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The hidden message behind Brie Larson’s looks on the Captain Marvel red carpet

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Hannah-Rose Yee
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The actress wanted her superhero premiere outfits to be fierce, empowering and strong.     

Comic book fans call it ‘the hero moment’.

It’s a phrase that refers to that specific scene in which the superhero is shown to be exactly that. It might be that they’re wearing their superhero suit for the first time, as it was when Wonder Woman shrugged off her cape and strode onto the battlefield. Or it might be when they come into their powers, as Captain America did when the super serum fused into his bloodstream.

In Captain Marvel, Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers has a few awe-inspiring hero moments. But her best one might not be in the movie at all, but on the red carpet while promoting the film.

It was there, at the London premiere of Captain Marvel, that Larson stood in front of a giant billboard advertising the movie, her muscular back bare in a custom haute couture Valentino gown, complete with billowing cape. Larson looked strong and empowered, gazing up at a huge poster for the first female-led superhero movie from Marvel that she had made possible. And it was a true hero moment. 

That Valentino dress with its bare back and cut-out design is just one of the many looks that Larson has worn while promoting Captain Marvel. She has donned a sparkly Rodarte jumpsuit with a slashed midriff and a star spangled Rodarte gown at the New York and Los Angeles premieres. She has worn Oscar de la Renta going-out-tops and trousers and Dorothee Schumacher suits. She wore one show-stopping sequinned Celine dress to the Oscars.

And according to Larson, each of these looks was crafted with her stylist Samantha McMillen to empower her on the red carpet. They showcased Larson’s Captain Marvel-honed confidence and are designed to serve as a reminder that fashion is something that can make you feel strong.

“Clothes are a form of expression and they can be something that makes you feel empowered,” Larson told People. “I’m introverted, and for me having something that makes me feel good in these very public moments is imperative. But, because we have a really long press tour and a lot of looks, it gives me a lot of opportunities to kind of meditate on what empowerment really means when it comes to fashion.” 

Brie Larson in Rodarte

What Larson and McMillen settled on was a way of dressing that shows the “different ways of owning my body.”

“That’s been the theme of this whole press tour is owning my body and understanding that it changes from day-to-day, what feels empowering to me and what makes me feel good,” Larson said.

Sometimes it’s a ball gown and cape, others it’s a tailored suit and sneakers. The point, Larson said, was to find a way to show strength through clothes, no matter how different each look might be from the one that came before it. 

Brie Larson in a suit promoting Captain Marvel

“My style is going to be different,” Larson added. “Sometimes it’s super flowy and feminine, sometimes it’s really hard and tough, sometimes I want to wear a suit, sometimes I want to wear something baggy. Sometimes I want to lean into my youth, sometimes I want to be an older version of myself.”

“I’m allowed to do whatever I want.” Damn right.

Images: Getty

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Hannah-Rose Yee

Hannah-Rose Yee is a writer, podcaster and recent Australian transplant in London. You can find her on the internet talking about pop culture, food and travel.

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