Confession. These costumes, I barely remember. I wish I could give everyone a deep, meaningful account of the thought process that went into these costumes. But I can’t.
We were deeply deeply into Season Two costume making when it came time to get Claire and Jamie on the ship from Scotland to France at the end of Season One. We were up to our eyeballs. We knew we would need to make a new costume for Jamie, and that was manageable for us. Our men’s cutting team are amazing wizards. But we lost our women’s cutting team in the middle of Season Two prep, and were struggling to get all of our women’s costumes Done, and were using a rotation of temporary cutters. Cutters are the members of a costume team who translate the designers sketches into pattern, then cuts the fabric and supervises the costumes construction. Essential members of the department. Losing them was a terrible blow to us, and we were really scrambling to make all of our deadlines. So having to make another costume for Claire was going to be tough.
I remembered that we still had, one of the very first costumes we had ever made for Claire somewhere in the racks. I think it was the second costume we’d made for her, and for some reason we decided not to use it, and never finished it. We dug it up and found our solution. We could finish it without having to design and cut an entirely new gown.And it was actually quite perfect for a traveling costume, procured for Claire by the monks. A pretty gown, but nothing spectacular. It was completely believable that it would have belonged to someone else.
One of the things I loved best about this gown was the lovely embroidered stomacher we had made. It came from a piece of embroidered fabric we picked up shopping at the Portobello Market in London. It was also one of the first examples I had seen of metal plate embroidery, which a had completely fallen in love with, and we ultimately used on Claire’s wedding dress.
We didn’t even have an embroidery team at that point in the very beginning of Season One. But Liz Boulton had let me in on her skill as a historical embroidery. I asked if she could embroider a petticoat to match the piece of antique fabric, and we ended up with a very sweet gown. It was perfect for embarking on a new life in France.
Jamie was an entirely different matter. He had to be smuggled out of France after suffering through soul shattering torture at the hands of Black Jack Randall. He had been stripped bare of everything, literally, figuratively, and emotionally, and brought back from the brink by Claire and his own strong core and will to live, that we had seen many times.
He too was given clothes by the monks. We dressed him as a middle class merchant, trying to do everything possible to make him look unremarkable, a task as difficult to accomplish wth the very real Sam Heughan as it was with the fictional Jamie. We made a costume out of linen, and topped it with a tricorn hat. Very un- Jamie.
But they both passed.
There are two other costumes of note as we travel with our heroes into France.
*** Note: I have searched high and low for a pic of Jared. I am putting in the description anyway, because he is important. I will try to find one ***
First we meet Jamie’s cousin Jared, a Scotsman living in France. A wealthy and successful wine merchant, Jared is solidly bourgeois, wearing silk as was common in France, but fairly plain and simple. We kept him in earth tones, as a nod to Scotland.
Jared was so important to us. He is the justification we desperately needed when it came to the costumes. Jamie and Claire needed to move in the very wealthy circles of the French Court. It would have been impossible without the appropriate wardrobe. Jared offers to bankroll them, making it possible for them to move into the inner circle, dressed in the most fashionable attire.
Our next character is very important on the journey. The Comte St. Germaine. He is the first representative of the French Aristocracy that we see. He is elegant and dangerous. I also wanted to dress him in colors we would have never used in Scotland. I put him in brown and pink after seeing a beautiful 18th century painting of a man wearing those colors. Rich, decadent and very sensual.
He was our first look at what was to come when Jamie and Claire finally arrived in Paris.
This was one of our first embroidered men’s costumes.
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