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  1. #1
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    Genuine kilties in the movies

    Screenshot (20).jpg Screenshot (24).jpg Screenshot (90).jpg Screenshot (98).jpg Screenshot (100).jpg Screenshot (107).jpg Screenshot (120).jpg Screenshot (122).jpg

    How about these for kilts in the media..?

    No prizes for guessing which films they are from, as they are too well known, but I think they show good examples of when the Wardrobe Department has been given free rein when it comes to costume, and when the extras and bit-part players have worn their own clothes.

    But, before we start slating musical fantasies for their wild ideas, and feel our sensibilites affronted, the costumes in Brigadoon appear to have been near faithful copies of the MacIan's 1840s water-colours representing the various clans. And a bit of artistic licence can be forgiven.

    Razzle-dazzle aside for a moment, is Brigadoon really any worse than Outlander as a costume fantacy?

    I am willing to bet the price of a pint that the kiltied characters from the other films are in their own clothes - certainly the Highland Games lot and the elderly gents in the 1945 black-and-white movie.

    It's good to see what you might call natives in real native dress.

    And it's also good to think that 'Wardrobe' had the wit to let seasoned kilties do their own thing, and so allow them to bring a sense of relaxed authenticity to the scenes.

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  3. #2
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    Not only are the Brigadoon costumes no worse than Outlander's, I would say that the Outlander costumes are an even greater distortion of mid-18th century Highland Dress than Brigadoon's.

    At least in Brigadoon you have the panoply of colourful tartans which was so characteristic of mid-to-late 18th century Highland outfits.

    The kilted men are wearing proper kilt hose and plausible shoes.

    In Outlander everyone is in dull brown and grey tartans and jackets, and wearing knee-high riding boots, for which there is no evidence whatever.

    Yes there are anachronisms in Brigadoon such as Victorian sword belts, plaid brooches, sporrans, Glengarries, and Kilmarnock bonnets. Though from a later period, these things are all actual items of Highland Dress.

    On the other hand the huge floppy Rastafarian bag-hats in Outlander weren't part of Highland Dress of any period.

    The one thing that Outlander gets a bit more correct are the shirts. Brigadoon has the Highlanders wearing the pirate shirts so loved by mid-20th century Hollywood (and these in wild colours) which never existed at any time or place whatever.

    Another thing besides the costumes is the hair: in the mid-18th century, as it was in the mid-20th, men were generally clean-shaven.

    The real Culloden and the Outlander Culloden.

    Last edited by OC Richard; 29th May 24 at 03:35 AM.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

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  5. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC Richard View Post
    At least in Brigadoon you have the panoply of colourful tartans which was so characteristic of mid-to-late 18th century Highland outfits.

    The kilted men are wearing proper kilt hose and plausible shoes.
    I can't find static images online that show enough detail, but it looks like many of the kilted actors in Brigadoon are wearing some sort of leggings that don't enclose the foot. Basically like MoD "hose tops".

    It sure looks like they have bare ankles above their shoes. (Specifically the man in the red shirt in the middle of this photo, as well as the one on the left with the red kilt.)

    Last edited by Tobus; 29th May 24 at 04:08 AM.

  6. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tobus View Post
    I can't find static images online that show enough detail, but it looks like many of the kilted actors in Brigadoon are wearing some sort of leggings that don't enclose the foot. Basically like MoD "hose tops".

    It sure looks like they have bare ankles above their shoes. (Specifically the man in the red shirt in the middle of this photo, as well as the one on the left with the red kilt.)

    Screenshot (26).jpg

    As far as I can see, all the 'Highland' characters appear to be wearing footless hose of some kind.

    If the wardrobe dept. was using MacIan's watercolours as a period style reference (I can think of no other that would suit better, other than MacLeay's work from 30 years later) they would have have a fairly wide set of options.

    One of which would be the MacMillan representative, who is not only bare-chested, but is wearing the little kilt and what James Logan tells us are called 'moggans' - stockings without feet. MacMillan's are diced or latticed in design, but those shown on the MacDuff chappie are a solid colour blue.

    All MacIan's other individuals are either bare-footed, or have hose covering the feet inside some kind of footwear.

    A few show the over-sized, puff-sleeved shirts like those on the Brigadoon lot.

    But Brigadoon was a spectacular musical made in a rather gloomy post-war period, so a but of artistic licence (even if used to the full) can be forgiven. I can't imagine anyone would have seen it as a true-to-life documentary.

    Interestingly, people's expectations of Highland dress have changed somewhat since Outlander was aired. A long-established kiltmaker friend based here in the Highlands, has received a number of requests for a 'real' kilt (as seen in Outlander) and not one of the horrid 'modern' sort that everyone wears!

    I wonder if there is a 'kilted extras' group that film-makers turn to for Scottish-themed movies. It would be pretty good fun to be a member...

  7. #5
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    Thanks, I hadn't noticed that.

    Now I want to find a photo showing more clearly what they're wearing.

    It does appear to be some sort of Allen Brothers > Costumes of the Clans > McIan fantasy.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

  8. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC Richard View Post
    Thanks, I hadn't noticed that.

    Now I want to find a photo showing more clearly what they're wearing.

    It does appear to be some sort of Allen Brothers > Costumes of the Clans > McIan fantasy.
    Richard, this may help. clearly footless hose and trews.

    brigadoon-from-left-jimmie-thompson-gene-kelly-van-johnson-eddie-quillan-HBJXTD.jpg

    Compare with this work around / pseudo pair made for the artist William Skeoch Cumming for use on his models.

    233791_view 06_06.jpg

  9. #7
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    The Maggie - Paul Douglas publicity shot. Looking at the sporran, these must be his own clothes.

    Where ever it was taken, it was windy,

    The Maggie - Paul Douglas publicity shot.jpg

  10. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC Richard View Post
    Not only are the Brigadoon costumes no worse than Outlander's, I would say that the Outlander costumes are an even greater distortion of mid-18th century Highland Dress than Brigadoon's.

    At least in Brigadoon you have the panoply of colourful tartans which was so characteristic of mid-to-late 18th century Highland outfits.

    The kilted men are wearing proper kilt hose and plausible shoes.

    In Outlander everyone is in dull brown and grey tartans and jackets, and wearing knee-high riding boots, for which there is no evidence whatever.

    Yes there are anachronisms in Brigadoon such as Victorian sword belts, plaid brooches, sporrans, Glengarries, and Kilmarnock bonnets. Though from a later period, these things are all actual items of Highland Dress.

    On the other hand the huge floppy Rastafarian bag-hats in Outlander weren't part of Highland Dress of any period.

    The one thing that Outlander gets a bit more correct are the shirts. Brigadoon has the Highlanders wearing the pirate shirts so loved by mid-20th century Hollywood (and these in wild colours) which never existed at any time or place whatever.

    Another thing besides the costumes is the hair: in the mid-18th century, as it was in the mid-20th, men were generally clean-shaven.

    The real Culloden and the Outlander Culloden.

    You're dead right about the colours - or lack of them.

    Where did this fashion for dull greys and browns come from, I wonder. It's all a bit too muddy for my taste.

    The 1948 Bonnie Prince Charlie film with David Niven in the title role, is another fantasy romp - but at least there is the sort of tartan and colour mix that the 1746 Morier painting shows. Many of the kilted extras could be wearing their own kit, and the obviously modern style detracts slightly from the sense of authenticity.

    Michael Caine in the 1971 Kidnapped is all tartaned-up, and more like Morier's men, and his accent is as fun as Dick Van Dyke's Cockney in Mary Poppins. It's several decades since I saw the film, but I remember the battle scenes and those with tartaned Highlanders gave the right impression at the time.

    But hey, it's only make-believe play-acting, so what the hell..? Only people like us ever notice such things.

  11. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Troglodyte View Post
    Screenshot (20).jpg Screenshot (24).jpg Screenshot (90).jpg Screenshot (98).jpg Screenshot (100).jpg Screenshot (107).jpg Screenshot (120).jpg Screenshot (122).jpg

    How about these for kilts in the media..?

    No prizes for guessing which films they are from, as they are too well known, but I think they show good examples of when the Wardrobe Department has been given free rein when it comes to costume, and when the extras and bit-part players have worn their own clothes.

    But, before we start slating musical fantasies for their wild ideas, and feel our sensibilites affronted, the costumes in Brigadoon appear to have been near faithful copies of the MacIan's 1840s water-colours representing the various clans. And a bit of artistic licence can be forgiven.

    Razzle-dazzle aside for a moment, is Brigadoon really any worse than Outlander as a costume fantacy?

    I am willing to bet the price of a pint that the kiltied characters from the other films are in their own clothes - certainly the Highland Games lot and the elderly gents in the 1945 black-and-white movie.

    It's good to see what you might call natives in real native dress.

    And it's also good to think that 'Wardrobe' had the wit to let seasoned kilties do their own thing, and so allow them to bring a sense of relaxed authenticity to the scenes.
    What films are the bottom two stills from that looks like a Highland Games?
    Descendant of the Gillises and MacDonalds of North Morar.

  12. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by FossilHunter View Post
    What films are the bottom two stills from that looks like a Highland Games?

    From the movie "Geordie" or "Wee Geordie" here in the States. Bill Travers and Alastair Sims. 1955. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0048112...ee%2520geordie
    Last edited by COScotsman; 31st May 24 at 12:52 PM.
    "Cuimhnich air na daoine o'n d'thaining thu"
    Remember the men from whom you are descended.

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