There are many parts in Hulu’s adaptation of “The Handmaid’s Story” which have individuals speaking, however few are as instantly eye-catching because the robes worn by the handmaids themselves.

Costume designer Ane Crabtree (“Westworld,” “Masters of Intercourse”) shared her secrets and techniques (and photograph stash) with The Occasions, detailing the artistic course of behind probably the most distinctive costumes on tv.

Sketches seize the evolution of the handmaid clothes. (Ane Crabtree)

Designing for the top of the world

Crabtree discovered inspiration from quite a lot of sources, from repressive cultural regimes to the pure world to her personal two ft.

The robes needed to be versatile and, although not evidenced in early episodes, had totally different variations relying on the season. Within the first few episodes, the robes are made from a particularly skinny rayon that was obtainable within the deep pink shade, which means the material didn’t want the extra step of being dyed earlier than development.

A full-length look at the dress.
A full-size take a look at the gown. (George Kraychyk / Hulu)

A handmaid’s wardrobe consists of

  • White caplet
  • White wings (not pictured)
  • Blood pink robe
  • Blood pink wool cape (not pictured)
  • White undergarments (not pictured)
  • Brown boots
  • Brown boot guards

What’s not there

Lacking from the handmaid robes are trendy conveniences, like buttons, zippers, pockets and, darkly, shoelaces.

Whereas pockets and shoelaces have been eliminated as a solution to maintain a insurgent populace in verify, Crabtree had different causes for excluding different particulars.

I visually erased particulars of clothes that we’re all used to.

— Ane Crabtree

A closet full of cloaks and wings.
A closet filled with cloaks and wings. (George Kraychyk / Hulu)
  • Buttons
  • Zippers
  • Pockets
  • Shoelaces
  • Obi/corset
  • Ear tag
  • Modesty flap

DIY maternity put on

As a result of it’s a handmaid’s final objective to turn out to be pregnant, it was a logical extension that their wardrobe be maternity-prepared, a trick Crabtree managed by using an obi belt or corset, relying on actress physique sort.

Under, Madeline Brewer’s character illustrates these small styling changes for being pregnant.

Madeline Brewer's character Janine illustrates the ability of the gowns to double as maternity wear.
Madeline Brewer’s character Janine illustrates the power of the robes to double as maternity put on. (George Kraychyk / Hulu)

The most effective design is made to unravel issues.

— Ane Crabtree

Early sketches for eartags.
Early sketches for eartags. (Ane Crabtree)
The dresses include a Japanese-style obi to define the women's waists.
The clothes embrace a Japanese-fashion obi to outline the ladies’s waists. (Ane Crabtree)

Beneath their wings

The iconic wings are literally a two-half affair. Beneath there’s a caplet worn always, overlaying the hair, and over, a set of wings designed to defend them from view in public.

Elisabeth Moss wears the final version of the handmaid's caplet on the left vs. an early prototype on the right.
Elisabeth Moss wears the ultimate model of the handmaid’s caplet on the left vs. an early prototype on the best. (George Kraychyk / Hulu ; Ane Crabtree)

With a linen exterior, the wings offered sufficient diffuse mild in outside photographs to function modified mild packing containers on the actresses’ faces.

This promotional shot featuring Alexis Bledel depicts the layering of the caplet and wings.
This promotional shot that includes Alexis Bledel depicts the layering of the caplet and wings. (Take 5 / Hulu)

The muse

Crabtree had a secret weapon in Elisabeth Moss when it got here to designing for “Handmaid’s Story.”

The best way Moss moved decided whether or not a cloth was applicable; the best way she used the wings decided whether or not or not they have been tenable.

Lizzie [Moss] is a superb scientist. She went by way of each trial to determine what would work and she or he did one thing superb with these wings.

— Ane Crabtree

A camera-shy Elisabeth Moss tries on a prototype nightgown at her first fitting.
A digital camera-shy Elisabeth Moss tries on a prototype nightgown at her first becoming. (Ane Crabtree)