Exclusive: How The Wheel of Time created the show’s spectacular outfits

Natasha O'Keeffe (Lanfear) in The Wheel of Time season 2.
Natasha O'Keeffe (Lanfear) in The Wheel of Time season 2. /

We talk to The Wheel of Time costume designer Sharon Gilham and hair and makeup supervisor Davina Lamont about creating the iconic outfits of season 2.

It’s been just over a week since The Wheel of Time season 2 dropped its explosive finale, and we’re still reeling. “What Was Meant To Be” brought things to a head in the city of Falme, with Whitecloaks, Seanchan, Aiel, Forsaken and heroes from ages past battling it out in the streets.

Based on the beloved book series by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson, The Wheel of Time is a grand fantasy show. From the magic to the breathtaking locales, the world of The Wheel of Time is immersive. Season 2 also had some stunning costumes; if you’ve seen it, you don’t need us to tell you about how righteous Lanfear’s wardrobe was.

Earlier in the season, we spoke with costume designer Sharon Gilham and hair and makeup supervisor Davina Lamont about how they created the striking look of the Seanchan. Now we’re excited to share the rest of our interview, which includes a discussion of how the futuristic look of the Forsaken was created.

Fares Fares (Ishamael) in The Wheel of Time season 2.
Fares Fares (Ishamael) in The Wheel of Time season 2. /

When future meets past: How The Wheel of Time created the look of two distinct timelines

A major difference between The Wheel of Time and your typical fantasy story is that there are multiple eras at play; we have the “present” timeline which features characters like Rand al’Thor (Josha Stradowski) and Moiraine Damodred (Rosamund Pike), as well as the distant past, which is when the immensely powerful channelers known as the Forsaken come from.

3,000 years before Rand and his friends started their fight against the Dark One, the previous Dragon, Lews Therin Telamon (Alexander Karim) fought in a war which led to the downfall of the futuristic society that he and the Forsaken inhabited. By the time The Wheel of Time proper starts, everyone is back to living in medieval-style villages and cities. It was important for the costuming to reflect these two distinct time periods.

"Sharon Gilham: Costume-wise, the present world, the concept is that everything needs to look as if it was manufactured, pre-industrial revolution. So things need to look and feel as if they were made by hand or manufactured by hand, so armor needs to look like it was handmade, not machine made. You know, the fabrics we use have to feel natural, not synthetic. And any printing or dying needs to also feel very real.And then, you know, that world is all very grounded as I would describe it and real, and the Forsaken obviously are from a time which is the most future time in the books. So we gave them a color palette that was more monochromatic. Whereas the rest of the Wheel of Time World is very colorful. And I played with sort of specific cutting techniques which make the costumes look quite futuristic without being sci-fi."

"Davina Lamont: And I think for me…for the Forsaken, because they are in the future I can go more present day. And so that was probably one of the easier aspects of me for design work for, you know, the whole of Wheel of Time. Every time there was a Forsaken, I was like, this to me is an easier palette. So in comparison to everyone else because all of the other characters, they do go through a pretty hefty creative design palette."

Priyanka Bose (Alanna Mosvani) in The Wheel of Time season 2. Image: Prime Video.
Priyanka Bose (Alanna Mosvani) in The Wheel of Time season 2. Image: Prime Video. /

The amazing little details of The Wheel of Time

The Wheel of Time has a sprawling cast, and many character come from very different cultural backgrounds, from the idyllic Two Rivers to the metropolis of Cairhien and the Borderland nations of Arafel and Fal Dara. It required incredible attention to detail to make sure that these characters dressed in a way that reflected their backstories, and revealed more about the world they inhabit.

"Davina Lamont: For us, it was a matter of hitting all the genres for Priyanka [Bose] (Alanna) and where she comes from and Liandrin (Kate Fleetwood) and where she comes from from having braids in her hair and Priyanka having bells and so just making sure that you know, we all hit those elements for the fans."

Hammed Animashaun (Loial) in The Wheel of Time season 2. Image: Prime Video.
Hammed Animashaun (Loial) in The Wheel of Time season 2. Image: Prime Video. /

Loial the Ogier received a new body for The Wheel of Time season 2

Beyond cultural differences, some of the characters in The Wheel of Time aren’t even human, like the terrifying Myrddraal. Not all of them are scary, though; one of the most lovable characters in The Wheel of Time is Loial (Hammed Animashaun), a good-natured Ogier who loves to curl up with a good book.

Season 2 required Animashaun to perform more stunts than in the first season, so while Loial’s look didn’t change much, his prosthetics needed a redesign in order to allow for a greater range of movement.

"Davina Lamont: For Loial, it was more about giving him a beard this time around and his wig color stayed the same. We just experimented with, you know, slightly off center, making sure that he had the part in his hair. And, you know, playing around with that, but for this season, in particular, he didn’t really change too, too much for [hair and makeup]. It was more about just, you know, growing every single character that we had. And so adding those elements into it.Sharon Gilham: And from a costume point of view, we, he had a whole new prosthetic body for season 2. And we sort of streamlined his body shape a bit more, and, and made his costume sort of more fitted to his body, so you could actually see more of, of himself. And also he has, you know, obviously some, quite a bit of stunt action, so he needed to be able to really move in that costume."

You can see more of Sharon Gilham and Davina Lamont’s beautiful work in The Wheel of Time season 2, streaming now on Prime Video.

Next. The 10 most powerful looks from The Wheel of Time season 2. dark

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