Kristen Stewart and Dan Levy Leave Us With All the Winter-Coat Envy in Their New Film
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Hulu's new original holiday movie Happiest Season stars Kristen Stewart, Mackenzie Davis, and Schitt's Creek's one and only Dan Levy. It's a film, directed by Clea DuVall, with a storyline so real that it's obvious we've been missing it from our ranks of historical seasonal favourites — Christmas With the Kranks, Home Alone, The Holiday, Love Actually, and the list goes on. Stewart plays Abby, who goes home to meet her girlfriend Harper's family, only to discover that they don't know she's gay — or that Abby is more than just her roommate. Abby promptly panics and calls her best friend John (Levy), and the narrative unfolds from there. It's relatable like the characters' outfits are relatable, all brought to life by costume designer Kathleen Felix-Hager, who confirms that just because fashion is not the focus, doesn't mean it wasn't hugely important.
"Outerwear was super important — one because it's Christmas and it's freezing and also because it helps to define the characters."
"[Clea DuVall] had a very specific vision for all of the characters and we worked closely together to create the looks. Each character had a colour palette and a silhouette that we adhered to. It was very important to keep the characters feeling like real, authentic people and to keep the costumes as classic as possible, since Christmas films live on forever," Kathleen told me. It's true that this is one holiday film that will definitely remain relevant, and Kathleen's right in that there will never be a time when the winter coats and holiday outfits here do not feel timely. In fact, the outerwear — from plaid coats and dinner jackets to bombers and beanies — is arguably the best part of the movie.
"Outerwear was super important — one because it's Christmas and it's freezing and also because it helps to define the characters," Kathleen said. Every coat did, in a subtle way, help to distinguish personality traits in the film. We see that most with Harper, who has a strong sense of self when she's alone with Abby before they get to her parents' house. But when we see her swap her sophisticated camel coat for a flannel throwover that she probably pulled out of a childhood bedroom drawer, she is withdrawing from her relationship to be the person her parents have assumed her to be.
Kathleen enjoyed working with the entire cast, which also includes Aubrey Plaza, Alison Brie, and Step Brothers' Mary Steenburgen, but really loved collaborating with Kristen Stewart, whose Christmas dinner party outfit is reminiscent of tailored pantsuits from the star's iconic red carpet looks past. "She is really smart and has great instincts regarding her character . . . Kristen and I went shopping together one weekend and had a blast!" she said.
Ahead, Kathleen was kind enough to break down the coat closet and fill us in on all the winter outerwear you won't just appreciate during the movie, but admire enough to shop and wear forever. Because like we said, this is a holiday rom-com that deserves a spot in your top five, now and always.
Happiest Season is available to stream on Hulu on Nov. 25.