The_Handmaid's_Tale_intertitle

Under his eye.

Hulu’s adaptation of  Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel The Handmaid’s Tale couldn’t have arrived at a more pivotal time amongst an atmosphere of uncertainty and disbelief in the real world audiences tune into the second season for escapism and searching for hope for the protagonist Offred/June (Elisabeth Moss).

The reach of the series extends greater than anticipated with its recognisable uniform seeping into the world of high fashion. This was initially portrayed through Vaquera’s 2017 collection inspired by the shows costume designer Ane Crabtree (also of Westworld).

Crabtree’s distinct red uniform and white bonnet have become synonymous with the show and has seeped into the contemporary designs of Vera Wang, Valentino and Kenzo La Collection Momento Nº2.

These notable powerhouses of fashion have adopted the dystopian influence of Gilead with their own interpretations of the blood-red cloaks/dresses and stark white bonnets worn by the army of Handmaid’s.

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In light of Vaquera’s depiction of the totalitarian regime the Spring/Summer 2018 ready to wear runways feature similarly inspired pieces.

Vera Wang depicts exaggerated large black bonnets which conceal the wearers identity accompanied by figure hugging off the shoulder jackets or looser asymmetrical full length gowns draped over the models and even a light chainmail slip put over the bodice. Wang’s designs are elegant yet allude to a victim abuse with the accentuated sleeves concealing the hands and a sense of constraint.

Valentino offers a more romanticized and elegant interpretation focussed more on rose fitting and layering of the pieces. Yet the sleeveless skirts also hold an element of restraint with the neck tugging collars offset by oversized bows and free flowing cuts to the creations.

Kenzo La Collection Memento Nº2 swaps the bonnets in turn for oversized hats and hoods, the pieces incorporate a denim look for wrap around dresses and dungarees pinched in with ties on the garments or in some cases bumbags.

The juxtaposition of the colour blocking amongst the coal grey and black pieces is evocative of the feelings inside of Gilead, the Handmaid’s world.

It seems that in the continuing wake of the #METOO, #Tiedtogether movements that runway persists in championing the empowerment of women when audiences are retreating to the world of Gilead in search of a glimmer of hope for its protagonist.

One thought on “The Handmaid’s Tale: Runway

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