Interview with Jany Temime, Costume Designer of House Of The Dragon
Jany Temime, French costume designer for almost 50 years, has worked on many projects such as the series “House of The Dragon” but also Harry Potter. In honor of the last episode of House Of The Dragon, she accepted to answer some of our questions.
Can you explain what a costume designer does and who they work the most with ?
A Costume Designer designs the costumes for a film, a play or a TV series, which means dressing all the actors and the extras that are needed in the film or the TV series. I decided to work in the film industry and very recently television because it has developed a lot. There are now very interesting TV series with significant budgets that allow us to do quite important things with some freedom.
How do you start working on a project like House of The Dragon and what is your research / preparation process?
You start by reading the script and talking to the director or the showrunner in the case of a TV series. You discuss what they want to represent, of their ideas, what they want to convey and what is behind those lines. We also need to know who the actors are because each of them has different needs and being aware of the casting, means that you have some idea of what the crew will want. Casting is very important, you don’t dress the same way for each actor. You have to come up with original ideas that won’t contradict Game Of Thrones, but at the same time will bring something new. It’s almost 200 years before Game Of Thrones, it takes place in spring, winter is not here yet so it’s a completely different atmosphere. You have to define how people dressed 200 years before. I was inspired by Byzantine art, using a lot of gold and red, but we also by medieval and even renaissance art. The fact that they are rich and they look “beautiful” allows a much softer civilization than Game Of Thrones where the population was in a state of survival. I also wanted to represent that the spring of House of The Dragon gave an extra richness in clothing.
What was your biggest technical challenge as a costume designer on House Of The Dragon?
There are challenges at every stage. You have to create 2500 costumes or more, so there are manufacturing issues, technical problems… For example the armours take time, the actors have their say, so there are complications at every stage. But it’s normal, you can’t make 2500 pieces and do not have any complications.
You also worked on Harry Potter, how do you look back On a project like this one?
I was very inspired by the different houses in Harry Potter and the colours (red and green). I took that idea for House of The Dragon by giving each family colours. They already existed but I wanted to really define them by using those colours for the costumes and using their coat of arms as much as possible. I put dragons everywhere for the Targaryens which have been woven or printed. I think the green colour that Alicent and all the Hightowers wear are the opposition of the red explains the conflict, not because we don’t understand it but because it adds visual suspense.
Is there a costume in particular that really stuck with you all this years ?
Oh yes! I like villains, I’ve always preferred villains, they’re more interesting than good people, especially for the clothes. I always liked Bellatrix a lot, she was a bad one, but I loved her.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a Costume Designer?
I think there are people who have things to say and who want to express themselves. I think that if you really want to, you become one. You just have to work a lot, to seize opportunities when they arise and there are a lot of them. If you are good and you want to be a Designer, at a certain point you are noticed and you become one. But it’s not just being in an office and drawing, you also have to manage a team of 20 to 150 people, you have to take responsibility, there’s a management job in the
Costume Designer position that not everyone can do. You have to know that you work a lot, it requires psychological qualities and a lot of dedication.
How long do you have to come up with ideas and make costumes when you start a project? Is the schedule difficult to manage?
That’s what management is all about, it’s not just artistic talent, it’s also about organisation. Generally we have 4 to 5 months to draw so we have to be very organized. We also have a team, we are not alone in working on it.
You can find Jany Temime on instagram : @janytemime