The Definitive Shang-Chi Thread

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Argonaut

Active Member
The Definitive Shang-Chi Thread

Now that Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is out in theaters, I thought it might be appropriate to start a thread on Shang-Chi's costumes throughout the film, as well as in any other appearances in the future. His actual superhero suit is obviously a custom-made costume (aside from the sneakers) so I will mostly be gathering ID'd pieces in this post.

Shang-Chi's Civilian Wardrobe:

The Jacket: Alpha Industries Reversible L-2B Raglan Flight Jacket


Shang-Chi has two major distinct looks as a civilian before he dons his proper superhero suit. These are primarily characterized by the red/grey and blue/orange jackets. These are in fact, the same jacket.

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In a lot of footage, the blue/orange details on the inside of the red/grey jacket are visible and vice versa, making this a very distinct reversible jacket. This is the Alpha Industries Reversible L-2B Raglan Flight Jacket. It is long since sold out but you may be able to find it on eBay or similar sites.

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You may notice that the off-the-rack jacket has slight differences compared to the ones seen on-screen. This is almost certainly attributed to alterations made by the wardrobe team, which include:

1. Shortening the collar so that it only has one white stripe as opposed to two.
2. Removing the elastic in the sleeves, making them sit flush against the arms instead of bunching up.
3. Replacing the orange and black panels on the blue/orange side of the jacket with a more muted orange fabric.

These changes to the fit and color of the jacket can be seen better below.

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The Pendant: Production-Made

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Shang-Chi and Xialing's pendants seem to be custom-made pieces for the production but there are replicas available for purchase. Entertainment Earth has a collectible set, but the best replica on the market is the Marvel X RockLove Shang-Chi Green Pendant Necklace. RockLove is a real jewelry company that works directly with Marvel Studios, previously also having produced replica Black Panther Kimoyo Beads. Though slightly pricier, their Shang-Chi pendant boasts a handcrafted silver sterling setting and natural green aventurine gemstone, making it a more premium option.

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The Jeans: Levi's Black Denim

Shang-Chi seems to keep the same jeans while wearing both the red/grey and the blue/orange versions of the jacket. These were very difficult to identify as they seemed like generic black jeans, but Andy Le, who plays Death Dealer in the film, recently posted a personal behind-the-scenes vlog in which there was a clear shot of Simu's butt (clothed of course). I can no longer find the video, so it seems Disney may have cracked down on the footage, but I was able to grab a screenshot before it was taken down, which shows the iconic red Levi's tag on the back right pocket. I have also included some pictures posted by Simu, which have some clearer views of the jeans. I am no expert in Levi's, so if anyone has an idea of what the exact model this pair is, feel free to chime in.

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The Sneakers: Jordan Access "Black Gym Red"

These look suspiciously like Air Jordan 1's, however the uppers are very different. This made them fairly easy to identify based on the trailers and promo images. Shang-Chi's sneakers are the Jordan Access in the "Black Gym Red" colorway.

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Retaining the soles of the Air Jordan 1, this mid-top sneaker has a reworked upper that forgoes a Nike Swoosh for a Jumpman logo on the lateral side as well as "Jumpman" spelled out through embroidery on the tongue. It should be noted that these shoes are not only worn with his civilian clothes, but also with his final superhero suit. These are again, long sold out, but they should be easy enough to find on sneaker consignment sites.

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Misc. Shirts & Hoodies: Unidentified

Shang-Chi wears a few pieces underneath his jacket. Namely, a white button-up with the red/grey jacket, and a black t-shirt or a grey hoodie with the blue/orange jacket. These don't seem to have any real identifying markers, aside from possibly the grey hoodie, so as of yet they are unidentified. If anyone manages to find these, please share!

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Sithslayer78

New Member
Just bought the shoes, but I found this Twitter post yesterday while researching(this all happened within a day of watching the movie, haha)


General Stuff: I anticipate that this costume follows the standard MCU costume design philosophy, which typically involves separating the jacket into a shirt+vest combo to allow for mobility. I guess I'll be handwashing it in its entirety too. Also, any starting tips on a pattern would be greatly appreciated.

Also, an interesting snippet from an interview with Simu Liu about the costume:
Liu went on to describe how it felt to get into the costume for the first time. He said it came in three different pieces.
“So I put on the first piece, and it’s, you know, already an incredible feeling,” said Liu. “And then I put on the second piece, and I’m like ‘oh my god, it’s getting real!’ And then finally that third piece comes on, it comes over my head. And then it’s just magic.”
I don't know what part three could be. Maybe part 1 was a separated collar, or the ten rings?

The two main challenges I see are:

The Sequins: I'm not entirely sure of what I'm even looking at here. My initial hunch was that the whole costume was a sheet of cast material, then I saw the missing sequin above the end of the sleeve. In the movie, the costume appears to be very light. Are these glued on with some sort of adhesive? I also find it interesting how sequins at the edges are cut off. My hunch isn't to sew on independent sequins, but rather to cast them out of some mold and glue them on. Perhaps I would lay out sheets of fabric, 3D Print a jig to hold a bunch of cast sequins (in some clear-ish rubbery material that can be glued onto fabric) in a grid pattern, and create stock sheets of 'sequin-ed' fabric to then use with a pattern. Thoughts on this would be appreciated! (also opinions on whether or not there's an embroidered pattern in between the sequins)

The Detail Striping: Many of the Etsy/china cosplay-house-tier costumes use sewn-on vinyl, but the real costume clearly doesn't. What it looks like to me is some sort of non-fabric material ironed onto fabric. What kind of material would that be? What kind of adhesive should I use? Am I missing a perfectly obvious stitching technique that would create the shown result? My hunch is to cast this in thin sheets out of neoprene and glue them onto fabric.
 

TheNickFox

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I don't know what part three could be. Maybe part 1 was a separated collar, or the ten rings?
My guess is: Pants, Shirt, Vest. Same 3 that most of the Marvel costumes are. Pants connect to the shirt in costumes like Captain America to prevent them from bunching, and keeping things fairly streamlined.
 

arivin923

Well-Known Member
Saw the costume in person, it's 100% a shirt and a vest on top. They design almost everything for the MCU that way so that actors & stunt actors have more range of motion. And I'm 95% sure the "dragon scales" are individually cast and glued on. How they get them so perfectly spaced out and positioned, I have no idea.
 

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kenobibale

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Awesome details about the jacket. My guess is they copied it in a different fabric that reads better on screen. And of course because they would need multiples.

For the superhero suit, my guess is like all the MCU costumes the fabric is heavily screen printed. They may have directly cast pieces onto the fabric too.
 

Argonaut

Active Member
Saw the costume in person, it's 100% a shirt and a vest on top. They design almost everything for the MCU that way so that actors & stunt actors have more range of motion. And I'm 95% sure the "dragon scales" are individually cast and glued on. How they get them so perfectly spaced out and positioned, I have no idea.
I saw it in person a few times too and I can corroborate the shirt and vest combo. Up close, you can see that the sleeves are part of a shirt without any texture and the vest portion has invisible zippers on the sides of the back.

As for the dragon scales, I'm fairly certain that these are cast and glued as well. I had thought that they were simply screen-printed but after seeing them up close they are really way too big to be 3d inks. They are also translucent. When you get up extremely close though, you can see that the fabric itself is actually screen-printed. There's a starlike pattern that goes on in the negative space between all of the individual scales. My guess is that the fabric was screen-printed with this pattern which also had some kind of outline/guideline for the dragon scales, all of which were glued on afterward.

The black piping is similarly a combination of screenprinting and cast pieces. The geometric black parts that have the designs in them are obviously cast and the flatter black sections and lines are screenprinted directly onto the fabric.
 
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TheNickFox

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I would put money the scales NOT being hand applied but instead being cast in an open mold and then backed in a fabric while the rubber is still wet.

Looking between the scales, you can see a rubbery texture that matches them in the valleys.

The biggest exception are the brighter red "strips" where you can see the real underlying fabric without rubber on top. Those strips likely show where each mold segment begins and ends.

Here's a detail shot where you can see the texture in the valleys and the brighter red strips.

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Argonaut

Active Member
I would put money the scales NOT being hand applied but instead being cast in an open mold and then backed in a fabric while the rubber is still wet.

Looking between the scales, you can see a rubbery texture that matches them in the valleys.

The biggest exception are the brighter red "strips" where you can see the real underlying fabric without rubber on top. Those strips likely show where each mold segment begins and ends.

Here's a detail shot where you can see the texture in the valleys and the brighter red strips.

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I'm certainly no expert on screenprinting, so what's your take on this? This is a photo I personally took that shows the star detailing I was talking about in the negative space between the dragon scales. When I examined the suit, I could still see the fabric in between the scales and the screenprinted stars.
 

TheNickFox

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
View attachment 1493686

I'm certainly no expert on screenprinting, so what's your take on this? This is a photo I personally took that shows the star detailing I was talking about in the negative space between the dragon scales. When I examined the suit, I could still see the fabric in between the scales and the screenprinted stars.
I'm still seeing gloms between the scales. The rubber is translucent. revealing the printed fabric below THROUGH the rubber.

Looks at this area in your image, where you can see what I believe is rubber reflecting light between those ornamental rows.

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Screenprinting does not allow for this style of definition. You could get a flat pattern or a rounded pattern, or a vaguely puffy pattern, but nothing with this shape and definition. That definition requires casting.

EDIT: Check out these areas as well, you can see a raised t-shape between the scales, showing that there IS a material on top of the fabric in those valleys. AND you can see the edge of the cast piece above, because there would have to be multiple sections to something like this, it couldn't be cast across the entire thing at once since the fabric would need to be flat and pressed into an open mold.

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Argonaut

Active Member
I'm still seeing gloms between the scales. The rubber is translucent. revealing the printed fabric below THROUGH the rubber.

Looks at this area in your image, where you can see what I believe is rubber reflecting light between those ornamental rows.

View attachment 1493691

Screenprinting does not allow for this style of definition. You could get a flat pattern or a rounded pattern, or a vaguely puffy pattern, but nothing with this shape and definition. That definition requires casting.

EDIT: Check out these areas as well, you can see a raised t-shape between the scales, showing that there IS a material on top of the fabric in those valleys. AND you can see the edge of the cast piece above, because there would have to be multiple sections to something like this, it couldn't be cast across the entire thing at once since the fabric would need to be flat and pressed into an open mold.

View attachment 1493692
After poring over my library I think I'm inclined to agree that those large dragon scale sections are one piece. Is there precedence for this technique of pressing fabric directly into the mold? I can't recall at least any mainstream costume that could require something like this.
 

TheNickFox

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
After poring over my library I think I'm inclined to agree that those large dragon scale sections are one piece. Is there precedence for this technique of pressing fabric directly into the mold? I can't recall at least any mainstream costume that could require something like this.
Technically it's how Marty McFly's 2015 jacket was make, just with less finesse than this and with worse materials.

Mermaid tail makers use this technique all the time.

And I'm sure other costumes HAVE done it, but it's probably executed in a way where other methods seem as likely.

This situation makes it the only likely solution in my mind short of a wizard doing it. lol
 

Sithslayer78

New Member
Technically it's how Marty McFly's 2015 jacket was make, just with less finesse than this and with worse materials.

Mermaid tail makers use this technique all the time.

And I'm sure other costumes HAVE done it, but it's probably executed in a way where other methods seem as likely.

This situation makes it the only likely solution in my mind short of a wizard doing it. lol

I would be inclined to agree, but that leaves me thinking about the missing sequin on the sleeve. My hunch is that this might point towards something being applied to the fabric rather than cast into it, assuming I'm understanding that the consensus here thus far is leaning towards casting into the fabric. Still, I can't think of any stable way to apply such a thing to fabric, so it could just be some sort of fluke.

I'm also wondering if the star pattern may serve to join the points of the diamond scales, making those sharp corners less likely to initiate peeling.
 

TheNickFox

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I would be inclined to agree, but that leaves me thinking about the missing sequin on the sleeve.
When pressing fabric into the back of poured, wet rubber, you can easily create thin spots. The edges around details are the most likely to create those thin spots since the fabric can nestle onto the edges of that detail, thus making the individual scales potentially detachable without affecting the surrounding appliance. High wear areas (like elbows) would also present some mechanical wear that could further loosen those pieces.
 

Auel

Active Member
There's another shoe at the end credits scene, can't really tell what it was. But it definitely looks like the back of an Air Jordan 4.

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Auel

Active Member
Saw the costume in person, it's 100% a shirt and a vest on top. They design almost everything for the MCU that way so that actors & stunt actors have more range of motion. And I'm 95% sure the "dragon scales" are individually cast and glued on. How they get them so perfectly spaced out and positioned, I have no idea.

There's an interview with Simu and he mentions that it's a 3 piece suit.
 

Sithslayer78

New Member
There's an interview with Simu and he mentions that it's a 3 piece suit.
Looking at this shot I'm convinced part 2 was a collar, there's a lot of layering there that I can see them wanting grounded.
 

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TheNickFox

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Looking at this shot I'm convinced part 2 was a collar, there's a lot of layering there that I can see them wanting grounded.
For the most part, collars in the MCU can be attached to the shirt underneath. There really wouldn't be a reason to make it a third piece. It would honestly make the costume tie together less.

Whether talking Cap, or Captain Marvel, or Sam as Cap, or Night Monkey the three parts are Pants, Shirt, Vest. Pants and shirt then get zipped together. I'm not seeing anything that would require anything beyond those three.
 

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