SPOILER ALERT: This article contains serious spoilers for Season Two of ‘The Umbrella Academy,’ streaming now on Netflix.
The second season of The Umbrella Academy has landed on Netflix, catapulting it straight to the number one trending spot in Australia.
In this second instalment, we see our six heroes land in the 1960s, after another attempt at time-travel by Number Five (Aidan Gallagher). Despite being shot in the head (and presumed dead) in season one, Kate Walsh (Grey’s Anatomy) is back as the Handler — and her wardrobe is iconic.
Sex and the City was, of course, the first television show in which the wardrobe shared a starring role with its protagonists, however, since then, it has really only been the bold and eccentric wardrobe of Moira Rose (Catherine O’Hara) in Schitt’s Creek that has made such a statement.
As The Umbrella Academy is based on Gerard Way’s graphic novels, known for their bright graphics, costume designer Christopher Hargadon had a lot to play with.
In an interview with Variety, Hargadon said that he relied on magazines and other photo references from the 1950s and 60s to create not only the iconic looks for Walsh but all of the Umbrella Academy and supporting roles.
According to Walsh in the same interview, she and Hargadon were told they could “do whatever you want to do with hair, makeup and costume,” with both having a say about her outfits.
As for inspiration, the designer sourced inspiration from Jackie Kennedy Onassis for the “sharply-dressed Handler”.
“She heralded the fresh new look of the ’60s into households of the nation more than any other celebrity. She was widely imitated,” Hargadon said in the interview, even ensuring, just like Jackie O, that Walsh’s character wore a hat with every outfit.
“Those hats are works of art,” Walsh said.
The costumes are truly spectacular, but you have to see it to believe it. Here are some of our favourite looks from Kate Walsh’s character, the Handler, in season two of The Umbrella Academy.
“My way of characterizing this outfit is Audrey Hepburn meets Marge Simpson,” Hargadon told Variety.
This outfit had the perfect 50s wide skirt and cinched in the waist or as Hargadon called it: “nipped and slim”.
“During my discussions with Kate, we decided to have an outer layer. With Jackie Kennedy entering the White House — to me, she was the standard-bearer for the New Age out of the ’50s with the wide skirt and nipped waist into these much less structured silhouettes but made with beautiful fabrics.”
This outfit marked the Handler’s entrance straight back into the storyline.
“I used black vinyl on the trim instead of fabric. With her outfits, there’s always something off-kilter which reflects her character,” Hargadon said.