Hand-Me-Downs, Helena and Identity on Orphan Black

TV Ate My Wardrobe

“We’re so different, all of us.”

This assertion made by Sarah in the Orphan Black season 2 finale is by no means a bold statement as it has been clear from the outset that no one clone is like another (aside from the obvious matching faces). Nature vs. nurture is being won by the latter on Orphan Black and from a narrative perspective having such easily identifiable and contrasting characters helps an audience when these characters are played by the same actress (the formidable Tatiana Maslany and I could spend this entire essay discussing how phenomenal she is).

As I discussed in the Best of 2013 Orphan Black article costuming plays a big part in establishing who these women are; it helps to identify through non-verbal communication and provides a way for each clone to pretend to be another through clothing and accessories. The clone that has undergone the most…

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