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Moss, Elisabeth  Search this
Physical Description:
fabric (overall material)
overall (mounted): 71 in x 28 in x 20 in; 180.34 cm x 71.12 cm x 50.8 cm
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Date made:
around 2016
Description (Brief):
This red wool cape is part of a handmaid’s uniform worn by Elisabeth Moss as Offred throughout season one of the Hulu streaming television series <i>The Handmaid’s Tale</i>. The costume was designed by Ane Crabtree for the 2017 series, an adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s 1985 best-selling novel by the same name. Crabtree chose this vibrant shade of red to symbolize the fertility of the handmaids. The show is set in the near future following a Second American Civil War. The Republic of Gilead, a totalitarian nation, rises to power during the war’s aftermath and implements a strict code of laws based on Christian theology, relegating all women to subservient, second-class citizenship. Worldwide infertitlity led to Gilead’s conscription of fertile women like Offred to lives as child-bearing handmaids for the dominant elite. Atwood’s dystopian world in The Handmaid’s Tale was inspired by the political climate of 1980s America – an age of Reagan conservatism, the rise of Christian fundamentalism, and heated debates over women’s reproductive rights and the environment. <p>
Hulu’s <i>Handmaid’s Tale</i> series won critical acclaim, including eight Primetime Emmy Awards in 2018, and it became the first series on a streaming service to win a Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Drama. Star Elisabeth Moss also won a Golden Globe for Best Actress. Since the series’ debut, handmaid costumes have been worn by activists in several high-profile demonstrations, including protests against the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and demonstrations for women’s reproductive rights.
Currently not on view
Television  Search this
Entertainment, general  Search this
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Cultural and Community Life: Entertainment
Data Source:
National Museum of American History