It might be the small screen, but some spring TV shows are awfully big on style. We asked to costume designers for “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” to dish on how they keep their characters looking so chic.
Just minutes into the Netflix show’s second season, teen witch Sabrina Spellman (Kiernan Shipka) spins around in the mirror, playing a magical game of dress-up. But this stylish sequence indicates something new about Sabrina, beyond just her evolving taste, says costume designer Angus Strathie. “Sabrina is now embracing, even enjoying her powers,” he says.
The spellbinding high-school student settles on a black turtleneck and a patterned black and red kilt, a departure from her monochromatic red looks in Season 1. The red, says Strathie, was meant to evoke “a girl coming of age . . . kind of a ‘Red Riding Hood’ moment.” Now, with her platinum-blond bob and updated wardrobe, “she is a little more sophisticated and chic . . . Also, black looks great with white hair.”
Sabrina’s spooky story takes place in the present day, but Strathie says his fashion inspirations came straight from the late ’60s and early ’70s: “Carnaby Street, Edie Sedgwick, Mary Quant,” and the pieces themselves are mostly vintage and custom. For Ms. Wardwell — a once-mousy high school teacher possessed, literally, by the spirit Satan — Strathie thought of a “1960s librarian sex bomb.”
Ambrose — Sabrina’s dapper, pansexual cousin, who sports ruffled shirts and velvet smoking jackets — is “very much meant to be a Jimmy Hendrix clone: sexy, sharp, with a boho mix of styles, textures and colors.”
But one look in particular required a special creative touch. In the Season 2 finale, Sabrina steps out at a masquerade ball in a shimmering gold gown, with a plunging gold bustier made, he says, with paint-dipped feathers, because “the dress was to feel like it was from another world — hell.”