The garb of every superhero -- from Spider-Man to Wonder Woman -- has been critiqued by both fans and fashionistas. It's not easy to wear brightly colored tights, splashy capes, and body-tight armor without raising a few eyebrows.
This week on "Project Runway: Under the Gunn," fashion mentor and host Tim Gunn asks contestants to create a new look inspired by Marvel superheroes Hawkeye, Captain Marvel, Gamora, The Guardians of the Galaxy, Black Widow, Falcon, and more.
"You are not creating costumes," Gunn stresses to the designers in this preview clip that takes place at Meltdown Comics in Los Angeles. Instead, the designers look at comics to get inspiration for ready-to-wear pieces that best personify each Marvel character while still being stylish and wearable.
"Our characters are dramatic, visually exciting, and rich with story -- and isn't high fashion all of those things?" Cort Lane, Marvel vice president of animation development and production and guest mentor on the episode, told Marvel.com.
"I got to spend so much time explaining the Marvel characters to the designers -- each one of them found something really relatable and inspiring about a Marvel hero."
Actress Jaimie Alexander wears impressive armor as Lady Sif in "Thor," "Thor: The Dark World," and "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." So it makes sense she's serving as a guest judge to give her input on fashions that should be exalted -- or banished from Earth.
Gunn knows a thing or two about superhero fashion himself. In 2009, Gunn teamed up with Marvel to be featured as his very own comic book character who dons the Iron Man suit and foils an attack against a New York fashion museum.
Gunn is also no stranger to critiquing superhero costumes. In fact in a series of video interviews for Crazy Sexy Geeks he's given his two cents on costumes worn by Batman, Robin, Spider-Man, the Incredible Hulk, and many more. One of his favorites? Catwoman. "I'm a fan of the Michelle Pfeiffer [Catwoman] costume," Gunn remarked. "It's sexy without being vulgar."
Comic books and fashion designers may seem like unlikely bedfellows, but many superheroes and villains alike have served as muses for a number of fashion designers, including most recently The Blonds, whose winter 2014 collection was heavily inspired by Catwoman.
Tune in to to "Project Runway: Under the Gunn" April 3 at 9 p.m. on Lifetime to see whether the designers can successfully create one-of-a-kind Marvel-ous designs.