Terry Dresbach

Outlander Costume Designer

Saks…Hair and Makeup.


I keep thinking that I am going to write these long fabulous posts about various things, but time is just running out. So I have decided to quick ones…

When the Saks windows came up, my first thought was “We need good mannequins!!!” Mannequins are a huge problem for period costumes. The costumes are built on corseted forms, and modern mannequins are not corseted. So you have to do surgery. I had to buy mannequins in NYC, and then go through a very complicated process of having them modified on another continent, from Scotland, via email. A less than perfect process, though Frank Glover Mannequins could not have done more to help us. Even offered to pick me up at the airport in NYC.

Once I arrived in NYC, there was a lot more to do, including remaking all the wigs that turned out to be too small.

But you can see the elaborate production, from start to finish. I started with the hair. We bought a couple of used mannequins to play with. Started with printer paper.




Order 18 mannequins, fingers crossed

What Terry does with her weekends…


Playing around with makeup, still wish we had gone with mannequins with faces!



But progress is made.

7 thoughts on “Saks…Hair and Makeup.

  1. sara elizabeth

    I couldn’t help but laugh at GOLDFINGAHHH. There used to be a show (I think it might’ve been on TBS?) called “Dinner and a Movie” (or something like that)…I believe it was on Fridays and they aired a movie but had dinner and cocktails you could make along with the show. I write this because one time they aired “Goldfinger” (and in the tune of the theme) sang “golllld fingggerrr! cotton fingerrrr! that’s not my fingerrrrrr!” and I always think of that. I think the mannequins look amazing, I wish I could look that chic with paper hair! Thank you as always for letting us into your world <3


  2. JuliaTowers

    Still catching up on my reading here, but glad this was up tonight. I need a distraction. How interesting and intricate that hair process looks. I still love the dressage dress so much. Thank you for taking the time to put this together. I know it’s precious these days…

  3. peggyvanslp

    The paper hair is a great option to the traditional, and often funky-looking, mannequin wig. I didn’t realize that dressing a mannequin was so tricky, but I guess if the costume is built for a human, the form wouldn’t compliment the dress very well and would need some adjustment.

    Loved that Thursday’s Prestopans set required “Blood, Guts, and Mud” (a great name for a Jacobite revival band).

    You’re lucky you had your faithful, but somnolent, friend to give you emotional support. Thanks for another great post.

  4. Sophie Slim

    Wow Terry, I had no idea there was such a process fitting mannequins! You’ve done an exceptional piece of art here.

    I love the gold hair, even though its not “claires hair”, its truly fabulous.

    I really enjoy seeing this creative process (costuming) from its start to finish, thank you so much for letting us in on it and sharing your talent with us! I trust your judgement, you are doing a wonderful job! I can’t wait to see the rest of Season 2 🙂


  5. KiwiKim

    Thank you so much for sharing all these looks behind the scenes with us. I find the insight you give us into your thought processes to be truly fascinating. I especially smiled at one of your previous posts when you described a trip to the temple of fabric that is Britex.
    You adored the fabric you eventually used for Claire’s floral Versailles dress but at that time had no idea what to do with it. You said you sat with it for a few weeks and then it came to you. I laughed to myself, I make Outlander inspired jewelry & things, nothing flash, but I do buy components that I like the look of but have no idea what to do with them, and then suddenly ages later it comes to you. I’m glad I’m not the only one who does it that way 🙂

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