As a child, I remember playing with old paper dolls, where a base "doll" could be layered with different clothing, hair, and accessories. As I grew older, I played "dress up" games which simulated this experience online. I have always found layering objects and rearranging these layers to be one of the most useful and satisfying aspects of using many design programs, from my early years of making PowerPoints in elementary school to my more recent years creating larger and often complex projects at the university level. I regularly deal with files containing dozens of layers, and in Illustrator, I sometimes find myself working with hundreds of sub-layers. This was no exception.
Working off of the same concept as a physical paper doll, I created a base "doll," the bald woman with the black undergarments, and created several "outfits" to overlay it. These outfits are inspired by comic book heroines, as comic books are one of my greatest passions. These outfits are labelled by the characters' first names, something I did intentionally, trying to draw the viewer away from the direct comic book connection and to consider these illustrated women as individuals wearing stylized clothing, not costumes. I wanted to force the viewer to consider the outfits themselves, piece by piece, not just as a collective whole as we often do with the costumes we have seen a thousand times. Some of the outfits are a direct play on the character's costume, while others are more casual looks that reflect that character's personality or stylistic preferences. One should also compare these outfits to the tendency of people to make alternate costumes for cosplay and "bounding," an everyday style of cosplay in which someone wears "normal" clothing that is reminiscent of a character/franchise.
The featured heroes, as they appear, in order:
1. Diana - Wonder Woman
2. Dinah - Black Canary
4. Stephanie - Spoiler/Robin/Batgirl
5. Koriand'r - Starfire