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When The Handmaid’s Tale, Hulu’s award-winning dystopian drama about a totalitarian society that has taken over parts of the U.S. and forced women into servitude, took the story to Washington, D.C., in season three, it was unlike anything seen before on the series. In an effort to reclaim their status and get baby Nichole back from Canada, Commander Waterford and his wife, Serena Joy (played by Joseph Fiennes and Yvonne Strahovski), visit Gilead’s political power center, only to find that things are far more conservative (and opulent) than they are familiar with.
Opening up the world to this new area has left a lasting impact on the series, largely thanks to shocking new additions to the characters’ wardrobes, which encompassed everything from the cruel to the glamorous. ET recently caught up with Natalie Bronfman, the series’ Emmy-nominated costume designer, who revealed how the new costumes came to be, and the implications they place on the political climate and social constructs within Gilead.
Change - DC - Addition - Handmaids - Uniform
Perhaps the most striking change seen in D.C. is the addition to the handmaids’ uniform. When June (Elisabeth Moss) encounters another household’s handmaid, she’s horrified to discover her lips are sewn together by rings, which were hidden beneath a muzzle-like covering that was placed over her mouth. While custom in D.C., that level of cruelty is not something she or the other handmaids from the north have ever experienced. The facial additions, Bronfman revealed, are to show the elevated level of piousness in this region of Gilead.
“I had to come up with something that constricted a muscle or took away from our view,” Bronfman explained. “The only way to do that is to cover up the last remaining bits of flesh that were available to us to see on all the various women… So now you only are left with...
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