Creating The Clone Club: Sarah Manning and Helena

Tatiana Maslany as Sarah Manning (Left) and Helena (Right) BBC America: Orphan Black Season 2 Episode 5. Photo: BBC America

While all the separate characters in Orphan Black could be considered an ensemble cast with distinct fully fleshed-out storylines for every character. However, the majority of the story pivots around sisters Sarah Manning and Helena.

Twins by an accident of nature and born outside the program because their surrogate realized what kind of life they were headed towards and spirited them away, Helena and Sarah defy and encapsulate everything they were created for.

At birth, Helena was put into a Catholic orphanage in Ukraine and eventually found by the religious sect of neolution. They abused and brainwashed her into believing she was the original that all the clones were created from and that it was her mission in life to murder them. Trained to murder and live on the run, Helena was laser-focused on her task, so how she looks is not a priority. With little to no color in her wardrobe she easily fades into the background as she wears a combination of what she’s given, finds on the road, and what she gets to use for a disguise. Wearing those clothes till they no longer serve her purposes or they are too coated in dirt and blood.

Tatiana Maslany as Helena BBC America: Orphan Black Season 1 Episode 4. Photo: BBC America
Tatiana Maslany as Helena BBC America: Orphan Black Season 1 Episode 7. Photo: BBC America
Tatiana Maslany as Helena BBC America: Orphan Black Season 2 Episode 5. Photo: BBC America
Tatiana Maslany as Helena BBC America: Orphan Black Season 2 Episode 1. Photo: BBC America

While she doesn’t dress in any distinctive way, her hair is her signature. Bleach blonde, curly and voluminous Helena’s hair, it’s hard not to notice her. While her hair lets her stand out her face tells you a lot about who she is and what she’s had to survive. However, deciding Helena’s look was a journey that started with inspiration from the Joker.

“I would have to say the most challenging and the most stimulating was coming up with [Sharah’s twin] Helena. They had seen her originally as a sooty black eye makeup kind of a joker. We kind of ignored that – in fact we ignored that completely.”

STEPHEN LYNCH IN AN INTERVIEW WITH GLAMOUR

While the Joker inspiration certainly reflects her mad murderous nature at the beginning of the series they know that this look would not carry through her transformation in the rest of the series and so they turned to religious iconography for inspiration. 

We used the church as our research because she was raised by nuns in Eastern Europe and she’s a damaged character. We looked at the silent version of Joan of Arc … We used Michelangelo and frescoes, and Eastern orthodox and Latin American statues that cried real tears. We just wanted something new, something we had never seen before.”

STEPHEN LYNCH IN AN INTERVIEW WITH GLAMOUR

Another outward expression of Helena’s character that is hidden to us most of the time is her wings. A troubling and disturbing insight into her past, Helena has cut the image of angel wings into her back when seeking to repent or to refocus on her original mission. However, this was not always the image showrunners had in mind for her wings. 

I had been asked to do a tattoo, and frankly it just bored me. We had to come up with something else. So we thought what if she creates angel wings with scarification. So we grabbed our show runner’s assistant and we did our own photo shoot to convince the powers that be. I was really proud of that. It’s really off-kilter and nothing we’ve seen before.

STEPHEN LYNCH IN AN INTERVIEW WITH GLAMOUR

Helena continues her crazed murder spree until she finds herself unable to murder Beth Childs because she instinctually knows it’s not Beth, but Sarah.

At birth, Sarah is put into the British foster care system and adopted by her foster mother, who moves them to Canada. A troubled youth Sarah becomes an accomplished con artist and single mother who desperately wants to regain custody of her daughter and create a better life for them. So when she witnesses Beth step off the train platform and takes her identity in an attempt to get enough money to move away with her daughter she unknowingly throws herself into Dyad’s path.

In all five seasons, Sarah’s aesthetic is punk, and she doesn’t care or think about what other people have to say about her appearance. Messy hair ripped jeans and leather jacket all in black and grey. Like many of her sisters, Sarah’s makeup is one of her defining features. While the original inspiration for her was Amy Winehouse, lead makeup artist Stephen Lynch decided she needed to be more relatable,

Tatiana Maslany as Sarah Manning BBC America: Orphan Black Season 1 Episode 1. Photo: BBC America
Tatiana Maslany as Sarah Manning BBC America: Orphan Black Season 1 Episode 2. Photo: BBC America
Tatiana Maslany as Sarah Manning BBC America: Orphan Black Season 3 Episode 2. Photo: BBC America
Tatiana Maslany as Sarah Manning BBC America: Orphan Black Season 4 Episode 3. Photo: BBC America

“She is enigmatic and on the run,” … “So we considered those things and probably went a little Amy Winehouse on Sarah the first time. We were about 90 percent there but thought [the makeup] was a little bit much.”

Stephen Lynch in an interview with Vanity Fair

Lynch certainty brought it down to a very real level. While she always has dark eye make up Sarah is rarely seen with lipstick or any other makeup and above all else, she looks tired.

“…I thought we all know and recognize this girl: we see her on the train and think maybe she sleeps there or in subways or on park benches. We want her to be a bit worn down by life. We decided to make it look like she maybe wears a little makeup on top of her old makeup and never cleans her skin properly. There is always a hard, worn-out kind of look to her that we want to reflect her inner state.”

STEPHEN LYNCH IN AN INTERVIEW WITH VANITY FAIR

Sarah is certainly worn down by life as she becomes the main clone searching for answers while simultaneously trying desperately trying to herself and her daughter out of Dyad’s hands. Her make-up and style become progressively less extreme as the stress weighs down on her.

As Sarah is struggling and her style becomes less defined, Helena is finally starting to find new meaning in her life and develop a style.

 

As Helena is finding her new place in the world she simply wears what she is given. Whether that’s it’s the conservative Mormon esc dresses from the Neulotion cult she’s kidnapped into. A mishmash of clothes from Sarah or if the drab khaki prisoners clothes she’s given when detained by the military. Helena continues to have little interest in how she dresses until she starts to embrace her clone club sisters.

Tatiana Maslany as Helena and Peter Outerbridge as Henrik Johanssen BBC America: Orphan Black Season 2 Episode 3. Photo: BBC America
Tatiana Maslany as Helena BBC America: Orphan Black Season 3 Episode 6. Photo: BBC America
Tatiana Maslany as Helena BBC America: Orphan Black Season 2 Episode 9. Photo: BBC America
Tatiana Maslany as Helena BBC America: Orphan Black Season 3 Episode 5. Photo: BBC America

As Helena starts her new life among her sisters and gets ready to be a mother she continues to wear what is given to her. Because she lives with Alison her clothes consist mostly of pinks and bold patterns that permeate Alison’s wardrobe and from here she begins to develop joy in her life she’s never had before she also develops her own style. While she loves the clothes Alison gives her, Helena takes down the color during a little escape into the wood but never again fully abandons color. By the end when her troubles are mostly behind her Helena’s the prints and colors that reflect the joy she finds in life with her family.

Tatiana Maslany as Helena BBC America: Orphan Black Season 3 Episode 8. Photo: BBC America
Tatiana Maslany as Helena BBC America: Orphan Black Season 3 Episode 10. Photo: BBC America
Tatiana Maslany as Helena BBC America: Orphan Black Season 4 Episode 9. Photo: BBC America
Tatiana Maslany as Helena BBC America: Orphan Black Season 5 Episode 10. Photo: BBC America

After five seasons Sarah, Helena, and the sisters have achieved all they have struggled for and learning that their differences are what gives them value. These differences created by Tatiana Maslany, Stephen Lynch, Sandy Sokolowski, Laurie Drew, and Debra Hanson illustrate the power those differences can have on-screen when created through hair, makeup, and costume and brought to life with acting.

“We do a character workout with Tat and Stephen [Lynch, the head of makeup] and Debra Hanson [head of wardrobe]—we collectively build a character.”

Sandy Sokolowski IN AN INTERVIEW WITH GLAMOUR
Tatiana Maslany as Sarah Manning, Helena, Cosima Niehaus and Alison Hendrix BBC America: Orphan Black Season 5 Episode 10. Photo: BBC America

In the series the sisters often need to impersonate each other. Here are some of the times Helena and Sarah impersonated their sisters.

Tatiana Maslany as Helena as Beth Childs BBC America: Orphan Black Season 1 Episode 4. Photo: BBC America
Tatiana Maslany as Sarah Manning as Alison Hendrix and Dylan Bruce as Paul Dierden BBC America: Orphan Black Season 1 Episode 7. Photo: BBC America
Tatiana Maslany as Sarah Manning as Rachel Duncan BBC America: Orphan Black Season 3 Episode 1. Photo: BBC America
Tatiana Maslany as Helena as Alison Hendrix BBC America: Orphan Black Season 3 Episode 9. Photo: BBC America
Tatiana Maslany as Sarah Manning as Krystal Godritch BBC America: Orphan Black Season 4 Episode 10. Photo: BBC America
Tatiana Maslany as Sarah Manning as Alison Hendrix BBC America: Orphan Black Season 2 Episode 7. Photo: BBC America

Thank you for reading the “Creating The Clone Club” Series! If you missed any of the previous editions, please follow this link for more content! Congratulations to our Senior Editor, Elizabeth Joy Glass, on another in-depth, insightful, successful series of articles!


Want to know more? Check out my sources.

Miller, Julie. “Here’s How Orphan Black Transforms Tatiana Maslany Into a Cast of Clones.” Vanity Fair, 2015, http://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2015/04/orphan-black-clones.

Shapouri, Beth. “More Onset Secrets From Orphan Black???You’ve GOT to Hear the Background on Helena!” Glamour, 2 May 2014, http://www.glamour.com/story/more-onset-secrets-from-orphan.

Shapouri, Beth. “How Much Cosima’s Wig Weighs and Other Shocking Hair Secrets From Orphan Black.” Glamour, Glamour, 12 Jan. 2016, http://www.glamour.com/story/how-much-cosimas-wig-weighs-an.

Creating the Clone Club: Beth, M.K. AND Tony

“I remember thinking, [the clones] are so different, we probably could have gotten away with different actors who look similar.” He shook his head and added, “I couldn’t see, at all, the same person.” – David Frazee, New York Times “The Many Faces of Tatiana Maslany” by Lili Loofbourow

One of Orphan Black’s strengths is Tatiana Maslany’s ability to transform herself into every clone and make them individuals. While these three clones only get a small amount of screen time they show off that ability.

We meet Beth Childs in the first episode; however, it is at the end of her story that we see, and don’t get to know her till season four. A detective and original member of the clone club Beth is responsible for bringing together much of the clone club, including Cosima and Alison. She also starts their investigation into Dyad leading to the rapid deterioration of mental health as she realizes what they’re forcibly part of becomes too much for her. She wears little to no makeup with messily arranged hair, and her business casual wardrobe is the epitome of practicality that reflects her role as a detective. Because of this practicality, she can hide the fact that she’s spiraling out of control to most of the people around her with only a slightly unkempt air and arrangement of her appearance reflecting that fact until it’s too late.

Beth Childs as M.K. BBC America: Orphan Black Season 4 Episode 1. Photo: BBC America
Beth Childs as M.K. BBC America: Orphan Black Season 4 Episode 1. Photo: BBC America
Beth Childs as M.K. BBC America: Orphan Black Season 4 Episode 2. Photo: BBC America

A loner and hacker, M.K. is on the run from Dyad after they murder all the other clones in her home country. She wears multiple layers covering up as much of her body as possible, an outward symbol of the fears and anxiety she feels from being in hiding. Another emblem of her fear is the sheep mask she often wears when video chatting with the other clones. A nod to the first cloned mammal Dolly the sheep, the mask also signifies her feelings that Dyad is just another disposable sheep in the flock. She sheds her extra layers when she faces her fear and anxiety and takes on Rachel’s appearance to protect the other clone club members.

Tatiana Maslany as M.K. BBC America: Orphan Black Season 5 Episode 2. Photo: BBC America

Tatiana Maslany as M.K. BBC America: Orphan Black Season 5 Episode 2. Photo: BBC America
Tatiana Maslany as M.K. BBC America: Orphan Black Season 5 Episode 2. Photo: BBC America

Tony is the first and only transgender clone we get to meet when his friend sends him to find Beth and discover his origins as a clone. Not exactly on the right side of the law at all times, so Tony’s wardrobe of flannel, jeans, and a tank top reflects his need to stay on the move. His look is brought together with hair and makeup designed by makeup artist Stephen Lynch and hairstylist Sandy Sokolowski. Lynch used rabbit hair to create his goatee, and Sokolowski made a wig that went over only the top of Maslany’s hair, creating a mullet. Unfortunately, after finding out he’s a clone, we don’t get to see Tony again, but he opens up the possibilities of who the clones can be.

Tatiana Maslany as Tony Sawicki BBC America: Orphan Black Season 2 Episode 8. Photo: BBC America
Tatiana Maslany as Tony Sawicki BBC America: Orphan Black Season 2 Episode 8. Photo: BBC America

Tatiana Maslany as Tony Sawicki BBC America: Orphan Black Season 2 Episode 8. Photo: BBC America

In my final article we’ll be taking a look at the clones who hold all the hopes and dreams Dyad had for the Lyda Project, twins Sarah Manning and Helena.

Want to know more? Check out my sources.

Miller, Julie. “Here’s How Orphan Black Transforms Tatiana Maslany Into a Cast of Clones.” Vanity Fair, 2015, http://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2015/04/orphan-black-clones.

Tatiana Maslany as Sarah Manning (right) and Tony Sawicki (left) BBC America: Orphan Black Season 2 Episode 8. Photo: BBC America

Creating the Clone Club: Rachel Duncan

Rachel Duncan grew up not only privileged, with wealth and position within Dyad. She was the only clone self-awareness of her origins and also had access to files of all other clones. Touted as the first child raised by Neolution, Rachel was raised in the Dyad Institute’s care after a “lab accident killed” her parents, the Lyda project’s lead scientists. Because of this, she grew up in a cold corporate environment privy to all the data collected on her sisters. This upbringing turned her into the perfect corporate CEO who only cares about furthering the Lyda project. As she chases, harasses, and takes advantage of her sisters, Rachel never losses her impeccable sense of style.

Because her entire life revolves around the running of Dyad and the Lyda experiment, Rachel is rarely seen outside of business wear. When we first meet her, she is the perfect image of a demure yet strong and ruthless corporate leader. A neutral color palette and her outfits were fitted but not tight, with low necklines and modest skirts that still leaves everything to the imagination. The stiff Silhouettes that project her strength, however, there are always one or two soft feminine details. Whether that detail is a pleat or silk blouse, giving her a sense of softness that she uses to attempt to put people at ease. In her downtime, Rachel leans into that softness with silk and lace lingerie. But all the delicate details don’t mask her domineering personality, which is what causes her to lose her and change her look.

Tatiana Maslany as Rachel Duncan BBC America: Orphan Black Season 2 Episode 7. Photo: BBC America
Tatiana Maslany as Rachel Duncan BBC America: Orphan Black Season 2 Episode 10. Photo: BBC America

Tatiana Maslany as Rachel Duncan BBC America: Orphan Black Season 2 Episode 9. Photo: BBC America
Tatiana Maslany as Rachel Duncan BBC America: Orphan Black Season 2 Episode 5. Photo: BBC America

After losing her eye and some neurological damage that causes her to limp, setting Rachel on a journey of self-discovery, her wardrobe takes a dramatic turn. While she’s recovering Rachel still looks perfectly put together by wearing matching silk Nancy Meyer pajama sets allowing her to convalesce in luxury. She wear these through her entire recovery period as they give her freedom of movement as she learns to walk again and comfort as she gets her new eye.

After her recovery Rachel returns to the same color palette but the silhouette changes completely, to cover up the severity of her limp. The fitted silhouette she had used to project power completely falls away. To hide her limp and make it easier to walk she wears wide legged pants, A-line tops and Jackets that hide her waist and hips. She also begins to wear maxi dresses that achieve the same covering up of her limp but also is a symbol of the spiritual experience she believes that she begins to have, softening her personality and wardrobe toward the vary end of the series.

Tatiana Maslany as Rachel Duncan BBC America: Orphan Black Season 3 Episode 6. Photo: BBC America
Tatiana Maslany as Rachel Duncan BBC America: Orphan Black Season 9 Episode 9. Photo: BBC America
Tatiana Maslany as Rachel Duncan BBC America: Orphan Black Season 5 Episode 7. Photo: BBC America
Tatiana Maslany as Rachel Duncan BBC America: Orphan Black Season 4 Episode 7. Photo: BBC America

While her wardrobe goes on a journey, her hair and make-up are her signature. Rachel’s hair is radically different from most of the other clones who ten to keep their hair long and dark. But never one to follow the crowd hairstylist — Sokolowski went to great lengths to give Rachel her power bob, needing to adjust Maslany’s hair and make all her natural hair disappear with the wig.

“Every time you get a hairline involved and you want to show it, you are working with mohair, you are working with superfine lace; it’s bewildering.” 

While the process may have been bewildering, Sololowski’s design for Rachel is nothing short of perfect for Rachel’s role as the perfect, ruthless corporate leader.

Tatiana Maslany as Rachel Duncan BBC America: Orphan Black Season 2 Episode 5. Photo: BBC America

While not as dramatic as Rachel’s hair and wardrobe — Lynch’s make design for Rachel encapsulates everything she believes about herself as he explained to Vanity Fair,

“in Rachel’s mind, makeup is fun and a class thing. She has to absolutely represent the high … someone who has people come to her to do her skin and nails and hair, trying to look radiant with her expensive look. She can’t achieve that kind of radiance, though, because she is kind of dead in her eyes. . . . But I think Rachel would think that Alison is almost vulgar in her middle class-ness, though. Even her haircut says, I am better than you.”

Rachel truly does believe she is better than her sisters in the clone club and with every piece of clothing, makeup and hair she send that message to everyone around her.

Tatiana Maslany as Rachel Duncan BBC America: Orphan Black Season 1 promotional photo. Photo: BBC America

Want to know more? Check out my sources.

Hubbard, Lauren. “The Secrets Behind Orphan Black’s Clone Makeup.” Allure, Allure, 25 May 2017, http://www.allure.com/story/orphan-black-makeup.

Shapouri, Beth. “How Much Cosima’s Wig Weighs and Other Shocking Hair Secrets From Orphan Black.” Glamour, Glamour, 12 Jan. 2016, http://www.glamour.com/story/how-much-cosimas-wig-weighs-an.

Miller, Julie. “Here’s How Orphan Black Transforms Tatiana Maslany Into a Cast of Clones.” Vanity Fair, 2015, http://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2015/04/orphan-black-clones.

Shapouri, Beth. “More Onset Secrets From Orphan Black??? You’ve GOT to Hear the Background on Helena!” Glamour, 2 May 2014, http://www.glamour.com/story/more-onset-secrets-from-orphan.

Creating the Clone Club: Krystal Goderitch

Tatiana Maslany as Krystal Goderitch BBC America: Orphan Black Season Season 4 Episode 10. Photo: BBC America

Like many Leda ladies, Krystal Goderich begins her journey to the truth by taking note of all the odd things in her life. She’s suspicious of the fact that she gets new boyfriends, a.k.a monitor, every two years. Krystal decides to dig a little deeper when two of the Castor clones murder one of these boyfriends in an attempt to kidnap her. She’s able to uncover many secrets about Neolution and Dyad that others in the clone club haven’t been able to. However, she comes to much different reasoning as to why she is being monitored.

Her investigation leads Krystal to believe that everything has to do with the cosmetic industry conducting illegal human testing and that they’re trying to silence her before she can expose them. She refuses to believe that she’s a clone and thinks that she’s the only one who knows what’s happening. While she conducts this investigation, Krystal never looks at anything short of Barbie doll perfection.

 For Krystal, makeup is where everything starts, as makeup artist Stephen Lynch explained in an interview with allure magazine

“She has the biggest makeup bag; I can barely lift it…—she’s wearing everything I’ve got. She’s a Kardashian at heart.” 

As a manicurist, cosmetologist, and practitioner of the “healing arts,” it makes sense that she would have the most makeup to her character. Lynch also takes the Kardashian influence to heart when contouring. “I use a dark-chocolate color for the contouring. It’s practically black-and-white paint, but it kind of disappears with the lenses.” This focus on how much Krystal focuses on her outward appearance truly sets her apart from her sister but is no small task for Lynch,

 “… Krystal I’ll get about an hour and ten minutes. I have to tan her whole body by hand—if she were playing just Krystal, I’d send her to the tan car wash. She has to get her fake nails and her little diamanté, a full fake tan, and full makeup. It’s challenging.” 

The challenge pays off as the first piece of Krystal’s bold, attention-grabbing Kardashian inspired look. The second is her wardrobe.

Tatiana Maslany as Krystal Goderitch BBC America: Orphan Black Season 3 Episode 8. Photo: BBC America

From the first moment, we see Krystal she’s using her clothes to be the most noticeable person in the room. Each piece she wears is picked out to show off her body and bring attention to her chest. When she’s first introduced, she’s wearing a bright pink body con dress with a plunging neckline and her signature a slightly exposed bra. Everything about her says, look at me because there is nobody else like me. While some might call her wardrobe, tacky Krystal wears each piece with a level of confidence that allows her to shine in everything she wears.

Tatiana Maslany as Krystal Goderitch BBC America: Orphan Black Season 4 Episode 5. Photo: BBC America
Tatiana Maslany as Krystal Goderitch BBC America: Orphan Black Season 4 Episode 5. Photo: BBC America
Tatiana Maslany as Krystal Goderitch BBC America: Orphan Black Season 4 Episode 5. Photo: BBC America
Tatiana Maslany as Krystal Goderitch BBC America: Orphan Black Season 4 Episode 10. Photo: BBC America

While Krystal might be naive of the bigger picture of what she’s involved in she does her best to uncover the truth of what’s happening to her and look good while doing it. Next we’ll look at a clone who isn’t exactly a member of the clone club but was never naive to her true nature, Rachel.

Want to know more? Check out my sources.

Hubbard, Lauren. “The Secrets Behind Orphan Black’s Clone Makeup.” Allure, Allure, 25 May 2017, http://www.allure.com/story/orphan-black-makeup.

Krystal only impersonates another clone once, and she doesn’t even know she’s doing it. 

Tatiana Maslany as Krystal Goderitch as Rachel Duncan BBC America: Orphan Black Season 3 Episode 10. Photo: BBC America

Creating The Clone Club: Castor

“We wanted a weird bad guy,” says John Fawcett. “When I watch television, so often I feel like a lot of the casting feels generic. I’m looking for a mix of something compelling from a physical point of view, which makes you just want to look at them, and someone who brings an energy or interpretation to a character that you weren’t expecting. That’s what I got from Ari.”

John Fawcett to Rolling Stone

At the end of season two, it’s revealed that the donor of the DNA used to create Alison, Cosima, and their sisters also donated male DNA, giving the series the project Castor. Unlike the ladies in project Lyda, the male clones were raised self-aware, together, and by the military to become the perfect soldiers. Now, who could possibly match Tatiana Maslany’s performance for her male counterparts?

Ari Millen had already been cast as Mark, a former soldier and member of the extremist religious group the Proletheans, who was tasked with kidnapping one of the Lyda clones. His character originally wasn’t intended to survive the season, but showrunners Graeme Manson and John Fawcett decided Millen was too good to kill off. So halfway through filming, Millen had to determine how he would move forward and play each of his new roles.

Unlike Maslany’s challenge of creating completely different characters for each character, Millen’s challenge was to make each of his clones similar. With the same exact upbringing, military training, and life experiences, it’s only natural that they would have more similarities than differences.

Despite their similarities, they still had to be distinct from each other. In an interview with Teddy Wilson from the CTV Sci-fi channel, Millen described his process for becoming those characters to be a visual one.

“..for me, it was I think it was more of a visual process. Like I said, every day I would put my costume on, go to hair and makeup and get a scar on or get a mustache on or what-have-you. And I would sort of look at myself in the mirror and say okay right I’m Rudy today. Rudy who’s Rudy and sort of drip into the choices and the decision of what makes Rudy, Rudy and what makes Seth, Seth or Mark, Mark.”

Ari Millen

Mark is the first of the Castor clones we see this visual process take place in. While he has the bearing and manners of a soldier. In an attempt to break free and allow his softer side to show, he has abandoned the military and his brothers to take up the ideals and style of the Proletheans. Reminiscences of the Mormon LDS, the Proletheans have a very midwest style. Double-breasted button-downs, jeans, brown jackets, and cowboy boots are the Proletheans and Mark wardrobe staples. While he eventually leaves them he maintains the style as a way to feel separate and unique from his brothers.

Ari Millen as Mark
Ari Millen as Mark
Right: Ari Millen as Mark Left:Tatiana Maslany as Helena
Ari Millen as Mark
Right: Ari Millen as Mark Left:

Seth, Rudy, and Styles are precisely what the military intended Caster to become. Each of them are experts at what they do, whether that be tracking, surveillance, or following orders, they are the best, and their wardrobe reflects that. Seth and Rudy are investing reasons and solutions to the degenerative brain disease they are all suffering from. Their mission requires them to move a lot and be inconspicuous. They wear almost exactly the same thing, a grey hoodie, sweat pants, and back sneakers, making it easy to hide quickly. Seth’s only distinguishing feature is his mustache, while Rudy has a large scar on his face and a navy jacket. Styles is definitely the model soldier. Never out of uniform, he is always doing exactly what is needed of him without question.

Ari Millen as Rudy
Ari Millen as Styles
Ari Millen as
Ari Millen as Rudy
Ari Millen as Seth
Ari Millen as Rudy

Being raised in the care of a project Lyda leader, Ira led a privileged life that allowed him to become a mild-mannered doctor with a superiority complex and sense of entitlement over his brothers. This reflects his upbringing and position as a doctor at the Dyad Institute. His crisp white doctor’s uniform is unique. It’s not your average lab coat, with short sleeves, a stand-up collar, and double-breasted with what seems to be a velcro closure. The coat is clean and modern, reflecting the institute’s value of pushing forward technology. Growing up outside the military also exposed him to the finer things in life. Always the figure of refinement in a monochromatic wardrobe, Ira wears fine suits with wool paints and v-neck sweaters. Unlike his brother he rarely losses control and dresses to reflect that control.

Ari Millen as Ira
Ari Millen as Ira
Ari Millen as Ira

Ari Millen as Ira
Ari Millen as Ira

Next week, we will be getting back into the Leda ladies with the greatest sleuth of them all, Krystal.

Want to catch up on previous editions of “Creating The Clone Club” ? Click this link for the full collection.


Want to know more? Check out my sources.

Fallon, Kevin. “Ari Millen, the Genius Behind’ Orphan Black’s’ Shocking Male Clones.” The Daily Beast, The Daily Beast Company, 17 Apr. 2015, http://www.thedailybeast.com/ari-millen-the-genius-behind-orphan-blacks-shocking-male-clones.

Ross, Dalton. “Ari Millen Reveals ‘Orphan Black’ Intel on the Male Clones.” EW.com, Entertainment Weekly, ew.com/article/2015/03/11/ari-millen-reveals-orphan-black-intel-male-clones/.

Ryan, Patrick. “Meet the Face of ‘Orphan Black’ Male Clones.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 17 Apr. 2015, http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/tv/2015/04/16/orphan-black-ari-millen-clone/25828629/.

Shattuck, Kathryn. “Ari Millen of ‘Orphan Black’ on Being a Clone and a Dad.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 24 Apr. 2015, http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/26/arts/television/ari-millen-of-orphan-black-on-being-a-clone-and-a-dad.html.

Wood, Jennifer. “Meet ‘Orphan Black’ ‘s New Clone on the Block: Ari Millen.” Rolling Stone, Rolling Stone, 25 June 2018, http://www.rollingstone.com/tv/tv-news/meet-orphan-blacks-new-clone-on-the-block-ari-millen-54783/.

Wilson, Teddy. “A Talk of the Clones: Ari Millen.” YouTube, CTV Sci-Fi Channel, 24 June 2015, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJy21hsVf9U.

Images are courtesy of BBC America.

Creating the Clone Club: Cosima Niehaus

When talking to Vanity Fair, makeup artist Stephen Lyne described Cosima Niehaus as “The girl who has gone her own way completely since high school. Her perspective is: I am my own person. I am an alternative to all of you.” Cosima embodies and holds onto this strong sense of self as she is one of the first clones to become self-aware and contact other clones. As a Ph.D. student in experimental evolutionary development, she can understand their origins in a way the others can’t and not allow the reality of their conception to shake her sense of self like Alsion. Cosima’s story primarily revolves around her study into their biology created by Dyad Institute through Project Leda and the cause of the deadly respiratory diseases affecting many of them, including her. Her search leads her into a fight with the corporation that created them, an on-again-off-again relationship with girlfriend Delphian. But ultimately, a family that understands and accepts her.

Through all of this, Cosima is not afraid to express her defiant, nerdy, punk, laid back California girl attitude through how she styles herself. Cosima’s style is well established in the first season. Her style is unique. I imagine her style inspiration comes from a youth spent as a goth or scene kid shopping at Hot-Topic while also being raised in the very laid back setting of a houseboat around San Francisco. This esthetic is represented through the muted colors, crocheted lace tops, subtle patterns, and funky scarfs—her array of jewelry and accessories express her free spirit. However, much of the time, this is covered up by her lab coat. The lab coat is her most crucial piece of costume because it represents her ultimate goal of finding a cure to her illness. As eye-catching as her wardrobe is, Cosima’s hair and make-up are what allow her to stand out.

Tatiana Maslany as Cosima Niehaus
Tatiana Maslany as Cosima Niehaus
Tatiana Maslany as Cosima Niehaus
Tatiana Maslany as Cosima Niehaus

Cosima’s hair also got some outside inspiration from inside the wardrobe department, “This lovely lady who is in wardrobe had her hair white blond with these dreadlocks and she always kind of wore it like that. In my mind she was like Cosima, so I tried my own version of it.” Lead Hairstylist Sandy Sokolowski shared this inspiration with Vanity Fair. With Glamour, she shared how she managed to make such a heavy-looking piece as light as a feather, “I use an old theater technique where we build a cage with wire and crepe hair and sew appliances to it. Although it looks substantial, less is more, and it’s about the movement of the hair.”

Cosima’s makeup is a staple of her look with heavy eye makeup and simple lips. This lack of lipstick creates a visual mark of how sick she is getting. The paler and more chapped they become the worse off you know she is. The most defining features of her makeup are her arched drawn eyebrows and heavy eyeliner. Lynch found the inspiration for his look in a student of his, “She would draw on extreme brows that went sky high or they were really arched. It’s that heavy eyeliner that is extended inward and outward at the corners.” He used this inspiration framed with a pair of thick Cat-eye style glasses to drawn your attention to her eyes, the one part of each that can’t be altered on the clones. But for Cosima, her eyes are a symbol of her intelligence and search for knowledge.

Tatiana Maslany as Cosima Niehaus

It’s this search that allows Cosima to create the life she wants for herself. A life full of love and family and freedom from those who sought cage her in. Next week we’ll ver-off course a little a take a look at the clones that were breed to live in a cage, the Castor boys.

Tatiana Maslany as Cosima Niehaus
Tatiana Maslany as Cosima Niehaus
Tatiana Maslany as Cosima Niehaus

Want to know more? Check out my sources.

Miller, Julie. “Here’s How Orphan Black Transforms Tatiana Maslany Into a Cast of Clones.” Vanity Fair, 2015, http://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2015/04/orphan-black-clones.

Trudeau, Tessa. “On the Orphan Black Set: We’ve Got All the Costume Details!” InStyle, 2014, http://www.instyle.com/fashion/costume-department-insider-orphan-black.

Shapouri, Beth. “How Much Cosima’s Wig Weighs and Other Shocking Hair Secrets From Orphan Black.” Glamour, Glamour, 12 Jan. 2016, http://www.glamour.com/story/how-much-cosimas-wig-weighs-an.

Cosima is only called upon once to impersonate one of her sisters when she finds herself at one of Alison’s campaign events while Alison’s m.i.a.

Tatiana Maslany as Cosima Niehaus being Alison Hendrix
Tatiana Maslany as Cosima Niehaus being Alison Hendrix

Creating the Clone Club: Alison Hendrix

Warning, Spoilers for Orphan Black seasons 1-5. 

Within the first three minutes of Orphan Black, a BBC America tv series created by John Fawcett and Graeme Manson create a gripping series when Sarah Manning locks eyes with a woman in distress who looks exactly like her. Before she can ask any questions, the woman walks in front of the oncoming train, and Sarah makes the rash decision to steal her identity. This scene launches five seasons of a series that revolves around a group of illegal human clones trying to find the truth about their origins, save their lives, and find family. This series’s success relied on a combination of technical achievement, tour-de-force performance by Tatiana Maslany, and a master class in creating characters through hair, makeup, and costume. 

While the concept itself was difficult enough for directors, writers, camera, and editing teams to execute, the whole series hinged on who they decided to cast as the clones. These roles went to Tatiana Maslany, who played fourteen clone characters over the five-season run. Earing two Emmy nominations and one win.  

For Maslany, this was a massive undertaking. She had to create distinct mannerisms, accents, and personalities for each clone and then take those characters to develop each episode regularly, playing off herself. There are literally scenes where the only characters are the clones, and Maslany manages to make it work by giving each clone a distinctive personality. While this makes the series compelling and exciting, it’s the difference in each character’s look that offers viewers the visual cues needed to distinguish them as different characters, not just clones. This challenge was taken on by costume designers Laurie Drew and Debra Hanson

Tatiana Maslany as Sara Manning
Tatiana Maslany as Alison Hendrix
Tatiana Maslany as Sara Manning and double Kathryn Alexandre as Rachel

In season one, Laurie Drew created the wardrobe template for the core cast of clones, Alison, Cosima, Rachel, Sara, and Helena. She made a distinct look for each that reflected their role in society and their environment. After the first season, Debra Hanson took over as the wardrobe’s head for the rest of the series. She followed the template set by Drew as new clones were introduced while also evolving the wardrobe of those already present. Few of the clones go through more evolution on the show than Alison Hendrix. 

In an interview with Vanity Fair, lead hairstylist on the show, Sandy Sokolowski perfectly summed up Alison’s personality “Alison is always riding this line between being the perfect suburban mother and an insane person at the same time.” Of all the sisters in the clone club, Alison Hendrix is the only one with a sub-plot that doesn’t revolve around the quest to find answers and freedom. The revelation that she’s a clone out brings out the worst of her neurotic behavior and throws her substance abuse tendency into over-driver, cracking the suburban housewife facade. Despite all of this, Alison copes with dark humor and keeps the perfect athleisure soccer mom look.

Tatiana Maslany as Alison Hendrix

Since every character is played by Maslany, the differences between them need to be evident as soon as you look them in the face. This distinction starts with her hair and makeup. When talking with Vanity Fair, makeup artist Stephen Lynch described his thought process behind Alison’s perfect pink lips and purple eye makeup, “She found her makeup look in high school and never changed it.”, this makes a lot of sense. Alison is continually going on about how she wants her life to go back to her pre-clone life. It makes sense that in her pre-clone life, she wanted to go back to a simpler time when she didn’t have to worry so much about being watched and scrutinized by her neighbors. This scrutiny led Alison to have the tightly wound personality that is reflected in her pin-straight hair, perfect high ponytail, and bangs. However, Sokolowski put in small details to show the cracks, “The hair might have looked good front-on when you look at it in the mirror, but from the back it looks a little bit crazy.” While Alison’s hair may betray the inner anxiety, her wardrobe is never anything but soccer mom perfect. 

Tatiana Maslany as Alison Hendrix

With her children heavily involved in various sports, some of which Alison coaches, Athleisure is a staple of Alison’s wardrobe. From the first moment we meet her, the staples of Alison’s look are a tight long-sleeved shirt with thumb stilts with a puffer vest or jacket, yoga pants, and tennis shoes. In this, she’s showing those around her that she’s a mom on the move, ready for anything. 

Tatiana Maslany as Alison Hendrix
Tatiana Maslany as Alison Hendrix
Tatiana Maslany as Alison Hendrix

This is also the look Alsion presents when she decides to run to be a trustee on the school board. During her campaign, she punches this look to be more approachable with pinks and campaign paraphernalia. 

Tatiana Maslany as Alison Hendrix
Tatiana Maslany as Alison Hendrix
Tatiana Maslany as Alison Hendrix

When talking with InStyle costume department set supervisor Peter Webster said that Alison is “that kind of housewife/mom, where everything’s steamed and pressed.”  This statement could not be more accurate. When not chauffeuring her kids around or campaigning, Alison is the model housewife. She wears collared button-down shirts, sweaters, dark wash jeans, and the only accessory she wears besides her wedding ring, a cross necklace. As part of her effort to be the perfect housewife, she is also a devout churchgoer, often emploring the on high for answers. Through the series, Alison often finds herself involved in various church functions and on the receiving end of many pep talks from her reverend. Her modest dress and necklace are a nod to this ongoing devotion. 

Tatiana Maslany as Alison Hendrix
Tatiana Maslany as Alison Hendrix
Tatiana Maslany as Alison Hendrix

Alison sticks to this look through almost the entire series. That is until she decides to go on a vacation of self-discovery to Florida. When she comes back she looks like an entirely different person and says she’s exploring her “shadow self”. As a result of this exploration, Alison has decided to go for a more artsy look or at least what a housewife would consider artsy. For Alison, artsy means getting a bob with purple highlights that match her eyeshadow and flowing bohemian tops. For Alison, this is an outward symbol of her letting go of the standards she thought she had to live but now realizes she never did. It is also the culmination of Alison’s journey through the series. For Alison discovering she’s a clone allowed her to realize that she doesn’t need to live up to others’ expectations and free to do whatever she wants with her life.  

Next week we’ll dive into a clone who always lived her life to the fullest, Cosima. 

Tatiana Maslany as Alison Hendrix
Tatiana Maslany as Alison Hendrix
Tatiana Maslany as Alison Hendrix


Want to know more? Check out my sources.

Miller, Julie. “Here’s How Orphan Black Transforms Tatiana Maslany Into a Cast of Clones.” Vanity Fair, 2015, http://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2015/04/orphan-black-clones.

Trudeau, Tessa. “On the Orphan Black Set: We’ve Got All the Costume Details!” InStyle, 2014, http://www.instyle.com/fashion/costume-department-insider-orphan-black.

“InnerSpace – Orphan Black: Behind the Scenes of ‘Gag of Throttle.'” CTV Sci-Fi Channel , 2017, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOa2xMr2uIk.

In the series the sisters often need to impersonate each other. Here are the times Alison had to be Sara.

Tatiana Maslany as Alison Hendrix being Sara Manning
Tatiana Maslany as Alison Hendrix being Sara Manning