How ‘The Craft: Legacy’ Costume Designer Updated the Witches’ Wardrobe With Elemental Looks
Earth, water, fire and air — the four elements of nature — were the inspirations for costumer Avery Plewes in designing the wardrobes for “The Craft: Legacy,” which drops on demand Oct. 28, just in time for a witchy Halloween.
Director Zoe Lister-Jones helms the Sony Pictures/Blumhouse Prods. sequel to 1996’s cult classic “The Craft,” with a fresh coven of high school witches — played by Cailee Spaeny, Lovie Simone, Gideon Adlon and Zoey Luna — who discover their powers and lean into their newfound magic while forming a sisterhood.
In both films, the girls are meant to be outsiders, but Plewes found that the clothes that set the friends apart in the ’90s were no longer outrageous. “It was a bit daunting at first,” she says of the assignment. “The way the girls dressed in the original is very popular today. If I dressed them like the original, they would feel normal, so the elements ended up being the blueprint for me as a designer. “It was important for me that each girl had their own distinct style and character pieces — creating a strong, distinct and powerful closet.”
Tabby (Simone) represents fire; orange is her main color. But Plewes turned to women in the gaming business for styling. “There’s a lot of utilitarian cargo pants,” she says of her research, noting that Tabby has a cool confidence about her. “Her wardrobe was laid-back, and she was [sometimes] adorned with jewelry. There were elements of flame, and most of that jewelry has orange in it.”
But the accessories weren’t always on show. To create a relatable look, the designer drew on her observations of adolescents: “When you’re a teenager, the way you dress can be chaotic at times.” With Tabby, for example, “one day she’d be wearing a lot of jewelry and other days not so much.”
Simone calls her character’s style “very relaxed and comfortable. She’s a cool chick into those warm colors.” Plewes adds that she figured Tabby for someone who shopped at Free People, Topshop and Urban Outfitters.
Spaeny plays Lily, the new witch in town, who represents water. Her costumes are predominantly blue. But she’s also a loner whose best friend has been her mother. When we meet her, her look is baggy and oversize, but it evolves as she’s introduced into the world of the occult.
Luna portrays Lourdes, as earth, dressed mainly in green tones and plaid sweaters to represent the highlands. But Plewes also mixed her own high school experiences with current fashion when devising designs for the character. At a party, Lourdes wears a dress made entirely of safety pins over a mid-thigh-length black-ribbed sweater. Plewes says that while the look may have channeled Alexander Wang — “That’s where the concept of that dress came from” — its spirit grew from one time as a teenager when she covered a T-shirt in pins. “When you’re in high school and you don’t have a lot of money, you get into DIY,” she explains.
The clothing for Adlon’s Frankie, who represents air, was the most chaotic. With purple tones serving as the base, Plewes dressed her in stripes, “almost rainbow-like. I put her in random outfits that weirdly worked well together.”
Going a step further to develop the characters’ witchy personas, Plewes and production designer Hillary Gurtler went to a local occult store in Toronto, where the film was shooting, to pick out crystals for each girl. “We spoke with the owner about what the most powerful crystal would be based on their elements,” Plewes says. Tabby, for instance, was given a red-and-orange sunstone.
The costumer also took the time to honor the 1996 movie, and challenges fans to find her homages: “Throughout the film you’ll see Easter eggs — nods to the original on each girl — but I won’t say where they are.”
Ultimately, Plewes hopes the movie’s fashions are accessible and aspirational for young viewers, adding: “I wanted them to be rooted in something relatable and affordable.”