Catherine Adair Q&A: ‘The Son’ costume designer
“The show is a wonderful piece,” praises “The Son” costume designer Catherine Adair during our recent webcam chat (watch the exclusive video above). Based on the novel by Philipp Meyer, this AMC western stars Pierce Brosnan as Eli McCullough, a Texas cattle baron who moves into the oil industry during America’s boon as a superpower. The first season chronicles McCullough’s life from 1849 through 1915, giving the veteran costumer a lot of ground to cover. “Things change dramatically between 1849 and 1915,” she divulges. As well, “the piece of the world we’re dealing in, which is Texas, has its own idiosyncrasies.”
For the 1915 period, “there is wonderful photographic material out there, and I was able to find amateur photographers who took photographs of that part of the world, so it wasn’t just portraiture.” The 1849 segments were a bit more challenging, although for the scenes set in Europe, “you can go back to sketches and drawings and accounts, and paintings.” The segments in America, however, in which young Eli (Jacob Lofland) lives amongst the Comanche were “a bit like being a detective.” Luckily, “the Comanche people were incredibly gracious to me. They opened their hearts, they opened their research. I got into archives up in Oklahoma that most people don’t see. I had the privilege of talking to some of the elders and listening to their stories. They are a unique people, and there are aspects to their clothing that you don’t find in the other tribes.”
Adair has worked on both the big screen and the small, with credits including “Beverly Hills Cop 3,”, “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” “Hatfields and McCoys,” “Bosch,” and “The Man in the High Castle.” She competed at the Emmys four consecutive times for “Desperate Housewives” (2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008). Given the TV Academy’s predilection towards period shows, will she contend at the Emmys once again for “The Son”?