New ‘Outlander’ Official Photo of King Louis XV and Mistress (NSFW!) Plus Terry Dresbach Interview

Share this...
Share on Facebook
Facebook
0Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter

(Seriously, the below photo is “NOT SAFE FOR WORK”)

/

/

/

/

/

/

Official S2 202

Ah, it is the nipple dress!  This dress can be seen in the second episode of Outlander season two.  It is worn by King Louis XV’s (Lionel Lingelser) mistress Madame Nesle de la Tourelle (who is identified as Gaia Weiss, but that is not her).  Below are excerpts from the Vanity Fair article about how it is described in Dragonfly in Amber and an interview with costume designer Terry Dresbach.

Loyal as ever to the hugely popular Diana Gabaldon books, the Starz series dressed Nesle in a daring, breast-baring gown with ornate “diamond-encrusted swans” piercing her nipples. On the page, the dress sends the bold and heroic Claire “red-faced and coughing” from the room, “hacking politely into a handkerchief” as she goes. The effect is no less staggering on-screen.

VF.com: So you’re calling this “The Swan Dress.” Do you—

Terry Dresbach: No, we call it “The Nipple Dress.” That’s what we call it in-house.

So how did you settle on the safe-for-work name of “Swan Dress?”

Because in the book it’s decribed as her nipples are pierced with swan jewelry. So that’s what that’s about.

When Diana Gabaldon included this look in the novel, did she draw on historical precedent?

She did. I want to kill her for it. It’s all wonderful on the written page, but when you have to try to figure out how you’re going to pull that off, it’s a whole different ball game. Body piercing goes back to the Egyptians, it’s nothing new. We think we’re bold, we think we push the envelope, but we have nothing on history. There’s a lot of exposure of body parts throughout fashion since the beginning of time.

It was hard to find reference material for it, and we weren’t able to locate a lot of paintings where women at that time had pierced nipples, so we sort of leapt and went with the books and tried to get as close to it as we could creating it ourselves. It was difficult. There’s no jewelry store that sells it. Those nipple rings were created on my kitchen table out of Fimo clay. There were many, many attempts to make swans that would completely do what they needed to do. It’s one of the most interesting jobs I’ve had in my career.

Claire has on a daring dress of her own when she meets the king—that plunging Sang-du-Christ gown—which almost looked like it might spill open. Was that an intentional comparison?

In Claire’s costume the most daring thing we did is we took her out of a corset. That was more of a scandal. She is held in that dress purely with good architecture and good sewing. There’s no tape, there’s no nothing. What’s fascinating about the nipple dress is that is one of the most intricate costumes in Season 2. When people get over looking at the nipples—our fans watch each episode three or four times—they’ll see that gown is very ornate, very couture as would be appropriate for the king’s mistress. That dress would have cost a fortune to make and the detailing on it is really quite exquisite. [Editor’s note: Dresbach estimates that between materials and labor, the dress would retail now for $10-$20,000.]

Source: Vanity Fair