'The Handmaid's Tale' costume designer is humbled by her design being used in protests

  • The red robes and white bonnets from “The Handmaid’s Tale” have become symbols of resistance.
  • Costume designer Ane Crabtree spoke with INSIDER about seeing her designs used in protests.
  • She said it is “humbling.”

The striking red cape and white bonnet from “The Handmaid’s Tale” has become a symbol of protest and resistance. But costume designer Ane Crabtree doesn’t fully know how to react to seeing her designs being used politically.

“It really moves me so much and it means so much to me … but I feel like how would I know yet?” Crabtree told INSIDER. “It’s only been two years. … What’s interesting is that it’s global now. It’s being used in so many countries for so many different reasons and protests. All I can say is that it’s very humbling.”

Read more: How a song mashup inspired the ‘haunting’ Unwomen’s costumes on ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’

Protesters have adopted the Handmaid’s uniform because they see it as a symbol of an oppressive government that treats women as property and seeks to control their reproductive rights.

In June of 2017, Planned Parenthood staged a demonstration at the Capitol where protesters wore “Handmaid’s Tale” costumes in opposition to the proposed healthcare bill which would restrict funding to health care centres that provide access to abortions and other forms of birth control.

During the confirmation hearings for Brett Kavanaugh, who was accused of sexual misconduct by female classmates, protesters also showed up in the red cloak and white bonnets.

Ofglen and Offred salvaging The Handmaid's TaleHuluA scene from ‘The Handmaid’s Tale.’

The ensemble has been used in protests for abortion rights in countries including Ireland, Argentina, and Costa Rica.

In October, Elisabeth Moss’ Handmaid’s costume was added to a permanent collection at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

“The meaning of it will probably hit me 20 years from now for real, but it’s so beautiful, the feeling,” Crabtree said.

Season two of the series will be released on DVD Tuesday.


INSIDER’s homepage

for more.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.