- The Spanish Princess -‘The Spanish Princess’ Costume Designer Reveals The Secret Meaning Behind The Designs
Being tasked with creating the costumes for a TV show set in the Tudor period is like being given the key to the kingdom; the luscious dresses and fine materials, the hats and the jewelry, it’s all a costume designer dreamland. Pam Downe, who's worked across British and American television for the better part of 30 years, created over 120 pieces for Starz's The Spanish Princess, Part Two, including two different sets of armor for a pregnant queen.
When Downe and I connect over the phone, there's a few-second delay for each of our voices (oh, the joys of international calls) but it can't hide her excitement when talking about the show. Her enthusiasm is endearing, and telling of how much she cares about her work.
Downe took over as the costume designer on The Spanish Princess from Phoebe de Gaye for the second part of the series (which isn't called Season 2, but is basically Season 2); Downe's vision involves color, authenticity versus ingenuity, and of course, maternity.
The first four episodes of the eight-episode season on Starz cover the beginnings of King Henry VIII (Ruairi O’Connor) and Queen Catherine’s (Charlotte Hope) marriage and her efforts to produce an heir.
Downe’s goal from the outset was to create a storytelling arc with the costumes that followed the ups and downs of it all. And while we’re only focusing on the first half of the season, Downe’s work carries the royal tale through to the end of Catherine’s reign.