Catsuits and Bodysuits in Popular Media - Movies and Television Series

Movies and Television Series

Notable uses of catsuits or similar full-body garments include:

  • Æon Flux: In both the television series and the 2005 film starring Charlize Theron.
  • Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery: Liz Hurley and Mimi Rogers appear in black leather catsuits in a tribute to Emma Peel.
  • The Avengers: Cathy Gale (played by Honor Blackman, better known for the role of Pussy Galore in Goldfinger) wore black leather catsuits that took four-hour fitting sessions for the shooting. She opted for the leather as her clothes were getting repeatedly ripped off during fight scenes, including one scene that had her trousers ripped in close-up. Her fetishistic garb was identified as a reason behind The Avengers's entry into a cult status. Emma Peel (played by Diana Rigg) wore a number of black leather catsuits during the monochrome series, but then switched to wearing colorful psychedelic jumpsuits as the show entered Technicolor. Emma Peel's black leather catsuits was identified as a precursor of the popularity of leather, spandex and vinyl bodysuits in subcultures like Punk and Leathermen. Her character has been described as the inspiration for most iconic bodysuit-clad female characters that followed, including the Catwoman, Monica Vitti in Modesty Blaise, Jane Fonda in Barbarella, and Marianne Faithful in Girl on a Motorcycle. The catsuits and fashion paraphernalia in The Avengers, including the leather boots, kept the youth "at home on Saturday nights" according to the Spectator. Novelist and social analyst Gillian Freeman attributed this popularity to the "kinkiness" of the attire of Gale and Peel in The Undergrowth of Literature, her seminal study on pornography.
    • The Avengers: In the 1998 film based on the series, Uma Thurman wears a black pleather catsuit and a black PVC/latex catsuit as Emma Peel and her evil clone respectively.
  • Batman: Batgirl has appeared in various forms of the catsuit throughout the Batman film, TV and comic book franchises. Catwoman has worn a variety of lurex, PVC, leather and spandex catsuits in the TV series, film and comic book franchises. The villainess Harley Quinn is renowned for her distinctive costume - a red and black diamond-checked catsuit in the style of a harlequin jester.
    • Batman (1966 film): Lee Meriwether as Catwoman, wears a black tight shiny catsuit.
    • Batman Forever: Jim Carrey wears a number of flamboyant green spandex catsuits for his role as The Riddler.
    • Batman Returns: Michelle Pfeiffer (Catwoman) wears the catsuit, and European fetish magazine «O» claims that the popularity of her costume has taken forward the social approval of fetish costumes, a claim partially acknowledged by scholarly sources.
    • Batman & Robin: Poison Ivy (Uma Thurman) wears two flamboyant spandex catsuits.
    • The Dark Knight Rises: Anne Hathaway (Catwoman) wears a very different version of the catsuit from previous films, consisting of two layers of material, the outer being polyurethane coated spandex. Utilizing non-polyester fabrics created less sheen, compared to the costume design in the previous film (**Batman Returns) featuring catwoman.
  • Cat's Eye: The criminal trio of sisters Rui, Hitomi and Ai wear spandex catsuits throughout the anime film. In the live action version the catsuits are worn by Miss Japan 1992 Norika Fujiwara (Rui), Izumi Inamori (Hitomi) and teen icon Yuki Uchida (Ai).
  • Buck Rogers in the 25th Century: Wilma Deering (played by Erin Gray) wore disco-inspired spandex catsuits during the show's first season.
  • The Cannonball Run: Jill Rivers (Tara Buckman) and Marcie Thatcher (Adrienne Barbeau) drives a black Lamborghini Countach dressed in tight shiny one-piece race suits.
  • Charlie's Angels: Cameron Diaz appears in a white spandex catsuit, Lucy Liu and Drew Barrymore appear in black catsuits (during the Alley fight scene) and the villainess Vivian Wood (Kelly Lynch) appears in a sleeveless black latex catsuit and leather jacket. The Angels also wear blue catsuits when on the race track.
  • Chuck: Yvonne Strahovski wears a black catsuit in one episode
  • Colombiana: Zoë Saldana changes into a black catsuit in order to perform an assassination requiring stealth and flexibility that would not be possible in regular clothing.
  • Doctor Who: Travelling companion Zoe Heriot wears a sparkling catsuit, apparently common in the "21st century".
  • Dude, Where's My Car?: A group of five attractive females wearing catsuits appear a number of times throughout the movie.
  • Ergo Proxy: Female protagonist Re-l Mayer has on some occasions worn a suit that resembles a catsuit. However, its main use is to protect the wearer from the harsh cold temperatures outside of the dome city Rondo.
  • Fantastic Four: The heroes Mr. Fantastic, The Invisible Woman and The Human Torch all wear dark lycra catsuits.
  • Galaxina: Dorothy Stratten wears white spandex catsuit during the whole film.
  • Game of Death: Bruce Lee's yellow one-piece tracksuit has become an icon of modern action movies.
  • G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero: Scarlett,the GI Joe Team's counter-intelligence specialist and lead heroine, wears a yellow orange and violet leotard-catsuit with matching gloves and boots.
  • The Girl on a Motorcycle: the female protagonist (Marianne Faithfull) rides a motorcycle through Europe wearing only a leather catsuit.
  • The Hazing: Tiffany Shepis appears in silver spandex catsuit with matching spandex hands.
  • Irma Vep: Irma Vep (played by Maggie Cheung) spends most of the film dressed in a tight black latex catsuit, jumping from one Parisian rooftop to another and defending her director's odd choices to hostile crew members and journalists. In the TV series Les Vampires, the inspiration of Irma Vep, Musidora wears the same costume and make-up as Cheung. This particular look was also repeated in Mark of the Vampire for Carroll Borland's characterization of vampiress Phoebe Duprey. Irma Vep was included in the X-list (National Society of Film Critics' movies that turn us on) for the catsuit worn by Cheung. In the film the costume is devised by bisexual costume designer Zoe (played by Natalie Richard), enamored by Irma in the costume, as a vague reminiscent Michelle Pfeiffer costume in Batman Returns.
  • Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back: The criminal quartet forming the C.L.I.T. syndicate (Eliza Dushku, Shannon Elizabeth, Ali Larter and Jennifer Schwalbach Smith) wears black latex catsuits.
  • Justify: Rebecca Larsen wears black latex catsuit several times throughout the movie.
  • Kappa Mikey: Mitsuki wears a black catsuit with yellow details as her spy outfit on the episode Le Femme Mitsuki.
  • Kill Bill Volume 1: Beatrix Kiddo (Uma Thurman) wears a yellow leather catsuit-like two-piece suit with black stripes in a tribute to Bruce Lee's iconic tracksuit in Game of Death.
  • Kim Possible: The character Shego wears a green and black catsuit as her trademark outfit.
  • La Louve Solitaire: A female burglar wears a black catsuit with the zipper on the back.
  • Lajja: Bollywood actress and dancer Urmila Matondkar appears in a gold pleather catsuit in the opening item number "Aa Hi Jaiye".
  • Last Action Hero: Most of the ladies around the video rental wear latex suits.
  • The Matrix trilogy: Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) wears a black PVC catsuit. Her androgynous appeal in the film was carefully designed in PVC catsuits, at times by trench coats, generating enormous following, especially among cybergeeks. The role and costume launched her into stardom. Trinity's shift from the maiden with longer hair and softer garbs to the black vinyl catsuit has been commented on as a statement in gender identity. Kym Barrett, the costume designer, made 15 versions of the catsuit, all designed to look the same on screen. She was nominated by the Costume Designers Guild in 2001 as the Best Costume Designer for her designs for Matrix characters. While discussing the Matrix she said that she "wanted to go just from the script--to come up with clothes that weren't connected to a certain time or place".
  • Mean Girls: Gretchen Wieners (Lacey Chabert) appears in a black catsuit.
  • Mr. Magoo: Kelly Lynch appears early on in the film as a jewel thief in a black latex catsuit.
  • The Mighty Boosh: Vince Noir (Noel Fielding) inventor of the mirror ball suit.
  • Never Been Kissed: Leelee Sobieski appears in blue spandex catsuit.
  • Rent: Maureen (Idina Menzel) in black catsuit with matching cat ears.
  • Rubbers: Oou onna: Aino Kishi wears black latex catsuit expressing her fetish on rubber.
  • Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed: Velma Dinkley (Linda Cardellini) appears in a red latex catsuit in an attempt to impress her love interest, Patrick Wisely (Seth Green).
  • Star Trek: Catsuits and bodysuits were worn by many extraterrestrial species and characters, of which the most notable is the Borg bodysuit.
    • Star Trek: The Next Generation: Counselor Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis) wore catsuits for nearly all of season one through six.
    • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Kira Nerys (Nana Visitor) wears a catsuit (tightness increasing throughout the episodes) as her uniform, distinguishing her rather attractively from the surrounding Starfleet-"Pyjamas".
    • Star Trek: Voyager: Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) and Kes (Jennifer Lien) wore several catsuits throughout the show, some of Seven of Nine's even contained built in corsets.
    • Star Trek: Enterprise: Continuing the Star Trek tradition from previous series, T'Pol (Jolene Blalock) wore a catsuit.
  • Tomb Raider series:
    • Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life: Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft appears in a thermal silver spandex catsuit.
  • Totally Spies!: Clover, Alex and Sam wear red, yellow and green catsuits respectively as their spy outfits.
  • Underworld: Selene (Kate Beckinsale) wears a black lycra/vinyl catsuit with matching leather corset.
  • X-Men: All members of the X-Men team (male and female) wear black leather catsuits as their official uniform.

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