Terry Dresbach

Outlander Costume Designer

Paris Moodboards/Pitch


I thought that tonight while I wait for everyone to watch Episode 202, I might post the Moodboards I created for Paris. I needed visuals to pitch to everyone for the visual direction I wanted to go in

Having spent Season 1 trying to overcome the issues created by candlelight, I thought I would try to really use it this and the surrounding darkness, this time around. I wanted the rich colors to emerge out of the darkn. We have seen the Bon Bon colors of the Court of Louis XVI, a LOT. Not only did I not want to do it again, but research supported deeper, richer colours in the court of his father.

It was a potentially risky move as it meant possible lighting issues, in a season that was threatening to grind us all into 18th century dust. But it worked, pretty much.

These images are just to establish tone, colour and mood, don’t get hung up on any particular modern clothing or costumes.

Though you will see Jamie and St. Germaine costumes in here.

We all covered the walls of our department with these images. they were everywhere, keeping us on the right path.


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20 thoughts on “Paris Moodboards/Pitch

  1. Pingback: Paris Moodboards/Pitch — Terry Dresbach – cm houghton

  2. Draper

    Damn, blast etc. My parents are staying, my mother has read all Diana Gabaldon’s books and avidly watches Outlander with my father. THERE IS NO WAY ON EARTH I CAN WATCH TONIGHT’S EPISODE WITH THEM. I’ve checked early reviews hoping against hope it might be possible but no, that would take courage I do not possess.

    Thank you for sharing the mood boards! They will have to tide me over till I can tiptoe through the house in the early hours to watch the recording (I’m not joking). On the plus side, my irritating sister in law is also staying and I’ve failed to warn her…

  3. Pingback: Paris Moodboards/Pitch by Terry Dresbach  – The Bonnie Kilt

  4. cheryl88

    Good Morning,

    After watching last night’s show I can see how your moodboards reflect the tone for the show. You never cease to amaze me with your talents.

    I would love to learn more about your processes and time lines for the production of each show. How many months in advance must you and Jon plan ahead for each show? Even though season 3 has not yet been officially announced, materials for the production of each show must be planned and procured well in advance. How else would one create a budget expectation for a season? Costumes and sceneries just don’t build themselves overnight. The more I learn the more questions I seem to have.

    Just saying thank you doesn’t seem enough to express my gratitude, nor the gratitude of the many fans and admirers of the show.

    Slainte (with coffee this morning)

  5. Brooke

    This episode shall go down as one of the most beautiful hours in television history. I can’t wait to see a close up of M. Raymond’s waistcoat. I was dying over Mary’s sleeves on the blue ball gown. Good god. They can just give out the awards right now.

  6. MCatherine

    Are these mood boards something you have always used when creating costumes or something newly employed? Until I began reading your blog, I was so ignorant of what goes into creating costumes and quite unappreciative. Thanks for my upgrade.

      1. MCatherine

        Just fascinating. When my performing partner, Jimmy Leyden, and I put together a musical show, we did beaucoup research about the composers and shows from which we selected tunes. Enriches the performance and expands the knowledge.

  7. maggie

    Uh…. the sight of these mood boards make me itch to see what you might have used for inspiration on Carnivale. Thank you for the lovely tone of Claire’s gowns, wise and splendid choices. Thank you for sharing all this with us. Thank you, truly.

  8. Terry, thank you for the genius that is you and for your unabashed love of Outlander! I made a special trip to NYC just to see the costumes on display at Saks. I was in awe.. At one point, my daughter told me to back away from the windows because I was “fogging them up” I was so close!

  9. LisaW

    I kept thinking of all the hours and work that went into the costumes from the episode. That were nothing less that Absolutely Spectacular!!! And I can see all those different shades and colors were there in the clothing and scenery. Wonderful!!

  10. claireokc

    Very Goya-esque – hard to make those colors pop and yet so dramatically satisfying when they do – dark background and popping colors! Really very interesting mood – very evocative. Very much like Claire’s & Jamie’s relationship now – with Jamie’s nightmares popping out of the dark and Claire trying to bring the dark into the light. Very nice!

  11. hokieliz07

    And here I thought Season 1 was visually appealing.. this is visually STUNNING! Holy crap, we’ve been teased for months with some of the early screen shots and stills and I have been wild to know what you used to make Claire’s yellow court dress. The colors of the clothing and how they reflect the sumptuousness of the whole time period have been a delight so far and I cannot wait for the rest! I am curious about the weights of a lot of these fabrics you used – were the silks blended with another fabric to give them a more substantial drape and hand, or were you using lighter fabrics that just have the appearance of weight? I look forward to so much more!

  12. Terstriep

    I love your transparency of your work. The sharing of the mood boards is very important as it will show students of costume design how important it is to keep your team on task and visualizing what you are visualizing. I applaud you for being “real” about the struggles designers face. It would be easy to make people think it is all rainbows and unicorns, but there are real challenges to this job as anyone has to a job. It’s just as challenging, if not more challenging, when your husband is the showrunner!

    Thank you for being you and for sharing your God-given talent with us all. I love to see your behind the scenes work and seeing how that “Terry brain” works. Kudos to you and your delightful team.

  13. Draper

    I posted a comment earlier using our local library’s wifi but it hasn’t shown up.

    Dazzled by the costumes and will have to watch again to catch all the details. Charles Stuart was as feckless as I’d imagined him to be. Wondering if the shorter length on the red dress was delberate to show Claire’s ankles – daring for the 18th century. Loved the shade of red, reminded me of WW2 lipstick. Still blinking at the memory of the swans.

  14. Katiscotch22

    I find your mood board fascinating. I know nothing about costume design so you have taught me a lot. You must see inspiration all around you every day from a blade of grass in the sun to a rain puddle reflecting the sky.

  15. jeancard

    These moodboards are wonderful! I can see the inspiration for many a costume that I’ve seen in teasers and on the first two episodes. Makes me sad I don’t have a creative bone in my body.

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