January 22, 2016
They’re back, trying to explain the unexplainable and those alien abductions. With the return of a six-episode run of “The X-Files” on the Fox network, Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) reprise their roles as FBI investigators of things the powers that be don’t want us to know. Even after nine seasons and over 200 episodes of the 1990s series, there were more mysteries to solve.
Costume Designer Christopher Hargadon joined a number of the original crew, including creator Chris Carter, in reviving the sci-fi series.
“It was fun, but it required a bit of research to get the background on these people. I had the show in my consciousness, because my wife and I were kind of addicted to it in the ‘90s,” he said. He didn’t binge-watch the show, “but I did go back to certain episodes, because there were some references in some of the scripts and I wanted to be sure I was referring properly to them.”
The show presented some unique challenges. It’s a cop show, sure, but not an ordinary one.
“I thought it would be a procedural kind of thing, but there are a lot of specialty costumes. And each script is written by different writers and writer/directors, so each had a different flavor. One was sort of comedic, another was like a thriller, another like classic sci-fi Roswell kind of thing,” he said. “It was like a micro-series of the 10-year run they had.”
Hargadon especially wanted to get the look of Scully right, particularly since he and Anderson had worked together on “Hannibal,” where she plays Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier.
“I came off ‘Hannibal’ where all of the women were quite stylized and ‘not everyday life.’ I had been accustomed to dressing her that way as well. But I had to fall in line with the flavor that had been established over a very long period of time on ‘X-Files.’”
As Scully, she’s rational, neat and plays within the bounds of her government gig.
“I fell into blue,” he said. “It fit the FBI and the feeling of the show to me was kind of blue,” he said. He assembled a wardrobe of fitted suits, blazers and trim skirts befitting her serious investigator role.
“I shopped her completely. I did anticipate building a lot, and I brought some really beautiful imported fabrics. But once I got there, I found she looked terrific in Hugo Boss. For the spring-summer 2015 collection, they had things that were really good for her.”
When Duchovny’s character returns to work, he sheds the denim of his aimless existence for get-down-to-business menswear. Hargadon worked with Zegna to build Mulder’s wardrobe of sleek suits.
Fox and Scully retained some of the signatures they wore in the original series, but Hargadon wasn’t wedded to them. They weren’t so often in trench coats (the weather in Vancouver was exceptionally warm and dry) and fashion, like the characters, have moved on from the era’s boxy cuts and chunky jewelry.
Hargadon kept the lead characters in the kind of no-nonsense clothes that amplify their steadfast determination and composure, even in the face of alien invasions.
The X-Files premieres Sunday on Fox at 7 p.m.