Dystopian apparel: The making of 'The Handmaid's' blood-red robes There are plenty of elements in Hulu’s adaptation of “The Handmaid’s Tale” that have people talking, but few are as immediately eye-catching as the gowns worn by the handmaids themselves. Costume designer Ane Crabtree (“Westworld,” “Masters of Sex”) shared her secrets (and photo stash) with The Times, detailing the creative process behind one of the most distinctive costumes on television. Sketches capture the evolution of the handmaid dresses. (Ane Crabtree) Crabtree found inspiration from a variety of sources, from repressive cultural regimes to the natural world to her own two feet. The gowns had to be versatile and, though not evidenced in early episodes, had different versions depending on the season. In the first few episodes, the gowns are made of an extremely thin rayon that was available in the deep red color, meaning the fabric did not need the additional step of being dyed before construction. A full-length look at the dress. (George Kraychyk / Hulu) Missing from the handmaid gowns are modern conveniences, like buttons, zippers, pockets and, darkly, shoelaces. While pockets and shoelaces were removed as a way to keep a rebel populace in check, Crabtree had other reasons for excluding other details.
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