How ‘Suicide Squad’ Costume Illustrator Created Dark Moods

The young Oksana Nedavniaya (pictured) thought she would be a concert pianist, but her career took a turn when she attended a costume design panel at Comic-Con about a decade ago. “When it ended, I showed costume designer Isis Mussenden my portfolio,” Nedavniaya says. “I walked away, expecting nothing to come of it.”

Weeks later, Mussenden hired Nedavniaya to provide costume illustrations for “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.”

Since then, she’s illustrated costumes for a variety of projects, including Thor Freudenthal’s “Hotel for Dogs” and the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi Winter Olympics. Her latest project: David Ayer’s upcoming, “Suicide Squad,” set for release in 2016.

For “Squad,” the process began with concept boards provided by costume designer Kate Hawley, who did extensive research to capture the right look. “Kate is very much about creating a general mood or direction for the characters,” Nedavniaya says. “We focused on establishing an atmosphere.”

Nedavniaya’s work combined technical illustration with mood enhancements. As actors were cast, she continually refined the illustrations — and remained involved as costumes were built, a rarity for someone in her profession. “I got to see my work in 3D,” she says.

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