Happy Birthday to Us! Yep, Frock Flicks, the blog and social media enterprise, is one year old this week (though the podcast has been around since 2007).
My, how time flies — it seems like just yesterday we were yanking Terry Dresbach’s chain about hygiene in the 18th-century … well yeah, that was our first big post, and it remains one of our most popular. So let’s take a little trip back in time and see where we started and how we eventually made amends with the costume designer of Outlander.
It started when Dresbach posted in her blog about her very first designs for Claire in 18th-century Scotland on the Starz series. Some of her descriptions of the costumes, and more importantly, how people bathed and dealt with bodily functions in the 18th century didn’t sound all that historically accurate. Her blog post made its way around social media, where many historical reenactors commented directly and got into fairly heated arguments with Ms. Dresbach. And then, Frock Flicks had our say in a post titled The Gross 18th Century. Which engendered even more comments. Let it never be said that we shy away from controversy!
Look, we’re not out to get Terry Dresbach or any one costume designer. As we say in our Point of View series, it’s not personal, it’s about pointing out the facts. The gist of Frock Flicks is that we enjoy history and we enjoy movies and TV shows about history. So when we see things, especially costumes, in those historical movies and shows that aren’t totally historical, we’re going to point it out. The hygiene issue was a bit of a digression because it was a topic the costume designer brought up on her blog, but our reasoning was the same. Historical misinformation drives us nuts.
We did kiss and make up with Ms. Dresbach eight months later, thanks to an excellent and equally popular guest post, The Real Deal on Tartan, Kilts, and Outlander Costumes, by Brenna Barks, an expert on Scottish dress and 18th-century fashion. She showed how Outlander got things right in regards to tartan and kilts in the period, and Terry enthusiastically jumped into the comments. This was a pleasant eye-opener, and one of the best things to happen on the blog. Both of these articles and comments are worth reading again.
So, from controversial beginnings we rose up to being a valuable resource. At least we like to think of it that way.
What about you? Where do you weigh in on the Outlander historical accuracy issues?