Ane Crabtree is the costume designer behind two of the most successful and popular TV shows – Westworld (HBO) and The Handmaiden’s Tale (Hulu). In a recent interview, Crabtree recalls what it was like designing the dresses of both the shows and how important it was that the costumes spoke of power, oppression, and individuals.
On working in Westworld, Crabtree says it’s “nothing like I’ve experienced before.” She had a “Zen-like” approach to designing the costumes for the show. But because of the secrecy surrounding the show, Crabtree felt she was “jump[ing] off a cliff without a safety net, and trust that having no control would take you to a place of absolute beauty, design-wise,” reports Deadline.
Crabtree was excited about the transition of the women of Westworld so when “some feminists were saying, “Oh, God. This is so backward.” I was like, “Ah, just wait!”” She further adds:
“It was an amazing end result and having the costumes exemplify that was pure joy, as a woman. I love the whole idea of the purist Western, and if you combine that with a dystopian future, it’s really incredible, because it’s quite masculine, and it’s beautifully masculine. To have Thandie Newton and Evan Rachel Wood gain this kind of power, it was really palpable when they stepped out in their costumes, for men and women.”
Crabtree recalls the time when she had watched the Westworld film over 20 times as a kid. She thought it was a TV show and of course had no idea she’d be working on the show on such a scale, years later.
— ane crabtree (@AneCrabtree) December 9, 2016
As for The Handmaiden’s Tale, the 53-years-old costume designer recalls the time she had read the book when it was first published in the 80s. And then when the film adaptation came out, she “was completely floored; sat in the cinema for at least half an hour as the credits rolled.”
“It’s just very rare that you get the opportunity to relive a seminal moment in your career that inspired you, for what you do for a living,” Ane Crabtree says.
Both Westworld and The Handmaiden’s Tale has been revived for a second season, so I guess, we’ll be seeing more of the brilliant Ane Crabtree’s handy work.