Game of Thrones costume designer Michele Clapton visited the FIDM Museum yesterday to discuss her GOT-themed jewelry collaboration with Yunus & Eliza. Before her Q&A panel in front of a packed house, Michele spoke with us about her final season designing for the blockbuster show, how taking a break to work on The Crown benefited her return to GOT, and of course that spectacular white coat. See the costumes in person at the Art of Television Costume Design exhibition - but hurry, the GOT costumes are leaving early! The final date to see them is Saturday, September 22.
You’re done with filming, so this is a good time to look back at your work, which is profound on this show! Is there a character you feel you have been able to develop the most sartorially?
I guess Dany, coming from almost nothing. When we were starting to catalog all of the costumes, I found her first dress. It’s just so simple. Actually I found the dress from the pilot, when it was a different Dany, which was really interesting. We’re going through warehouses full of costumes, and we’re just trying to put them all in bags now so that they can get saved. So yes Dany is the most evolved on the show.
Is there a look that stands out, something that you are the most proud of accomplishing, your labor of love?
It’s hard because there are so many costumes! I think because I did decide to leave in season five – and it was a really hard decision to make – but I felt like I needed to do other stuff. And then got asked back in six to do Cersei’s coronation. I really enjoyed doing that costume because it was almost just a step back into it, and I’d had time to look back and think about it and think about the female characters. I love the fact that all the female characters are so strong. I think her coronation gown was one of my favorites.
You mentioned leaving for a period; what do you think you gained from that time away from the show?
I think sometimes just to step back from something. My intention was not go to back – I really wanted to go and do something else, and The Crown was a great project. Stephen [Daldry, Executive Producer] had asked me personally, and I really like his work. It was just a breath of fresh air. Stepping back, I could look at the story lines, I could look at what had happened, I could look at the history of the show and actually felt that it was just right to step back in. It’s really hard to explain – it wasn’t difficult. I thought it might be difficult to pick up again but I read the script quite quickly, and I knew so instantly how Cersei should be, looking back at the arc of her story and her relationship with her father. I always try to make the clothes visually tell something – she said very little in that whole scene. I think you could tell it was based on her father’s costume…there were so many elements to it, I loved it. Then to pare down the crown into just simple strokes that to me looked like a lion still, that’s what they’re meant to be, but without that sort of solid heraldic lion that she’s usually worn. I quite liked the idea that it was a move away from that. Which then ties into Dany, the way they look at each other later on.
Body chain worn by Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) and designed by Michele Clapton with jewelers Yunus & Eliza.