Daenerys Targaryen’s winter white fur!
Before my heart was ripped into tiny shreds during Sunday night’s Game of Thrones episode “Beyond the Wall,” it nearly leaped out of my chest. And it wasn’t just because of that scary-as-hell White Walker battle. The clothing in this nail-biting installment was so phenomenal, I was still thinking about Dany’s coat — the one she rode while saving Jon Snow and his crew in the north — when I woke up Monday morning.
That’s not to say the looks of the oft-corseted women and usually rugged, fur-clad dudes in HBO’s George R.R. Martin-created fantasy world aren’t always fantastic. Over the years, Game of Thrones has spawned many a beauty trend, from waterfall braids to man buns. It’s just that the drama series’ ensembles — the show is a sartorial mishmash of many a bygone era — on Sunday night’s episode really captured the evolution of our favorite characters, especially Dany (Emilia Clarke), Arya (Maisie Williams), and Sansa (Sophie Turner).
Curious about the fabulosity of this coat, I reached out to three-time Emmy winner Michele Clapton about her inspiration before Sunday night’s finale.
I’m used to seeing Dany as the ethereal goddess. The outfit she wore when she flew to Jon Snow’s rescue was definitely more structured. What was your inspiration? What is it made of? How long did this process take?
In Season Seven, she has really moved into a sort of warrior mode. Her costumes have been practical, she has begun to embrace — albeit subtlety — her house colors [Targaryen colors are red and black]. She is also more prominently wearing the style worn by her brother in Season One. So the fur coat was a version of this new style and, although beautiful, it’s also extremely practical.
I figured riding a dragon north of the wall would be cold. [Daenerys] is also on a mission to save another king that has not bent the knee … all new ground. The coat is made of two kinds of fake fur, faux leather, and some white rabbit fur at the hem. It is basted onto a corset to create the structured shape. The whole process took two to three months to sample and decide the direction, best materials, and construction.
Jon Snow’s crew is quite the rugged band of guys. What did you want their outfits to say about Sunday night’s White Walker search? How did you make Jon Snow stand out?
I looked at each member’s experience and character, and then decided how they would approach keeping themselves warm. Jon has obviously been north before, so [he] knows the importance of movement and warmth. Jorah is intelligent and experienced, so although his [outfit] is not as “wildling” as Jon’s, it is practical and easy to move in. Capes are for the inexperienced! It was important that each [man] had [his] own look.
I’ve been most impressed — or saddened — by Sansa’s evolution into a cold Lady of the North. Other than the climate differences, what are you doing to make her clothing choices separate from Cercsi’s but still adding a similarity in mood? That quilted dress was great. Powerful yet very womanly. What was it made of?
I loved Sansa’s dresses in Season Seven. There was a balance of precision and structure [combined] with the idea that she is being wrapped up, laced in, and protected. There is a sense of security [in her clothes.]
The cut of [Sunday night’s] costume was very fitted and severe, but the fabrics were soft, textured and quilted. Although there were dark blues and grays, there was a warmth in these colors. I was trying to grasp all that has happened to Sansa, all the hurt and abuse and frustration, and trying to understand how she would express this yet appear strong.
As for Arya, how are you preserving her femininity and showing us that she’s a knight and not a little girl? After all, she’s back in Winterfell.
Now that Arya is home, I took her father’s style as inspiration. I guess Sansa had a mixture of her mother and father in there. But with Arya, I also wanted an element of elsewhere to represent her journey, so I chose to design an asymmetric cloak that is perfect for fighting and sleeping in. It’s exclusive to her style.
What was your favorite look from Sunday night’s epic episode?
I guess the obvious is Dany’s coat, I loved all the skill that went into making it, such a team effort, and this we love.