Terry Dresbach

AN 18th CENTURY LIFE

Monkey Jacket

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Monkey_edited-1

Oh how I love this piece. It is a felted waistcoat. The furry “spine” was supposed to go down the back and the waistcoat opens in the front. But Lotte said, “what if I wear it backwards?” We turned it around and she started creepily stoking the spine. It was perfect. The skirt is this extraordinary skirt we made from a beautiful linen wool fabric from Ireland. The skirt is made with the wrong side out. At the last minute I tied her sleeved at the elbow with leather thong. It just seemed like the thing to do.

29 thoughts on “Monkey Jacket

  1. debbiedake

    Now it makes sense to me, Terry! I couldn’t figure out what was different about this, but it’s because Lotte is wearing it backwards. How creative. It’s so cool to hear what the actors bring to the dressing table. I love what she does with her hands all the time, she looks a little bit like she’s always scheming.

  2. Leslie Blair Gallagher

    I “KNEW” it was felted wool! Is the “spine” and neck made with fleece locks? How much fun will I have attempting to recreate it. A group of us are going to cosplay the women of Outlander at our next con together…

    Trust Lotte to play with how a piece is worn, eh?

    The skirt fabric in linen/wool is lovely, I like the idea of turning it wrong side out for the effect you want. I do that in my quilting and sometimes in make costumes as well.

  3. Anita G (@emeraldindigo)

    I’m starting to come out of my book reader high when I watch the show. The waistcoat and ” the shoes” set Geillis apart. I know she’s on a different path than the other players but non-readers don’t. I’m catching all the nuances now that I’m coming off by book reader bender style of viewing. Thanks for the incredible attention to detail made in what I sure was pandemonium at times.

  4. M&M (@M_another_M)

    When I first saw the pictures of the Monkey Vest, I couldn’t tell what it was made of, and I thought for sure it had feathers on it! I was so excited to hear you talking of it in the podcast. Just loving Geillis and her quirks, and her wardrobe matches her to a “T”. Don’t let her take that vest, we need to see it in person when there is the Outlander Costume Exhibit going around the world. 🙂

  5. Belvane

    I love how the actress gets to contribute to the character more than the acting. It’s as if you and her together end up creating, together, something that could not have otherwise been created – almost as if you got to talk to Geillis herself, isn’t it? It must be a very satisfying feeling.

  6. outlanderbooklover

    It’s just stunning! I sensed that it was on backwards – it just seemed that way to me in the promo shots but it looks so wonderful that way. And the felting is wonderfully done!

    But I never thought the skirt and appreciate having the opportunity to read how it was made.

    Nice touch with leather thong tied at the elbow.

    Just something else I notice in episode three that I really liked, was the ribbon in Claire’s hair in the first Hall scene. It was perfect.

  7. RebeccaTrogner

    I had no idea what that vest was made of, but it stopped me in my viewing tracks. I went back and forth a few times to get a better look at that vest. To me, it’s creepy. She comes off as creepy, yet alluring…. Like a beautiful spider luring you into her web. The most beautiful of creatures are usually the most deadly.

  8. kateleslie1

    Terry — Ever since the first photo was released of Lotte in that outfit, I was sure it was a combination of wool and feathers. I kept wanting to see a close-up of that waistcoat so that I could see even more detail. Love that skirt fabric…interesting that you used the other side. Colors & pattern more muted? By the way, I paid particular attention to Lotte “interacting” with her clothing. Such a fun aspect of a choice she made about her character’s body language.

  9. Jane Maple

    It’s a fun garment, but like several of the garments in this series it is utterly incorrect for period. I find that some of these things grate as badly as if the actor was wearing modern trainers on her feet. The giant knitted cowl is a good example, it’s a fun garment but it’s 21st century. I challenge anyone to spin wool that is light enough to knit and wear such a garment, it requires modern ma-made and machine spun yarns to be practical. It’s a real shame because much of the costuming is good.

    1. terrydresbach

      “It’s a fun garment, but like several of the garments in this series it is utterly incorrect for period. I find that some of these things grate as badly FOR ME,as if the actor was wearing modern trainers on her feet. The giant knitted cowl is a good example, it’s a fun garment but it’s 21st century. I challenge anyone to spin wool that is light enough to knit and wear such a garment, it requires modern ma-made and machine spun yarns to be practical. It’s a real shame because much of the costuming is good.”

      I hope you don’t mind, Jane, if I added a suggestion to your note to me. I am sure that the many viewers who really like the garments that you do not, would not want to be spoken for.
      I am sorry that some of the items I have chosen to use, grate on you. I also apologize if somewhere the impression was given that we would only use garments that could not be proven, 100%, existed in the 18th century. That should have never been allowed to happen, as it would create false expectations for the viewers.

      But thank you for your acknowledgement that the rest of my work is good. It is very much appreciated! And i appreciate that you visited my blog to give me your opinion on my costume design. You are most welcome, any time.

  10. ncsabzb

    I’m afraid I spent a good part of the Gellis and Claire scene staring at Gellis’ bodice and wondering what it was supposed to be. It was creepy in the way the character is supposed to be out of place and I liked the shading and texture but……….. I just found it to be quite distracting.

  11. LauraW

    I, too, thought this vest was made of feathers. (So happy to find this site with photos and stories about Outlander costuming.) It caught my eye immediately, probably BECAUSE Geillis was stroking it. It has an edgy, modern quality despite the 18th century context. This piece could be worn today over a black or grey sweater dress or a tunic and black leather pants.

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