[Character spoilers ahead]
Clothes on Film: Why did you design Bane’s shearling coat yourself? Was it impossible to find multiples of something that fitted your interpretation of the character?
Costume Designer Lindy Hemming: 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.
Clothes on Film: How about Bane’s costume underneath the coat (padded vest)?
Costume Designer Lindy Hemming: The padded vest was made as it would have been in the story, from a collection of surplus tent canvas, old webbing belts, metal plates from the door of a jeep, military meshes etc., and was designed to be worn both with and without the leather and canvas back support belt, which Bane needs due to his torture in prison as a child/teenager. These pieces were also needed in exactly identical multiples, and were a very important part of achieving his extreme silhouette; tinkering with his proportions to help make him look more bulky, animalistic and aggressive.