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Look of the Week: The magical confidence (and chokers!) of The Craft: Legacy
Welcome back to Look of the Week, celebrating the best in TV and film sartorial excellence, past and present across sci-fi, horror, fantasy, and other genre classics!
Witches have come a long way since the quintessential wide-brim conical black hat favored by The Wizard of Oz's Wicked Witch of the West. There is not one set dress code for those who can cast spells, but one unifying factor across the decades is sartorial prowess. Multiple witches have shared the Look of the Week crown, ranging from the stunt queen moves of Anjelica Huston to recent offerings from Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Teen witches are a movie and television staple that allows young women to explore the powers they possess in a hostile environment — high school can be hell. When The Craft came out in 1996, it tapped into the trends of the era without feeling like it was trying too hard.
Costume designer Deborah Everton dialed into the grunge and goth aesthetic while proving that even if your school has a uniform policy, it doesn't mean you can't flex individuality. Rather than opt for an academic plaid skirt repeat, The Craft: Legacy designer Avery Plewes is not bound by Catholic education institution attire. Nevertheless, there are nods to the original, as well as crafting distinct looks for each character that are elevated when the quartet tap into their witchy potential.
In recent years, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina has opted for a stylized vintage direction from Sabrina's knitwear to the coolest student at the Academy of the Unseen Arts, Prudence. But the world of The Craft: Legacy is not one with education institutions for those magically gifted. Just as there is no set school attire, the wardrobe options are predicated on what actual teens are wearing. One aspect that unites contemporary witches outside of Greendale is a fondness for multiple necklaces and bold eye makeup, which even PEN15 leans into when they dabble in Mother Witch's circle. And while there isn't a dress etiquette manual for casting spells, the smudgy kohl eyeliner, and expanding choker collection is a staple.
A lot of different factors impact how we dress, and adolescence is a time to explore the person you are becoming. The people we hang out with, shared interests, and the pop culture consumed can have a lasting impact on our outfit habits. Similar to the core four in the original Craft, the Legacy group experience a noticeable confidence boost after they tap into the magical abilities they share.
Lily's (Cailee Spaeny) introduction to her classmates is a hellish experience, but the silver lining of this very public period is that it brings Lourdes (Zoey Luna), Tabby (Lovie Simone), and Frankie (Gideon Adlon) into her orbit. A borrowed pair of olive green shorts don't really go with the high neck floral top but this kind gesture is Lily's entry point into empowerment, friendship, and more assured clothing choices.
"So how do you dress a coven who are supposed to be outcasts, when everyone is kind of dressing like the original movie?" Plewes told SYFY FANGRRLS about what she had to consider when designing the Legacy costumes. Recent projects such as Julie and the Phantoms and even Bill & Ted Face the Music have tapped into the continued proliferation of '90s styles. Additionally, witchy inspiration is a runway staple from Rodarte's Gothic frills to floral Wiccan tones of Dior's Spring 2020 collection. In drawing on each character's element — wind, air, water, earth — Plewes has created four distinct styles with nods to the original movie, the trends of 2020, and the power of feeling yourself.
Anyone who went to school with a set uniform policy knows there are plenty of ways to flaunt regulations whether it is skirt length, tucking your shirt in, the amount of jewelry you sport, and even the way you wear your tie. Nancy, Bonnie, Rochelle, and Sarah strutting down the corridor after they have cast spells was a gift to those of us who wanted new ways to express ourselves at school in the mid-'90s — Rochelle's (Rachel True) suspenders paired with a white short-sleeve shirt is still cool af. Of course, the Legacy ladies don't have a uniform to transform, rather, motifs such as Frankie's animal print coat collection are elevated. When they strut through the cafeteria among their peers — who are temporarily frozen in time — each girl is impervious to the external noise of self-doubt.
Lily's blood-red shirt embraces the earlier embarrassment rather than shying away from her Carrie-like experience. And unlike the Stephen King character, her heavy flow isn't the catalyst for further isolation that will culminate in burning down prom. The floral maxi skirt is not only indicative of nature but also a nod to the boho styling of the original girls — obviously, not Nancy. Lily is never without the necklace her mother gave her and it is front and center against the crimson tee. Paired with a choker, she has tapped into the '90s roots. Meanwhile, Tabby has a strong athleisure vibe in an outfit that looks ideal for an array of activities including chic but comfy lockdown days (hello, stretchy waistband).
The sock garter is an unusual choice, but Lourdes is making a case for this accessory in the same way Clueless made over-the-knee socks popular. Plaid was as big a part of Cher Horowitz's wardrobe as it was for the Craft teens. Rather than a pleated skirt, Plewes injects this iconic pattern into Lourdes's closet via a pair of pants. It is not only a staple from '90s teen movies but it also points to the punk-adjacent elements of this character's look. Safety pins are a repeated motif that includes oversized earrings paired with a party frock that was a custom-build by Plewes.
Even before they arrive at the high school rager, this sequence is indicative of why so many teenage girls have longed for magical power. Lily gets to experience the highs of getting ready together for a big night with a tight group of friends — her Polaroid taking is no longer a family-only affair. There are benefits that extend beyond this feeling of community as it also opens up their beauty options. While there are no quick changes to blonde, their powers can apply bold glittery makeup worthy of Euphoria — no YouTube tutorial required. Picking an outfit for a social gathering like this always feels like a big deal and they no longer feel like the social outcast wallflowers questioning whether they should even be there. If Lily's cafeteria choker is a subtle nod to The Craft accessorizing then the crucifix earrings are a more overt nod to Nancy (Fairuza Balk).
"Your difference is your power," Lily is told by her mother, but in finding her coven she has discovered this mantra is not strictly true. Lourdes, Tabby, and Frankie have opened up a world of potential along with their new friend. While the clothes they wear are not magical, the boost an outfit can give is a source of power that should never be underestimated.