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Everything You Want to Know About That Red Dress From ‘Outlander,’ Season 2

‘Us Weekly’ sat down with ‘Outlander’ costume designer Terry Dresbach to get all the details on Claire’s scandalous, plunging red dress.

The lady in red is finally entering the building!

After what feels like an endless wait, the second season of Outlander will finally premiere on Saturday, April 9. And with the move from Scotland’s Highlands to Paris’ high society, there’s one thing we’re particularly excited for: the costumes!

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Claire (Caitriona Balfe) is leaving the tartan-accented earth tones behind in favor of stunning couture. “We made 10,000 garments this season,” costume designer Terry Dresbach tells Us. “Not only [did we] tackle those kinds of numbers, but those garments had to be heavily, heavily embellished. There’s lace, there’s embroidery.… It was a very complicated process.”

Claire (Caitriona Balfe) models a plunging dress — and scandalizes the court — when she visits Versailles.

And that’s without factoring in the pressure from the massive fan base (who she chats with daily via Twitter and her blog). One dress, in particular, that the fans are itching to see in action: Claire’s plunging crimson ball gown.

“I knew how important that dress was. I knew it was important to the fans,” the designer explains. “But I also know that I have to design the best dress that I think is going to work on screen.”

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So while the dress is described as incredibly embellished in the novel, Dresbach went in the opposite direction. “The red dress would have been overwhelming had we covered it in stuff,” she says. “Cat and I have always worked hard to maintain the sense of Claire being from the ’40s. So I knew that with the combination of that and the power of the color of red, I wanted something very simple and elegant.”

Claire (Caitriona Balfe), who’s pregnant this season, with Jamie (Sam Heughan).

One of the dress’ standout features is its scandalously low neckline. And how did Dresbach manage to avoid a wardrobe malfunction? Simple, she says: “It’s a well-made dress! She’s not taped in there. Nothing is keeping her in there but sheer gravity and good construction.”

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Dresbach’s leading lady was also not concerned with the deep V. As for the massive size of the dress, “the red dress was 4-feet, 2-inches wide, so that was interesting trying to maneuver my way through doorways and hallways and cars!” Balfe told Us on the season premiere red carpet. “But it was fun — it was great.”

Balfe added, “Each costume [this season] is a work of couture. Sometimes they’re lighter than last season’s, sometimes they’re not. But they’re much more precious.”

Tune into the season premiere of Outlander on Starz on Saturday, April 9, at 9 p.m. ET.

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