Louis XV

How the Time-Traveling World of 'Outlander' Is Created
The show's costume designer and production designer—who just so happen to be real-life best friends—open up about bringing the book series to life.


In Season 2 of Outlander, time-traveling heroine Claire Fraser (Caitriona Balfe) journeys through the 18th century, from the French court of King Louis XV to the Scottish Highlands, to 1940s (and later, ‘60s) Scotland. Sounds like a daunting task for any design department, right? Not when your production designer and costume designer have been best friends and collaborators for nearly 30 years. Instead, you get a veritable smorgasbord of lavish costumes and intricate sets that tell their own stories—as well as Emmy nominations aplenty. Here, HarpersBAZAAR.com chats with Jon Gary Steele, Outlander’s production designer, and Terry Dresbach, the show’s costume designer (and wife of its showrunner, Ronald D. Moore) to discuss their collaboration, designing accurately through different time periods and dealing with fan reactions to one of the most popular shows on television…..

Great article/interview with Terry Dresbach and Jon Gary Steele!


request by thesacredfireofloveM A D A M E   D E   P O M P A D O U R

Jeanne Antoinette Poisson, Marquise de Pompadour (December 29, 1721 – April 15, 1764) was the official cheif mistress of Louis XV from 1745 until her death. She claimed that at the age of nine, she was taken by her mother to a fortune teller and told that she would someday reign over the heart of a king. Apparently, her mother believed the prophecy and accordingly nicknamed her “Reinette” (meaning “little queen”). At adolescence, her mother took personal charge of her education at home by hiring tutors who taught her to recite entire plays by heart, play the clavicord, dance, sing, paint and engrave. She became an accomplished actress and singer, and also attended Paris’s famous Club de l'Entresol. The marquise had many enemies among the royal courtiers who felt it a disgrace that the king would thus compromise himself with a commoner. She was very sensitive to the unending libels called poissonnades, a pun on her family name, Poisson, which means “fish” in French.
The Marquise de Pompadour was an incredibly intelligent and accomplished woman. She was responsible for the development of the manufactory of Sèvres, which became one of the most famous porcelain manufacturers in Europe and which provided skilled jobs to the region. Reinette had an eye for architecture and design, planning buildings such as the Place de la Concorde and the Petit Trianon. She had a keen interest in literature and was a close friend of philosophes of the Lights, like Voltaire throughout her life. Her influence over Louis increased markedly through the 1750s, to the point where he allowed her considerable leeway in the determination of policy over a whole range of issues, from military matters to foreign affairs. Ther reasons for the Marquise’s influence over Louis were many: she decidedly established a cordial relationship with Marie Leszczyńska, the King’s wife ; she also put all of her effort into bringing fun into the King’s melancholy life ; she threw dinner parties for him and put on plays that exalted him and of course, she was a woman of verve and intelligence with whom the King sensed an intellectual equal.
In her later years, although they had ceased being lovers, the King and Jeanne remained very close friends, and Louis was devoted to her until her death from tuberculosis in 1764 at the age of forty-two. Even some her enemies admired her courage during the final painful weeks. Voltaire wrote: “I am very sad at the death of Madame de Pompadour. I was indebted to her and I mourn her out of gratitude. It seems absurd that while an ancient pen-pusher, hardly able to walk, should still be alive, a beautiful woman, in the midst of a splendid career, should die at the age of forty two."  (source of the text) 

gifs from Jeanne Poisson, Marquise de Pompadour - 2006


On April 25th, 2013, the Palace of Versailles will re-open the newly restored and refurnished apartments of Mesdames, as the king’s daughters were called. Six of the nine rooms of these sumptuous apartments have been entirely refurnished thanks to the work of numerous applied arts craftsmen and new deposits and acquisitions.

Under the reign of Louis XV, the apartments of Mesdames were, after those of the king, the most sumptuous of the Palace of Versailles. Located on the ground floor of the central section, they were occupied for twenty years, from 1769 until the Revolution, by the princesses Adélaïde and Victoire, Louis XV’s daughters. These apartments have now recovered their furniture and fittings made for the royal household and the objets d’art that decorated them: a veritable unrecognized treasure that has emerged from the storerooms of Versailles.

Six of the nine rooms making up this double apartment have been entirely refurnished along with, in the principal rooms, the Lyon silk wall hangings and curtains newly woven and based on models from the 18th century. The furniture made by outstanding cabinetmakers and the objets d’art were originally made for the royal household, and most of them are deposits made by the Louvre and the Mobilier National or new acquisitions, among them three vases with a green background painted by Charles-Nicolas Dodin.

To complete this major operation, the second phase (originally planned for 2015-2016) will begin in 2013. It will involve re-upholstering the seats made by Foliot for the library and, above all, re-weaving two prestigious fabrics: one for furnishing the large drawing-room of Madame Victoire, and the other to upholster the “eagles” furniture of the bedroom of Marie-Antoinette in Saint-Cloud which will decorate the small inner room of Madame Adélaïde.

Apart from recreating the luxurious atmosphere in which Louis XV's daughters lived, this refurnishing operation also aims at showing their taste for the arts, particularly for reading (the great Greek and Latin classics) and especially for music. So the drawing-rooms of Mesdames will feature musical instruments from the collections of Versailles: the drawing-room organ made by Somer (the instrument maker of the king’s daughters), the violin said to have been Madame Adélaïde’s, the piano-forte deposited by the Mobilier National and recently restored, and the harpsichords made by Ruckers and Blanchet.