The mastermind behind Westworld’s stunning costumes, Ane Crabtree, is no stranger to designing for big network shows – she created the look for the pilot episode of HBO’s The Sopranos. She has also been nominated for three Costume Designers Guild Awards for Best Costume Design: for ABC’s Pan Am, Showtime’s Masters of Sex, and HBO’s Westworld. Perhaps inspired by her work on Westworld, Crabtree recently completed the costume design for another project about an oppressive society – Hulu’s upcoming series The Handmaid’s Tale.
A recent Footwear News article discusses the difficulties Crabtree faced when designing for Westworld. The sci-fi drama not only required authentic Western style attire for the park but also a realistic look for the other half of the story, which takes place in a futuristic society. The footwear provided its own unique challenges. Much of it was antique, but time constraints prevented Crabtree from designing them all (some background actors’ shoes even came from Boot Barn). Crabtree also states that she didn’t want footwear “to be indicative of a specific time.”
One of Crabtree’s favorite costumes for season one was Maeve’s black outfit in the finale. “I did love Thandie when she was leaving and donned the black jacket of the workers,” said Crabtree, “and she said ‘This is my most powerful, besides being naked.’ I was like, ‘Right on, sister.’” She goes on to say, “This was about women taking over and getting power – Evan Rachel Woods and Thandie. You think it’s one thing, but then the tables are turned.”
As for future seasons, Crabtree feels “the best style statements have yet to come.” She has already started the creative process, saying, “Some of the moments haven’t happened onscreen yet. I’ve designed some moments with the hope that we will use them one day.” It will be interesting to see if the hosts reject their mandated Western clothes in favor of more modern attire, as they rebel against the humans and the park.
What was your favorite Westworld outfit? Do you hope the show keeps the Western look in the seasons to come?