First of all I want to take this moment to say how incredibly proud I am to work on this show. It is not an easy one, as I have pointed out many times. But not only is it an amazing chance to do incredibly creative work (OMG, just wait for Season 2), but to work on something that has such integrity. Not only creative integrity, but human integrity. That credit is shared by many, but at the helm is a man who not only has incredible personal integrity, but the ability to infuse his work with the same. Every show he works on is an exploration of the human condition. Not only what separates us, but what brings us together. He comes back again and again in all of his work to an exploration of humanity and all its shades of grey, always nuanced, never black and white, never absolute. We are all human, with nothing more than circumstance and chemistry creating different paths for each of us.
He tackled difficult themes in Outlander, and did it with bravery and steadfastness, a commitment to the themes of the books so many of us have loved for many years, but with a commitment to the audience, their intelligence and their ability to look deep into the dark places that often reside in humanity, without flinching. Respect. Respect for the material, for the characters and for all of us.
Thank you Ron.
Okay, onto the costumes. There are only a few really, in Episode Sixteen, but they are hugely important.
The first one’s is Claire’s. The minute I knew we were going to put Claire in men’s clothing for The Search, I knew I had to put her in the trews and shirt for the end. She is a woman of the 40’s, a woman who wore a uniform in the field hospital, a woman who was part of that very special generation of women who had to “wear the pants”, and do “men’s work”, while men (and women) fought and died in the war. They manned the factories, built the machinery, and kept the infrastructure going.
It only made sense to me that Claire’s instinct at this moment in time, when she was going to fight her own war, fight to rescue the man she loves from certain death, would instinctively be to pull on her “pants”. She would not put on the heavy cumbersome skirts and restrictive corset, but would strip down to clothing that would allow her, once again, to get the job done, to face down and fight death itself.
There she stands on that road, ready for battle.
Jamie in the monastery. If you look carefully, you will see the monks wearing this garment while tending the gardens and working in the hospital.
They give one to Jamie. It is a garment that provides him with modesty, and allows them to tend to his wounds. I also wanted his costumes to both reflect and join together. I wanted a kind of purity, costumes that said nothing, that would allow nothing but the emotional place these characters have to find together.
Finally on the other side of that moment is survival and a new beginning.Our characters are given new clothes, by the monks. What was left of their clothes, is left behind. If you think about it, what would they have had? Claire’s trousers and shirt. And Jamie? What did he take from Wentworth, except more scars?
They embark on a new journey, a new beginning, and we accompany them. Paris awaits.