Our Flag Means Death star wore bespoke chest binder after costume designer’s moving gesture

Vico Ortiz and Madeleine Sami as Jim and Archie in Our Flag Means Death season 2

Vico Ortiz, the non-binary star of Our Flag Means Death, has shared a moving detail about the costumes in the second season of the show, proving how simple trans inclusion in the workplace can be. 

During an Instagram Live session on Monday (5 February) hosted by Kristian Nairn, who played Wee John Feeney on the Max series, Ortiz was full of praise Australian costume designer Gypsy Taylor.

The chat was the first of this year’s Wee John Wondays, a series of weekly public video calls which see the actor joined by fellow members of the Our Flag Means Death cast and crew, following each episode of the second season of the comedy adventure.

This week, Nairn chatted to Ortiz, who plays pirate Jim Jimenez in the series, and queer New Zealand actor Madeleine Sami, who has joined the crew of the Revenge as Archie. The trio also welcomed a surprise guest: Leslie Jones, who plays Spanish Jackie.

While discussing Nairn’s drag-queen look in the episode “Calypso’s Birthday”, the actor said: “[Gypsy] designed a binder specifically for me so I could have it for my outfits.

“She learnt how to make a binder to implement into my outfit. It’s freaking wild. I was planning on using mine, and she was like: ‘No, no, no, it’s going to get nasty so I will make you one’. She made three. Incredible!”

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A binder is a garment used to compress or minimise chest tissue to achieve a flatter or more traditionally masculine appearance.

Fans were quick to welcome Taylor’s efforts. 

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Our Flag Means Death brought Taylor on board for season two after production moved from Los Angeles to New Zealand, following a large cut in the budget.

She quickly made a positive impression with fans thanks to costumes such as Stede’s matador-like cursed suit in episode five, “The Curse of the Seafaring Life”, Anne Bonny’s Elizabeth Taylor-inspired get-up in “Fun and Games” and the Revenge crew’s modified English Navy looks in season finale “Mermen”.

Jones and Sami were also thrilled by Taylor’s designs.

“[My] boots were custom-made,” said Jones. “They were incredible… everything, the gold dress. This is what I love that she did: they didn’t make Spanish Jackie ‘rawr’. She was tough on her own but she was sexy too. She had 20-something husbands and wives, you know?”

Sami added: “That was what Gypsy was so good at. She made everyone tough, but f*cking hot. Nathan [Foad, who plays Lucius] looked insane. I remember when [he] came on set… in his high-waisted jeans look, so good.”

Fans will be able to hear more about Our Flag Means Death’s costumes following the BBC premiere of “Calypso’s Birthday” on Monday 11 March, when Gypsy Taylor herself is expected to appear on Wee John Wondays. Nairn is also hoping to chat to one of the show’s make-up artists.

“I’m going to do a behind-the-scenes special,” he said. “I know a lot of you guys [the fans] wanted to talk to Gypsy. Gypsy’s amazing, so we’ll have Gypsy for the ‘Calypso’s Birthday’ episode.”

Our Flag Means Death season two is available to stream on BBC iPlayer in the UK now.

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