Exploring the Intricate Art of THE WHEEL OF TIME Season 2’s Dazzling Costumes

Dive into the mind of Sharon Gilham as she shares the intricate process of designing costumes for 'The Wheel of Time' season two, highlighting the blend of diverse cultural influences, the challenges of staying true to the pre-industrial feel, and the collaboration that brings the vision to life.
Wheel of Time Season 2

In the realm of television, the role of a costume designer is pivotal in transporting viewers to another world, especially in a fantasy series. Sharon Gilham, the mastermind behind the costumes of The Wheel of Time Season Two, has achieved just that. Through her designs, she has intricately woven the tapestry of Robert Jordan’s universe, making it come alive on screen.

A Melting Pot of Cultures

Gilham’s approach to costume design for The Wheel of Time is a testament to the series’ global influences. This blending of cultures creates a unique visual tapestry that sets the series apart.

“The Wheel of Time is a bit of a gift for a costume designer because it has so many different levels and interests. There’s the cultural mixes, so for example, Kyrene is a mix of French and Japanese, the Sean Shan is a mix of Mesoamerican and Imperial Chinese. Already just start with that, and you’ve already got something very interesting going on and mixing it up and making it your own.”

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Balancing Freedom and Constraints

Wheel of Time Season 2
Daniel Henney (Lan Mandragoran)

Gilham relishes the freedom of drawing from various time periods in her designs. However, she emphasizes the importance of ensuring that the costumes retain a pre-industrial feel, reflecting the handmade quality of the era.

“You have the freedom to use from different time periods, which is very liberating. But there’s a constraint of everything feeling that it should be pre-industrial, pre-industrial revolution, so it needs to feel like it’s really made handmade, not kind of high modern technology.”

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Drawing from Rich Source Material

Wheel of Time Season 2
Avienda played by Ayoola Smart, Perrin Aybara played by Marcus Rutherford

The detailed descriptions in Robert Jordan’s books serve as a foundational guide for Gilham. These descriptions, combined with the show’s script, provide a wealth of information that aids in the design process.

“You have the script, and then you have the books. The books come first, and they have so much information in them. Robert Jordan was very keen on writing very detailed descriptions of cultures which is another element that you can bring in and adds to the richness of the whole experience of designing.”

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Collaboration: The Key to Authenticity

Wheel of Time Season 2
Lan Mandragoran played by Daniel Henney

Collaboration is at the heart of Gilham’s design process. From the showrunner to the actors and her team, everyone’s input is vital in bringing the costumes to life.

“You start talking to the showrunner, then the director and the actor and your team and everybody brings something to the table. I have my own little bit of humble research where I might add something else, throw something in there. It creates this very varied exciting dynamic mix which I really appreciate you saying that it’s very textured and it’s very interesting because color is important to me, textiles are important to me, authenticity is important to me, and all of these things are part of what I hope is The Wheel of Time season two.”

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Sharon Gilham’s dedication to her craft shines through in every frame of The Wheel of Time season two. Her ability to weave together diverse cultural influences, draw from rich source material, and collaborate effectively with the broader team has resulted in a visual feast that fans and newcomers alike can revel in.

The Wheel of Time Season 2 is now streaming exclusively on Prime Video with new episodes every Friday.

About Wheel of Time

Wheel of Time Season 2

Release: Season 2 Premiere September 1, 2023
Developer: Rafe Judkins
Executive Producers: Rafe Judkins, Larry Mondragon, Rick Selvage, Ted Field, Mike Weber, Darren Lemke, Marigo Kehoe, Justine Juel Gillmer, Sanaa Hamri, Amanda Kate Shuman
Production: Amazon Studios, Sony Pictures Television
Distribution: Prime Video
Cast: Rosamund Pike, Daniel Henney, Josha Stradowski, Zoë Robins, Madeleine Madden, Marcus Rutherford, Dónal Finn, Ceara Coveney

Based on the best-selling Robert Jordan fantasy series The Wheel of Time, a humble farm boy, Rand al’Thor (Josha Stradowski, Gran Turismo), learns he is The Dragon Reborn—a dangerous figure from history destined to save the world … or break it. Desperate to protect him from the Dark One, an army of powerful sorceresses must reckon with his burgeoning power and encroaching madness.

The Wheel of Time turns, and the Last Battle approaches. Though Rand thought he destroyed the Dark One, evil is not gone from the world. In Season Two, threats new and very old seek out the young friends from the Two Rivers, now scattered over the world. The woman who found and guided them is now powerless to help, and so they must find other sources of strength. In each other, or themselves. In the Light … or the Dark.

What are your thoughts on the costume designs in The Wheel of Time season two? Do you have a favorite outfit or cultural influence that stood out to you? How do you think the costumes enhance the storytelling? Share your insights with us on social media!

KEEP READING: Crafting the Mystical World of Wheel of Time in Season 2 with the Brilliant Ondrej Nekvasil


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Kevin Fenix

Professional Nerd | Amateur Human | Creative/Content Director The best way to describe Kevin Fenix is the kid you never tell what the buttons do in video games so you have a chance to win. Being 6’ 4” and Asian, he never really fit in, so he got comfortable standing out. Not only is it easy to find him in crowds, he dabbles in the culinary arts, does a little stand up and improv, and can honestly say Spider-Man is the Jesus-like influence of his life. Kevin Fenix loves dogs, movies, television, comics, comedy, and to shoot people… with video.