Even if you haven't binge-watched Hulu's adaptation of Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale yet (it became available to stream on Wednesday), you'd still most likely recognize the title characters' signature garb: The dystopian society forces the handmaids (read: sex slaves forced to bear children for the ruling class) to don red capes and face-shielding white bonnets. Nothing about those get-ups seems appropriate for anyone's real life wardrobe, but Hulu—in collaboration with young New York–based fashion label Vaquera—is aiming to mine The Handmaid's Tale for inspiration for less oppressive fashion statements.
The goal of the capsule collection is to promote conversation about "poignant social issues" through visual language. "We aim to reverse cultural norms, celebrate individuality, and empower oppressed individuals," is how the design collective worded it to Refinery 29.
This progressive mind-set translates to a collection designed entirely in the color red, a bold choice both literally and figuratively. "Color is very important to the plot of the show because it is used to categorize people based on their physical bodies," a member of the label explained. "The Handmaids are dressed in red, which is a color historically associated with violence, oppression, and sex. ... We felt so strongly about the use of red in the story that we decided to make a collection of all red looks for this project."
Vaquera, made up of designers Patric DiCaprio, David Moses, Bryn Taubensee, and Claire Sully, has teased two of those "red looks" recently on Instagram: a red jacket with white stitching that reads "Maidez" along the back, and a red hoodie with a quote from Atwood's 1985 novel, "Nolite te bastardes carborundorum." ("Don't let the bastards grind you down.") Needless to say, neither looks to be straight out of Gilead.
You'll have to wait to see the rest of the all-red ensembles, though. The full Handmaid's Tale collection will be revealed in June during a performance piece in New York.
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