A superhero is nothing without their costume, and Moon Knight's outfit is pretty darn cool. Whether he's dressed to the nines as Marc Spector, looking appropriately geeky as Steven Grant, or he's in the Moon Knight or Mr. Knight superhero costumes, Oscar Isaac is guaranteed to look great on the Disney+ series, and not just because he's ridiculously good-looking in general. That's because of the hard work of costume designer Meghan Kasperlik, who not only dressed Isaac in his many fabulous outfits, but designed the costumes for the entire cast. Everything from Layla's (May Calamawy) scarab bandage to Harrow's (Ethan Hawke) sandals was the work of Kasperlik and her team, helping to make the characters of "Moon Knight" feel like real people inhabiting a real, lived-in world. 

I sat down with Kasperlik via Zoom to talk about the series, the costumes, and of course, creating that killer outfit for Khonshu. 

This interview has been lightly edited for clarity. 

'How does he fit in there and not stand out, but still something's just a little bit off with his character?'

I wanted to ask you what helped you come up with the designs of both Marc and Steven's costumes, and coming up with the difference between their Moon Knight interpretations.

I originally spoke with Oscar and we started with the Steven character, and Oscar and I collaborated really well together because we wanted to make sure that he was a little bit different from maybe other people we've seen before. His character lives in Brixton, which is in London, which is a cool area, but Steven's not cool. How does he fit in there and not stand out, but still something's just a little bit off with his character? I found some amazing vintage shirts that I found in New York when I was shopping there. I'm from the East Coast, so before I went over to Budapest to film, we just fell in love with them, and I put a balloon pin on them, and I thought [of] a clunkier shoe to weigh this character down. Once that happened, and we added the socks and the Chore coat, it really came together when Oscar put it all on. Then he slouched in his posture, and it really started to bring out who Steven was, or help build that character.

Then for Marc, Oscar connected me with this amazing man that he's friends with, who's a Special Ops person. What I was very surprised by is when these mercenaries and Special Ops people go out, or spies or whatnot, they don't wear black. They wear tans, and blues, and navies, and grays, because those blend in more with the crowd than black will stand out. I really took that into consideration when we were doing all of Marc's costumes, because when we first see him he needs to blend more. That's how we started up.

'The second time he put it on, I knew it would be the poster.'

The costumes help tell us things about the characters, from Layla's jewelry or the little scarab bandage in episode 4, to Harrow's hippie sandals. Were there any little details that you just absolutely loved or had to fight for?

I feel there's parts of each character's costume that I love. I love the vintage shirts on Steven. I love when Oscar put on the desert look that he wears with the off-white and the white. The first time he put it on, I was, oh, this will be in the show. And the second time he put it on, I knew it would be the poster. You see that evolve. And then I knew for Layla, I was really excited that we built so much of her costume. We custom-made so [many] of her costumes, even though they're contemporary. We custom-made so much. And then with her costume, I have a lot more, like little Easter eggs and hidden details, like the scarab beetle, and the jewelry, and referencing her name and her family, and stuff like that. I really love the Harrow sandals. No one really pushed back too hard on it, but it definitely was unexpected, and I think that really played into the character.

'I love texture. I did fight really hard to have as much texture in the suit.'

Superhero costumes can be really tricky to translate from page to screen. How did you make the Moon Knight costumes look appropriately cool, and not just spandex with a cape in a hood?

As a costume designer, I love texture. I did fight really hard to have as much texture in the suit. I also took a little bit of a gamble that it wasn't all one molded piece with the print and the texture on top of it. I wanted to make sure that there were layers because it would be true to what it is. I wanted to incorporate as much symbolism as possible. That was something that I wanted to make sure was incorporated into that costume, as well as Khonshu with the symbolism within his costume. Also, Mr. Knight has custom Khonshu buttons, and the lapel is Khonshu symbols. It was just incorporating as much as possible. It was also very important to me that the actor and the stunt people could function in it, because I didn't want to rely on CG to paint everything in for the amount of stunts that needed to happen in it. They actually fit [the stunt double] before Oscar fit in the costume to make sure that they could fully function in the suit, and do what they needed. That was very, very important to me.

'I have had a number of people ask me for the Mr Knight suit.'

A lot of Moon Knight takes place at night. You mentioned that folks don't really wear black, but this costume is bright. Did you have any problems with the character looking too out of place or obvious in that bright white costume?

The Moon Knight costume is a little off-gray, but it's just so iconic. You just see it and you know it's Moon Knight and then Mr. Knight was bright white. We tested it out and I gave the fabric to the [cinematographers] because I was, "We are filming this at night. This will be shockingly white." But it's part of the show. It's part of who this character is and Moon Knight says, "I wear white, so you can see me coming." That's what it is.

Were there any costumes or costume elements that you wished you could take home?

I wish I could take home? All of it. We don't get to keep anything. I have had a number of people ask me for the Mr. Knight suit, which was very flattering. There's definitely pieces from the Taweret costume. I was just so excited [about] how well it turned out, and it was all made all in-house, and so that was very exciting. But I mean, I really wish I could have all of those special pieces.

'I really did a deep dive into the history of Egypt.'

Ancient Egypt has captured our imaginations for centuries, and there are tons of movies and TV shows that reference it. Were there any major pop culture things that helped inspire you for Moon Knight?

Well, I think for the Ancient Egypt reference, I really did a deep dive into the history of Egypt, and how the history has evolved into now, and pop culture there. We had an Egyptian director for multiple episodes, and so he really brought to the table just different Egyptian references. But Stefania Cella and I ... She's a production designer. We really worked closely to make sure that the Ancient Egyptian symbols that were in the tomb were then incorporated into the costumes. There was a lot of Ancient Egyptian references that were brought into play.

If you could design a costume for any superhero, because you've done a couple, who would you want to design for?

Oh, the question. I knew someone would ask me this, and I don't know if I have an answer. I am very excited about Moon Knight, so I'm so excited that I was able to do that. I don't know. I'd love to stay in the MCU. It's a pretty cool place to be. It would be cool to do something else, I can't just pinpoint just one.

New episodes of "Moon Knight" debut Wednesdays on Disney+.