You might think there wouldn’t be much clothing on a show called Masters of Sex, but wardrobe designer Ane Crabtree says there are plenty of period costumes to be seen. Based on Thomas Maier’s biography Masters of Sex: The Life and Times of William Masters and Virginia Johnson, the Showtime series — which follows human sexuality researchers Dr. William Masters (Michael Sheen) and Virginia Johnson (Lizzy Caplan) — is set in St. Louis, Missouri in 1958.
“The crazy thing is that it’s all true, and it’s way crazier than anything you could make up,” says Crabtree. “But what’s also interesting is how do you peel away the layers — figuratively and literally — visually… to get to the bottom of the character. You’re seeing [the characters] unpeeling, getting dressed, their reluctance to get undressed. All of it tells the story.”
Crabtree referenced old issues of Harper’s Bazaar when creating the wardrobe for the female leads and, to her surprise, some of the looks were familiar. “You [see women] wearing the same thing today,” she explains of how the costumes resemble today’s real-world fashion trends. “If you didn’t have the 50’s hair and the 50’s make-up and the pointy bra, you could wear [the wardrobe] now. It [looks like] J. Crew or Zara, but with different shoes and accessories.”
Read on to learn more about the show’s sexy undergarments, subject matter, and how its wardrobe evolved from real-life to on-screen. READ FULL STORY