‘The Northman’ Costume Designer on Bringing the Viking World to Bold, Breathtaking Life

I employed the information and facts that was offered to kind the baseline, and then I experimented with to channel a Viking sensibility, I suppose. The ceremonial use is possibly the greatest space of generation for the reason that we know bits and parts about how the deceased had been clothed or what they ended up surrounded with in the burial mounds, but we don’t genuinely know how the people today grieving those beloved kinds dressed. We do know that there was a lot of blood sacrifice. I also felt really strongly that textiles will have to have been a enormous part of Viking commerce and a commodity and have to have been a valuable portion of their lives. It would have taken so lengthy to make these textiles, so I could not seriously see them becoming disposable. 

We also experienced discussions with Neil Cost, who was absolutely astounding at serving to fill in these gaps of info with supposition and theory and functional advice. Robert and I spoke to him about ceremonial dress in, and I instructed him that in my investigation I experienced gleaned that white wool must have been unique due to the fact white sheep have been rarer, and so I didn’t feel that they would get rid of that clothing. But plainly they weren’t going for walks all around crusted in stinky, filthy blood—that wouldn’t have been a fantastic idea in phrases of hygiene or something else, genuinely. So nearly speaking, they will have to have washed these items, but by that point the blood wouldn’t have arrive out. So it transpired to me that these wool dresses would be still left with stains that would present previous sacrifices, previous situations, previous funerals. The garments would grow to be a kind of canvas of the historical past of these individuals, so we finished up staining the multiples to seem the similar. Regardless of whether that reads on camera or not, I’m not certain, but that was the idea. Which is just 1 illustration, but it’s to say that there was creation, indeed, but we were still hopefully working with the real details that bubbled up all above the spot from the research.

There are plenty of standout costumes, but just one of the most striking—and just one of my individual favorites—is Björk’s costume as the seeress. What was the story there? Was Björk concerned in the growth of the outfit at all?

It typically came from investigate Robert had finished, aside from the addition of the pieces hanging in front of the eyes. Björk felt extremely strongly that because her character’s eyes experienced been taken by a Viking militia, she really should have the cowrie shells for fertility and the bells to ward off evil spirits. Of training course, there are the remarkable, lovely headdresses she makes use of in her own operate, that she makes with James Merry, so I imagine there was a connection there with her efficiency in that one particular region. But the style and design equally arrived from the investigation we did into Slavic cultures. Certainly, there was the Viking investigation, but the Slavic investigate was equally enormous. In that time period, there were several, numerous tribes and just about every experienced its individual lifestyle. I realized pretty early on that we had to be quite unique about accurately exactly where we were inserting this village inside of that landmass and that it had to correspond to what Craig was executing in the set style and design, the way the village was made, and the carvings and the language utilised there.