A lot can be said about Elizabeth Olsen's Wanda Maximoff. In her first MCU appearance, she aligned herself with the malevolent Ultron and acted against the Avengers only to have a change of heart and switch sides. After that, she joined the superhero team and eventually fell in love with the android Vision. The pair continued their romance until Thanos rolled up and killed Vision in his pursuit of the Infinity Stones. Then came WandaVision.
In Marvel Studios' first leap into the television medium, WandaVision, Wanda lived an idyllic, suburban life with Vision and their two sons, but this was all a facade. Maximoff was torn away from her fantasy whilst realizing her full potential as a supremely powerful magic user known as the Scarlet Witch. She then caused all sorts of trouble for one Dr. Stephen Strange in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
Throughout Wanda's time in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, she's had several different costumes, ranging from very overtly superhero-ey-looking attire to something that maybe suited her style a little more, as seen in WandaVision and Multiverse of Madness.
Now, the exact process of the Scarlet Witch's costume evolution has been detailed.
Wanda Maximoff's MCU Costume Evolving Into Doctor Strange 2
Speaking to Marvel's official YouTube channel, Andy Park, Marvel Studios' Supervisor of Visual Development, spoke about the changes made to the Scarlet Witch's costume between WandaVision and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness:
"Leading into Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, her design was just going to be the WandaVision costume. It wasn’t until later that they decided to add the sleeves to cover that up, and then to what extent are textures added, and all that kind of stuff. It was something that, eventually, the costume designer, Graham Churchyard, did a great job of. I loved how he incorporated the sleeves, but then you see it kind of looks like it’s getting corrupted. And then, the texture that he gave on the bodice area of the WandaVision suit looks like it’s a crack. It almost looks like it’s like a broken heart. It really worked to give her story from, like, the hero that she became in the final episode in WandaVision to a more villainous spin-- a dark, corrupted version of that hero outfit. It all worked for her story."
Park also commented on the character's design evolution throughout all of her various appearances in the MCU, with the artist mentioning that he hopes fans "can take those looks and just kind of see how far she's gone."
"When I was starting on Wanda, her look-- probably 2013, 2014-- around there-- I had no idea. I don’t even know if they knew exactly where she was going to end up. I think it’s always just such a rewarding experience to be able to be part of that journey. We’re telling her story, and I’m part of that, you know, even though my part is, like, more of the visuals. But people love seeing these characters, not just reading about them. And that’s why you have so many cosplayers that express their love for these characters, and they dress up like them. When people see Wanda and her journey, I hope that they can take those looks and just kind of see how far she’s gone. Her story is mysterious. Her story is tragic. But it’s that story and that whole journey that makes it so powerful. And hopefully, you know, her visuals show that."
Here's a look at what appears to be an earlier piece of concept art for Wanda:
What Does the Scarlet Witch's Costume Symbolize?
As Andy Park made reference to, Wanda's suit was modified in between her two most recent on-screen appearances. Full-length sleeves were added to indicate that this was not exactly the same Wanda and that she had been corrupted by the Darkhold.
Also of note is a sort of cracked texture was added to Wanda's bodice in Doctor Strange 2, with the fractures emanating from her heart. This was to symbolize that her heart was broken, having lost Vision and her children.
The execution here is nuanced, but the intent is crystal clear because costuming can tell a story just as well as dialogue or scenery can. And when all the elements of film production are operating in concert with one another, each part ends up enhancing the next.
At present, it's unknown where Wanda Maximoiff will appear next or if she survived the events of Multiverse of Madness. But with an individual as powerful as her, it's probably safe to say that she won't be out of the picture for long.
Marvel Studios' Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is now streaming on Disney+.