Terry Dresbach

Outlander Costume Designer

Geillis – Meeting Claire


I know, you guys all thought I had permanently vanished.

But no, just dealing with re-entry into the US, and all that has been waiting for my attention over a year and a half.

Anyway, I finally have our photo project underway. So there will be detailed pics of costumes coming your way. I know many of you have been asking for a closer examination!

So we are going to start with Geillis’s costume, the first time we see her. Note, I have included pics of the way her wrap was designed to be worn, before the lovely Lotte had her way with it! 😉

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27 thoughts on “Geillis – Meeting Claire

  1. kladislaus

    Literally minutes before you posted these wonderful pictures I was thinking how busy you must be catching up….I really want to give sewing a go again after looking at this costume.

  2. roxlet

    I had been wondering about the wrap with the opening in the back. So that allows it to be worn as either a kind of poncho or as a shawl, as Gellis wears it in the scene with Claire.

  3. eleny

    The felted wrap! It’s an inspired piece. So subtle but with so much personality. Congratulations!

    Btw, I’m so delighted that Lotte Verbeek is part of this project. She was wonderful in The Borgias.

  4. Luanne Uttley

    WOW! I remember Lotte posting on Twitter in the early days saying she’d just had a fitting and couldn’t wait to work these costumes! The colours and textures just make it so real. What a great job of design and construction.

  5. Hi Terry, I really love all of the costumes for Geillis I have seen so far, the subtle colours suit Lotte’s vivid colouring & are a character in themselves. I too have questions, is the corset/bodice a lamb nappa or dearskin? Is the skirt hemmed or cut raw & what is the fabric component? & is the rosette decoration at the bottom of the shawl been felted on top or Nuno felted? I know, I just want to know everything but its all so delicious it make me salivate from the wanting of it.

    Hope you are having a reasonable relaxing time although it doesn’t sound it.

  6. Brooke

    Welcome back! That wrap. Dat wrap. So earthy and moody. I wanna one! Love the way it’s ‘supposed’ to be, over the head. So many options!! I predict a new slew of Etsy items sprouting up soon!

  7. KnitzyBlonde

    Missed you Terry! I know you’ve been busy and I’m sure you’ve lots to catch up on, but so glad to have you back! 🙂 Geillis costume is so perfect for her, and thanks for showing it off! I really like the woven fabric for the skirt. Great texture! And of course the felted wrap is just amazing. I like the way it was originally intended (to be worn). Although Lotte’s way is great too. Hope you’re have a great time back in CA!! Thanks for all you share with us. ~ Sandie

  8. Mielitty

    Lovely pictures with details, thanks for sharing!

    I was wondering could you Terry share some thoughts of your search and design routine? I would love to hear how much you feel you can take artistic freedom with costumes and how much you want to be faithfull to he original 1840’s style? For example I find that felted piece very beautiful, magical and very suitable for the character but I haven’t seen anything like that in 18th century context before (at least not in Northern Europe).

    Enjoy your time back in US!

  9. hotscot

    Absolutely fabulous!!!! Thanks so much for sharing these pics with us. Now that I’ve seen close ups of the weaves and extra details I didn’t appreciate in the Outlander film, maybe you could subtly make a suggestion to the filmmakers that a close up here & there of these costume details would be much appreciated by the audience. Just a gentle pan in and out here & there because I honestly didn’t appreciate the lace up in the back of Claire’s wedding dress (looked like a zipper till I saw your close ups- and I had freeze framed the film over & over trying to get the details of the dress) and the weave of this skirt and shawl are absolutely gorgeous.

    1. eleny

      Speaking of details – I finally noticed the border of Geillis’s wrap. It appears to be needle felted rosettes or some other floral. There are so many subtle details to discover.

    2. Terry Dresbach Post author

      The filmmaker in question is my husband. And believe me the suggestion has been made. Many times. Television has never done period shows, except for westerns, and they haven’t been made in about 40 years. There are not even many period films made any more. So costumes are not really considered all that important, IMO. They are just clothes, and we all wear them. Courtroom and hospital dramas have dulled down the expectations around “costumes”. People refer to us as “stylists” instead of costume designers.
      This show is very different. It is a period costume drama. In the old school sense of the word. And it has a large female audience that actually is interested in the clothes.
      A similar issue arose on Game Of Thrones, when all of that amazing embroidery was revealed, that you never actually saw on the show. Perhaps as many close ups on costumes and there are on decapitations might be of interest to a broader audience.
      Who knows? We got to see the wedding dress!
      So, this is why I am doing these photos. It is easier to just post them here and give everyone a way to see the details, than to change the way the film/industry does things.

  10. Catheryne

    The dress is so simple yet beautiful. I can see it in a multitude of different fabrics and textures! The wrap is absolutely gorgeous. It is no wonder why so many women appreciate the simplicity of the times. You wore items for warmth and comfort and the simplest of embellishments made something so simple beautiful and different. I have never felted before but am going to try to duplicate the wrap.
    I do have a question though should you ever get around to it. Did most women in those days have more than one or two changes of clothing? I know the men were dirty and smelly but the women weren’t like that too, were they? I would hope that they would so that they would be able to wash what they wore.
    Kind of a strange question, but I was curious. I love the show and love seeing all the costumes that everyone wears. Each time I watch an episode I see different things. Thanks for a great contribution to a fabulous program!

  11. lesliesusanne

    The felted wrap is such a beautiful and versatile piece that it will surely be copied and marketed. Wouldn’t you consider your own line of clothing from this (and other) series?

  12. ellenchristine

    this is what we have been waiting for! thanks so much for posting the pictures, as these textural details are so indicative of your amazing eye. What Lotte did with this shawl/wrap/vest says so much about her character, too. Bless her imagination!
    Anticipation is the better part of valor in this series, and we have you and your dear Ron in podcasts throwing out hints of this and that. But visuals!!! the joy! the rapture! Thank you.

  13. Ellen Rosewall

    I would love to see some close ups and commentary of the incredibly beautiful light blue wrap from Episode 103. It looks like it is Nuno felted but has such incredible texture yet looks very ethereal. I love all of the costumes but as a felter I’m really curious about how this was made.

    1. eleny

      Oh, Ellen, I like to felt, too. I’ve been at the Embellisher today making felt fabrics from batts. For some time I didn’t know what to do with them. But as the fabric began to take shape they started to inspire.

      Speaking of inspired – this felted shawl from Outlander is outstanding! In fact, it’s what inspired me to set aside some other projects and get to needle felting again. I can just imagine how exciting it was to create such an intriguing wrap as this one for Geillis.

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