2016 was a good year at the Ian Drummond Collection on all counts. We had the good fortune to work with extremely interesting productions that were figuratively and literally all over the map, and spanning every decade.
One of our favourite experiences from this past year was providing wardrobe for Costume Designer JR Hawbaker for The Man In The High Castle, helping to create the “period drama for a period that never was” (as described by former showrunner Frank Spotnitz – X-Files.)
From the time Hawbaker and Assistant Costume Designer Koreen Heaver first came into the studio to pull for the season, to seeing it realized on the small screen, it has been an adventure that has been challenging for IDC’s staff, and one that brought satisfaction and pleasure in the results.
Hawbaker and Heaver’s pull was split between Principals, Stock, and Berlin. The designer focused on a cool palette. We learned their “rules” about what colours would work, and what we needed to consider when we’d be asked to send items “on spec.” Their use of our stock of late 1950s clothes conveyed that in this alternate post-war America and Germany, that France and the United States do not advance in fashion during the inter and post-war periods as they did in real-world history. (Givhan, 2015).
Our own understanding of how people dressed and experienced their world during the early 1960s is altered in “small shifts ” as Hawbaker explained when discussing Joe Blake’s (Luke Kleintank) suits for the second season, when he finds himself in Berlin. To read more about J.R. Hawbaker’s motivations and inspirations in creating this world for Season Two, consider her interview with TVinsider, where her insight into costuming is beautifully put:
“Hawbaker knows she can often look to the actors themselves as collaborators in dressing their characters. “The fitting room is sort of this sacred, safe place where both actors and designers can look for the characters,” she explains. “We have this fall-down-the-rabbit-hole experience together.”
We would like to thank JR and Koreen, and the whole Man in the High Castle costume department for giving us an opportunity to work on this project. If you are in America you can catch the new season on Amazon Video – and we’ve heard we can look forward to a Season 3.
Egner, J. (2015). Red, Reich, and Blue: Building the World of ‘The Man of the High Castle’. The New York Times. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/22/arts/television/the-man-in-the-high-castle-imagines-a-red-reich-and-blue.html?_r=0
Givhan, R. (2015). The Battle of Versailles: The Night American Fashion Stumbled into the Spotlight and Made History. New York: Flat Iron Books.
Halterman, J. (2016). The Man in the High Castle: The Challenges of Costuming Drama About a Post-WWII Nazi World. Available at: http://www.tvinsider.com/article/98814/the-man-in-the-high-castle-the-challenges-of-costuming-drama-about-a-post-wwii-nazi-world/
Warner, H. (2014). Fashion on Television: Identity and Celebrity Culture. London: Bloomsbury.