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Photos: Costume designer Barbara Somerville talks about putting together the perfect sexy-yet-functional spywear for The CW's Nikita

Shaun Harrison
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1 of 9 Ben Mark Holzberg/The CW

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Nikita: The Spy Who Shagged Me? Her victims can dream. This sexy Gucci number was chosen so Nikita could pull an explosive party surprise in style. Says series costume designer Barbara Somerville: "Perfectly fitted and shimmery, this beaded, almost-spiderweb design says it all!"
2 of 9 Kerry Hayes/The CW

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Some of her spywear has to be functional. Doesn't mean it can't be sneaky playful, says Somerville. "Playing with the tonality of 'quiet' colors and a lean silhouette means Nikita can move quickly while always looking hot!"
3 of 9 Jordin Althaus/The CW

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Maggie Q originally requested a one-piece bathing suit for a poolside assault. Somerville accommodated her — sort of — with this teensy ensemble. Her argument: "It's the perfect outline to a flawless shape and the connected pieces stay in place when taking down an enemy!
4 of 9 Kerry Hayes/The CW

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Believe it or not, this jacket is made of silk. Every spy needs to indulge a little, and this outerwear serves a dual purpose of being both comfy and practical yet pretty. "The drape of silk combined with the metallic edge of brass zippers and studs spells feminine strength," Somerville says.
5 of 9 Ben Mark Holzberg/The CW

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Clearly, black is Nikita's color of choice. Good for blending in to any scene. That bare shoulder on the other hand... well, sometimes she needs to lure in her prey the old fashioned way. "It's all about line, texture, asymmetry and suggestion," says Somerville.
6 of 9 Ben Mark Holzberg/The CW

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Note the toned arms in this black leather bolero vest and body suit — they mean business. "The tension created between mixing leather and lace and Nikita's silky skin is a recipe for success," Somerville.
7 of 9 Ben Mark Holzberg/The CW

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Doesn't every covert operative (who stars in their own show) need a black leather jacket? We think so. "Leather is always functional but when cropped and perfectly fitted, it's understated sexy," Somerville says.
8 of 9 Ben Mark Holzberg/The CW

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Long-sleeve shirts, so long as their fitted, are still OK, says Somerville. They're less intimidating, but still "give Nikita the edge she needs to look good while protecting her charge."
9 of 9 Ben Mark Holzberg/The CW

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In her down time, Nikita could still knock 'em dead. Somerville dresses her in a wrap, suited for a last-minute quick-change should the spy need to dash. "Effortlessly thrown on and wrapped around her body, Nikita reveals just a touch of lace, flirting with practicality!"