The new Batgirl design has been often credited to Cameron Stewart OR Babs Tarr but rarely to the both of them. The design process was in fact a collaboration with both artists contributing to the final design.
Cameron: When DC first approached me about taking over Batgirl as writer/artist, my very first question was “can I redesign the costume?” I knew that my approach to Batgirl would be very different from the armoured-up New 52 look. The costume is the brand, and it needed to immediately reflect the tone and goals of my new storyline and approach.
Intending to do a contemporary take on the iconic Yvonne Craig costume from the 60’s tv series, and using Darwyn Cooke’s revision of Catwoman and Jamie McKelvie's redesign of Captain Marvel as my compass, I wanted to make a costume that was modern, stylish, practical, feminine and sexy without being sexually exploitive, and the kind of thing that a 21-year old girl would want to wear - both in the comic and in real life. I also decided that it would be fun to make it something that could be assembled from real-life items of clothing (something that actually fits into the storyline). Diving into street fashion blogs, I took note of several of recurring styles and shapes and how they could be adapted into a superhero look.
Eventually I settled on a leather jacket/leggings combo with a pair of yellow lace-up boots in place of the traditional stiletto heels. After experimenting with some full-head-and-neck cowls I decided it felt more appropriate left unattached to the body, which led me to solve the problem of the cape - looking at jackets with snaps led me to come up with the idea of a removable cape fastened at the shoulders.
When Babs was confirmed as the main artist on the book, I sent her the design I’d made, and she had some suggestions.
Babs: Cameron had such a cute design when I got it! Her boots were pure brilliance and I loved her cape and snaps! It just needed some cool details - that’s where I came in!Now if you know my work you know I draw my fair share of leather jackets and Barbara’s just needed hers punched up just a little bit! I loved the hip lines that Cameron had, and knowing the structure of ladies’ leather jackets I knew there needed to be seams on the front for her chest. This helped it look a little more sleek and fitted!There is also a lot of nice symmetry going on in the jacket I tried to keep in mind with my additions - the angle of the bat symbol wing should reflect the angle of the cape and that same angle flipped upside-down is echoed in the center seams in the jacket. Flip up again and you’ve got the angle of the front zippers I added.The snaps/cape placement was great, exactly where many leather jackets put seams (see below). I imagine, wherever Barbara found this jacket, the seams were already there for the placement of the cape and she just added snaps right overtop.I added front pocket zippers so that Babs could have some extra pockets, sure, but mostly to bump up the badass factor, breaking up those lines/seams of her jacket - little details to add interest. Zippers on cuffs of the sleeves echo the zippers in the front and also a standard leather jacket detail.The collar needed a little love as well! I added a leather strap that snaps over to add a little nice detail.The belt Cameron had at first was pretty standard. Nothing I haven’t already seen. I wanted to something interesting with it and I saw it as a chance to add a little more sexiness to the costume. So far the costume was pretty devoid of anything too too sexy so I wanted to add just a little bit of it. I thought “What if I made that big pouch on the left side a thigh strap?” That’s sexy AND functional. Now that big pouch wasn’t gonna bounce around all over the place while she was running around kicking ass!I also tried to make those pouches less boxy to soften the shapes — more like soft yellow leather. Details in the belt, like the rings attached the straps and the snaps on the belt are just adding interest and echoing the cool hardware in the jacket.I finally added some snaps to her gloves, echoing the original snaps on the collar and belt.And thats it! I thought about adding some moto lines to the pants, but I decided to leave them be.The final, incorporated design: