The Handmaid’s red robes have become ubiquitous – but Kylie Jenner sho – AuthenticAfrican

Posted on by Zoe Williams

The symbol of dystopian female disempowerment has been appropriated everywhere – even Elisabeth Moss’s cat got in on the act. But not everyone can get away with wearing them

“Handmaid’s costumes,” Vox informed its readers recently, “have always been both protest costumes and pop culture ephemera.” It’s such a strong word, isn’t it, “always”? You couldn’t say these red robes, symbols of dystopian female disempowerment – so intense and redolent that the mere sight of a woman in red now gives you the heebie-jeebies – have been around for an “always” amount of time; the show only started in 2017. But it’s almost the novelty of the imagery that makes it contested, as it unfolds its journey from terrifying allegory to Instagram joke.

Recently, the show’s costume designer made a handmaid’s outfit for a cat belonging to the show’s star, Elisabeth Moss. Ask not whether the cute cat undermines the seriousness of the symbolism. Wonder only how the cat got to be so dinky.

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