‘1883’ Costume Designer Talks Outfitting Cast with ‘Epic’ Looks

by Amy Myers

We already know that 1883 is a legendary show. With stars like Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, and Sam Elliott, the Yellowstone prequel series is quickly on its way to becoming a masterpiece. However, the team behind the scenes of 1883 is just as important as the stars in front of the camera. Without them, the show wouldn’t appear nearly as artistic or as authentic as it does now.

A huge part of the crew is costume designer Janie Bryant. The Tennessee native is the driving force behind the petticoats and wool jackets. Though the stars might be a little sweatier and dirtier than they’d like to be, the result is a picture-perfect performance.

Bryant, herself, has nothing but kind words for the cast and the experience on the memorable set. She certainly has her hands full most of the time, but she’s happy to put in the effort for director Taylor Sheridan.

“You know, there’s one word to describe it, and that is epic, epic, epic,” Bryant told The Hollywood Reporter. “On my first episode, I probably had a thousand extras. And of course, designing the principal cast.”

“Taylor’s amazing. He’s pretty epic himself,” she added.

‘1883’ Costume Designer Reveals Trick to Keep Cast Members Cool

In order to maintain historical accuracy, the 1883 costume designer has picked up a few tricks that help the stars look their best without sacrificing the integrity of the show. Sometimes, this means using artificial dirt on their clothes. Other times, that means adding strategically placed icepacks to the costume to keep the actors from passing out.

“The actresses are all in corsets … riding horses or driving wagons, and the men are all in wool with the heat and the elements, and you can really feel how taxing it was,” Bryant shared. “Think about a hundred-degree weather and wearing a camisole, corset, bloomers, bustle pad, petticoat and then putting a costume on top of that. I applaud them for being for going with it.”

Then there are some stars that commit themselves to the point of sacrificing comfort. According to the 1883 costume designer, that’s Sam Elliott.

“My costume team had gotten some ice packs and other things to try to ease the pain. Sam Elliott was like, ‘I don’t need it. I want to be hot.’ They really embraced what it would be like to live in 1883,” Bryant explained.

Of course, this information shouldn’t come as a shock to fans of Elliott’s work. As one of American cinema’s original cowboys, Elliott knows what it takes to portray the hard life of the wild west. From his interaction with Bryant, the actor behind Shea Brennan seems to share the same motivation as the director.

Combined, 1883 cast and crew members like Bryant, Taylor and Elliott are the reason why 1883 is unlike anything we’ve ever seen before.