Panoramic and aerial shots of witchy potions, votives and flickering flames. The "light as a finger, stiff as a board" levitation scene. The iconic cafeteria slow walk. "Blessed be."
"The Craft: Legacy" director Zoe Lister-Jones definitely includes some recognizable throwbacks to "The Craft" in her continuation — not reboot — of the 1996 supernatural teen classic. The premise sounds familiar: Frankie (Gideon Adlon), Tabby (Lovie Simone) and Lourdes (Zoey Luna), three high school nonconformists who also happen to be neophyte witches, need a "fourth" in order to fully harness their powers. Luckily, Lily (Cailee Spaeny) just moved into town to discover her own potential, for herself and with a new group of friends. But it's 2020, with ever-evolving societal issues and standards to explore (and send up), plus new mysteries and nemeses to tackle. Of course, assholes and bullies in high school remain evergreen and, conveniently, '90s fashion is back.
"I definitely used some of the silhouettes from the original as blueprints for this," says costume designer Avery Plewes ("Ready or Not," "J.T. Leroy"), on a call.
A fan of "The Craft" and teen films in general, Plewes asked Lister-Jones if the leads would be in school uniforms, like in the original, which was costume designed by Deborah Everton. "Zoe didn't want to," she says. "We wanted to show their personal style as much as possible."
Leaning into her creative vision, Plewes designed each lead's color palette and signature look based on their Wiccan element. For instance, Lily's is blue for water, and Tabby's is orange for fire.
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Plewes focused on creating distinctive looks for each of the coven members to develop their individual personalities and elements, while underscoring their empowerment as a collective unit.
Lily (Cailee Spaeny)
Lily arrives with her mom, Helen (Michelle Monaghan), to join future stepdad and men's issues motivational speaker — and author of "The Hallowed Masculine," lol — Adam (David Duchovny) and his brood of junior bros. She's introduced wearing a dark blue macintosh-style coat from Cos, which resembles her '96 movie predecessor Sarah (Robin Tunney)'s navy raincoat.
"It was a bit of a nod to the original, but also, I wanted Lily to have a very sweet coat that felt innocent, but also a little bit masculine," explains Plewes. She also established Lily's aesthetic with tie-dye tops, pearls and aquamarine crystal, plus a closet full of mock-neck tops, including the floral Topshop one (bottom) she wears on her eventful first day of school.
"Historically, Lily has had a hard time making friends and is not really an open book," Plewes says. "I wanted to introduce her to school as kind of trendy, but also not super vulnerable."
To highlight the very relatable public horror of an unexpected heavy flow day visibly bleeding through one's clothes, she outfitted Lily in her go-to clunky brown Dr. Martens Kudu brogues and Aritzia jeans in a light wash. The moment is a realization of a brief line in the original movie, when head-witch-in-charge Nancy (Fairuza Balk) opines, "I'm getting my rag." The scene also plays catalyst to bring her together with Frankie, Lourdes and Tabby, who graciously loans Lily a pair of olive cargo shorts.
As Lily becomes empowered by the quartet's collective, erm, powers, she undergoes a wardrobe journey, brightening her palette and experimenting with new textures. "Everything is a bit more confident in her closet," Plewes notes.
During the Gen Z coven's version of the Gen X's cafeteria slow walk, Lily causes jaws to drop in a red T-shirt by Correll Correll with a very '90s floral maxi-skirt (above). "It's a moon on the red shirt, so that was actually my nod to her getting her period and owning it," the costume designer adds.
Paying homage to Nancy, Lily wears chokers in her signature pearl. And her beloved mock-necks reappear for a requisite house party (this is a teen movie, after all), in a metallic watercolor ruffle blouse by Mango, layered under a contrast-printed Clover Canyon fit-and-flare dress. Pewes took inspiration from Paco Rabanne and Rodarte for this look, which she topped off with a pearl headband from Zara.
"For each girl, we wanted a super heightened reality," explains Plewes. "They're each an outcast in their own right, but Zoe and I wanted the coven to feel like they really put in effort to go to this cool party."
Lourdes (Zoey Luna)
Lourdes was originally scripted as "a punk." But imagining her as the coven member most plugged into "the zeitgeist" and current fashion, Plewes decided Lourdes would translate a punk style ethos through a cool-girl lens. "She's more into Alexander Wang's collections that are inspired by punk than her particularly being a punk," she explains.
So, Lourdes wears deconstructed blazers, lots of sleek leather and a safety pin theme. Plewes illustrated the teen's earth element through plush velvets and '90s grunge tartans, which conveniently also bring school uniforms from "The Craft" to mind. "Because plaids represent the Highlands," she notes.
Being the more stylized witch also means Lourdes enjoys the most fashion callbacks to the '96 film. She wears two goth green patent jackets from Asos and Zara, which recall Nancy's oft-cosplayed PVC trench and the boxy leather look for that walk on water, as well as an off-center beret that harkens back to Sarah's headwear moment in the original.
Lourdes's punky party look (above), however, was all her own — and a custom-designed by Plewes.
"I wanted to make something in the film that fans could recreate at home," she says. "I wanted a Paco Rabanne-meets-Alexander Wang-inspired little party dress that she would have dreamt of because I did stuff like that when I was in high school."
Costumer Catherine Euale built the dress with "200 to 500 safety pins," ball chains and actual hardware store chainlink for the straps. (Lourdes's gigantic safety pin earrings are reworked keychains.) "It took two people to get [Luna] in and out of that dress and she wasn't allowed to sit in it," Plewes remembers.
Tabby (Lovie Simone)
Like the character she plays, Lovie Simone is well-versed in crystals and spiritual healing in her own daily life, presumably without spell-casting and all that. "She's like the real deal in that regard," says Plewes. "All of them are in their own way, but Lovie is super, super tapped in."
For Tabby, Plewes used copious layering of leather necklaces, beads and charm pendants to illustrate a full immersion into her craft.
"I really wanted Tabby to feel adorned. A lot of practicing witches tend to adorn themselves for the rituals," Plewes explains. "I wanted Tabby to always feel like that, like she was within that at all times."
Nancy's necklace game and '90s-era Lisa Bonet provided inspiration for Tabby's accessorizing, especially for the her beaded pouch pendant she wears to stash supplies. (You know, in case toting a bedazzled Caboodle holding all their Wiccan essentials proved too unwieldy.) "Lisa Bonet had a pouch like that," Plewes notes. At the start of production, she gifted each lead a set of crystals that represent their element and, according to the costume designer, "Lovie kept all of her crystals in that pouch throughout filming."
Scripted as a "gamer," Tabby prefers oversize silhouettes and utilitarian layers, like her black and red check shacket (above) and mustard overalls by Free People. "I looked at a lot of how women in video games — who are not overtly sexualized, which isn't a lot, but there are a few — dress," Plewes says.
Tabby's party look is just as witchy, rugged-chic and eclectic: a white lace-up corset tank by I.Am.Gia, vintage jewelry, Timberland boots and Simons camo pants (two above), in her signature fire orange, to signify flames. Plus, she effortlessly slips on a long metallic North Face puffer, which catches the light on the dance floor.
"We just threw very Tabby things together in a way that still looked cool," adds Plewes.
Frankie (Gideon Adlon)
Historically in "The Craft," outerwear is notable across the leads. But in "Legacy," Frankie owns the best and most comprehensive collection of coats, which actually speaks to her Wiccan element: air.
"Most people's instinct would be to make her closet very ethereal and flow-y, but I chose to make it more chaotic," explains Plewes. "An exploration of self and weird combinations that you wouldn't necessarily expect to put together. Like when the three members of the coven first meet Lily in the bathroom, Frankie is wearing a bright striped sweater within a color blocked jacket [above]."
Frankie's exploration of mixed prints and textures also include a long leopard print faux fur coat by Trina Turk and a short cropped teddy bear jacket by J.O.A., worn over a sporty v-neck sweater for the slow walk (third from top). To close out the movie, she wears a white fringed '70s-style topper from Topshop (two above), which Plewes cropped to fit Adlon's petite frame. ("The fringe is air," she adds.)
The costume designer chose Frankie as the vessel to drop all her favorite '90s women-led teen movie Easter Eggs — for instance, she looked to "Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion" for Frankie's sparkly pastel party 'fit (three above): a sheer pink Asos blouse over a white Garage tank and a pink and blue sequin miniskirt from Zara.
"It's so sad that you like try to look pretty," says some random mean girl, who has no taste or sense of whimsy (and immediately receives a black magic clap back from Frankie).
"The faux fur, the mohair sweaters, the chunky penny loafers — [I looked to] 'Jawbreaker' and 'Heathers,' always," Plewes says. "'Heathers' forever! And, obviously, 'The Craft.'"