Lessons in History and Fashion from ‘TURN: Washington's Spies’ Actress Heather Lind

The stylish star offers up insight into how the past influences our future—and wardrobes.

Lessons in History and Fashion from ‘TURN: Washington Spies’ Actress Heather Lind
(Source: Kris Connor/Getty Images North America)

We'll admit, history was never our favorite subject in school. However, we must admit it's relevant to understanding our past—and understanding which trends will resurface in our closets (case in point the recent return of the '70s). We got a history lesson from an unlikely era: the 18th century, courtesy of TURN: Washington's Spies actress Heather Lind. See how the stylish star gets into character, neglecting her studies and more.  

How do you relate to your character Anna? “I think in some ways Anna is a person that I aim to be more like actually, so it’s a great gift that I get to play her and practice. I like her perseverance and stoicness—I admire that. I tend to be a very emotional person, and what I like about Anna is her ability to feel things really deeply but then to channel them towards what she wants. She’s a very no-nonsense person, and I can be at times too so I like to see similarities between us—and also the differences; it’s nice to shake her off a little bit at the end of the day.”

At some point, we all have to take it on ourselves to bring the past closer to us and to try to interpret it as it relates to our lives now."

–Heather Lind

How did you feel about history class growing up? “I did like history growing up. My father is an artist and art educator, and so he would take us to museums growing up. My access to history was visual because of that. I would be able to peek into different eras through the artwork and photographs, so that part of history has always been really interesting to me. In terms of memorizing dates and things like that, I was always good at cramming for tests at the last minute, so some part of my history education lacked a personal feel to it. At some point, we all have to take it on ourselves to bring the past closer to us and to try to interpret it as it relates to our lives now. In some ways, I wish I had had that perspective growing up, so that I could really absorb it as a living thing. I learned as much as I could, and now as an adult I like investigating the things that I wasn’t paying attention to in class.”

What was your favorite time period to learn about? “I feel drawn towards clothing and silhouettes from the ‘70s, for sure. My mother was—is still—a fantastic dresser. In the ‘70s, she had all these long, handmade skirts, patchwork things and head scarves. I used to play dress-up with them and make fun of them, and then I turned 14 and was like, ‘Ooh i like this, I’m going to wear them.’ So I’ve collected some of her things, and I’m drawn to flowing fabrics. I really like Diane Keaton from Annie Hall, stuff that feels playful, a little bit masculine sometimes, mostly just old—I [have a] retro style.”

Lessons in History and Fashion from ‘TURN: Washington Spies’ Actress Heather Lind
(Source: AMC)

The clothes really do so much for getting into character because of the time period.”

–Heather Lind

Can you describe the wardrobe process? “At the time, women would have dressers or would have to find really creative ways to put those clothes on because it takes two or three people. It’s very interesting to step into the petticoat, the padding in the back to make the shape of that century and then there’s a corset that requires a lot of tugging—it takes about 15 minutes to get into it. I would say that helps to feel that she’s really a part of me. Also, for much of the first season, I was wearing a bonnet. The clothes really do so much for getting into character because of the time period.”

How about the beauty process? “My regular routine is pretty simple—I would say Anna and I have that in common. On the show, the makeup artists are just brilliant. They manage to put enough makeup on for the camera and still keep it looking fresh and clean. The makeup designer puts fake makeup dirt on my cheeks—I like to call it my tan; it makes me look a little bit less pale. The whole show is really interested in this gritty, real experience of the Revolutionary War so the dirtier the better. In real life, I don’t have dirt on my face, but I like the feeling that I can throw something on really quick, run out the door and feel clean. For something fancier, I love smokey eyes but in my daily routine it’s just to make sure I look clean, awake and kind of dewey.”

What are some of your go-to products? “I’ve been using Dr. Hauschka products that I really like, La Prairie I’m using as my skincare regimine. When I was probably 12 or 13 years old, my mother handed my sisters and me a container of Oil of Olay and said, ‘Use this every night and you’ll never have to wear makeup.’ My mom has fabulous skin, so I’ve been using it for longer than I can say and she’s right.”

Lessons in History and Fashion from ‘TURN: Washington Spies’ Actress Heather Lind
(Source: AMC)

What is your favorite part of season two? “In the first season, they really wanted to establish the characters as individuals, their relationships to each other and really prime the stage for something exciting and active. The second season takes all that really good juicy stuff and challenges each of them in a really strong, scary way. Things are a little bit less clear to [Anna] in a way. There’s a lot more stimulants [and] danger going on. I get better at spying, which is a lot of fun. And then on a personal level, my character gets to be emotionally challenged in a way she hasn’t before. One of my favorite episodes is towards the end of this season—I can’t tell you what happens, but it’s exciting because Anna really gets to her breaking point and she does something she never thought she’d be capable of.”

Tune in to TURN: Washington's Spies Monday nights at 10pm EST on AMC. 

Associate Editor at StyleBistro. California native, Brooklyn resident & country girl at heart. Follow me on Twitter: @katie_ddavidson Follow me: Google
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