The Umbrella Academy's Love Of Blood Makes Costuming Complicated

Blood. There are gallons of the stuff, and even when you give them all that they can drink, it will never be enough. Well, replace "drink" with "spill onto clothes," and you'll have a good idea of how weird the costuming department is on "The Umbrella Academy." This is especially true for this third season, which is its wildest and bloodiest venture yet.

Don't just take our word for it. Take it from Christopher Hargadon, the Emmy-nominated costume designer on "The Umbrella Academy," who helps bring to life the Hargreeves we all know, love, and worry about through their unique sets of clothes. It turns out that, because of how much fake blood they use on the show, the characters don't get just one of each outfit. In an interview with Broadway World Boston, Hargadon revealed the screen secret he and his "Umbrella Academy" team uses to ensure that not every costume gets ruined.

'We do a lot of building on this show'

When you watch an episode of "The Umbrella Academy," you're not just watching the characters wear one outfit. Oftentimes, the cast will be wearing duplicates of the costumes for different takes, which are eventually spliced together into the final cut of each episode. Hargadon attributes this to being able to read the episodes ahead of time — after all, with a show as unpredictable as this one, you're gonna want to plan for any damage to your costumes:

"You read the scenes or the arc of the episode, and then you assess how many you need. Sometimes it's triplicates. With the leads on this show, often I have a dozen of each thing, which gets into heavy, heavy purchases or builds. We do a lot of building on this show, so when I'm buying fabric, I always account to have many multiples."

If you think buying all that fabric and making upwards of three versions of each costume is exhausting, try doing so during a worldwide pandemic that affected every facet of television production. Hargadon has done just that.

How COVID-19 has affected everything

"This year was different, because we've been shooting all the episodes under COVID at the same time, which is something I've never experienced before," he continued to Broadway World Boston.

Yep, every episode of "The Umbrella Academy" was shot at the same time because of COVID. While this sounds daunting (and hopefully happened without too much stress to the crew), Hargadon and the costuming team managed to make everything work. He attributed this to the aforementioned perk of getting to know everything before shooting starts.

"We were shooting eight episodes at the same time, so we had more of an idea of the arc and what was going to happen to the characters, when they would change, how many costumes we'd have, so it gave me a pretty clear idea [of] what was going to be happening to the costumes," he explained.

And what happened to these costumes is history. Bloody, gross, and sticky history, but history nonetheless. The third season of "The Umbrella Academy" is now streaming on Netflix.