Drama suitably costumed
They say one good turn deserves another, so it made sense that when it came time to order a third season of AMC’s period drama Turn: Washington’s Spies, the network’s bosses offered a mighty yea instead of nay.
Based on Alexander Rose’s book Washington’s Spies, the show set during the Revolutionary War is part history lesson, part dramatic thriller and part visual treat with costumes, set design and cinematography suitably proclaiming their musket love.
This season builds toward the defection of Benedict Arnold (Owain Yeoman), as he becomes an informant for the British while enmeshed in the Continental Army. Meanwhile, Abe Woodhull (Jamie Bell) is a spy for the Patriots, reporting directly to George Washington (Ian Kahn).
The tension builds as each mole’s noose-worthy actions come closer to being discovered.
Lahly Poore-Ericson, the show’s costume designer, gives the characters their distinctive looks for Turn’s third rotation, debuting Monday.
“Period (projects) are actually my favourite thing to do. I love the clothes, I love to look at the detail, I love to do the research,” says Poore-Ericson, though her own style on set is quite different.
“When I’m at work I’m on my knees half the day, crawling on the floor, looking at hems or trying to get someone’s shoes right. I’m fixing buckles or carrying a load of some dirty something or other, so I pretty much dress down.”
She says being new to the show, she kept the military’s look the same.
“I think you can start off with your historical research, but sometimes a little bit of poetic licence is needed,” says Poore-Ericson.
“Fashion changes throughout history because some creative person broke some of the rules of the day.”