Then it's back to focusing on Serena's closet. (As for Melania, we'll get to her soon. "Serena is my favorite to design for," says Natalie Bronfman, the show's lead costume designer, as she points to a wall in her office covered with sketches of blue gowns. "I take a lot of elements from the late '50s and early '60s as inspiration.
If you feel as though you need a room full of puppies and two glasses of wine after getting through an episode of Handsmaid's Tale, it's clear the staff—which spends eight hours a day living in this fictional hellscape—needs a laugh to get by. "We move so fast that it takes me a minute to realize what we’re actually designing for," says Bronfman, who was tasked with designing some seriously disturbing shit this season. (Just wait. ) "I read the scripts, and I have to jump on it right away.
It's her complexities—like tormenting a postpartum June for running away and giving birth in an abandoned country home; then turning around to set June and baby Nicole free from her womanizing husband and Gilead's archaic rules. "Costume says so much," Bronfman says. "It tells where you’re from, what your economic status is, what your mental status is.
In fact, I was shocked when I saw images of the Trump family hanging up in a few different places around the room. (Unfortunately I can't share pictures of these mood boards, due to spoilers. "Oh, that? " Bronfman says with a laugh when I point out the photo of Melania hanging on the exit door.
We pause to take it all in—the state of women's rights, the parallels it makes with the show—and I wondered, Did Bronfman ever think, when she was designing the Handmaids' capes (along with former costume lead Ane Crabtree), they'd become such a powerful symbol of protest? "No.
The Aunts' costumes also use military-grade fabric, which plays into their role as enforcers. "They're styled in the wool used for the U. K. and Canada's dress uniforms," says Bronfman. "It's super heavy-duty and almost waterproof.
For her flashback scenes, June's board is filled with a mix of business-casual essentials and images of classic "power" women. "I actually used Mary Tyler Moore as an influence," says Bronfman. "That kind of pioneering female is where I started with the idea, and then I built around that.
In more ways than you think... https://t.co/Qv1EVB2Nvw— Glamour (@glamourmag) June 5, 2019