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“The Traitors” Host Alan Cumming Wore His Own Clothes on the Show

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“The Traitors,” a latest reality game show, hinges on startling revelations. In episodes of the series, which is framed as a whodunit, forged members are frequently “murdered” (kicked off). Others are “banished” (also kicked off). But among the most astonishing reveals don’t have anything to do with the plot — and every little thing to do with what outfit the show’s host, the actor Alan Cumming, will appear in next.

There are pink plaid suits. Herringbone tweed capes. Sleek little kilts. “Perhaps, fairly alarmingly,” Mr. Cumming said, “the overwhelming majority of the garments were mine.”

Some fans of “The Traitors,” which premiered this month on Peacock, said Mr. Cumming’s knack for turning natty looks became a favourite a part of tuning in. “I actually appreciated that he was dressing in so many colours,” said Catherine Maddox, 39, a lab manager in Boston.

The series, which is predicated on a show from the Netherlands, arrived in the US after a British adaptation (not hosted by Mr. Cumming) became a surprise hit last 12 months. Contestants on the American version are a combination of celebrities made famous by past reality shows — including Arie Luyendyk (“The Bachelor”), Cirie Fields (“Survivor”), and Kate Chastain (“Below Deck”) — and folks who’ve yet to earn their quarter-hour of fame.

Mr. Cumming, whose demeanor is without delay macabre and flirtatious, presides over them as they compete for a money prize on the grounds of Ardross Castle, an estate within the Scottish Highlands once owned by an heir to the Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce empire.

The set was meant to evoke “Clue,” the murder-mystery board game turned movie, said Mathieu Weekes, the production designer of “The Traitors.” To clean up the Nineteenth-century castle, his team decorated it with ruby red dining room chairs, a crimson love seat, an emerald couch and other vibrant furniture. “Our first reference for color was the film ‘Knives Out,’” Mr. Weekes said. “We desired to make it feel quite quirky.”

Rarely do reality show sets “have this vintage maximalism,” said Rachel Trombetta, an architectural researcher who works in film and TV. Mr. Weekes, the production designer, said that the set of “The Traitors” was “quite different to create” than those of previous reality shows he has worked on (amongst them: “I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!”) “We wanted to interrupt from the norm and take a look at to provide it form of its own identity,” he said.

Setting the show at such a spectacular location meant its host needed a wardrobe that may “relate to the craziness of this beautiful castle,” said Sam Spector, who styled Mr. Cumming for “The Traitors.” Thankfully, Mr. Cumming, who’s Scottish, had a closet filled with suits, kilts and plus fours that might function a foundation for the aesthetic he and Mr. Spector wanted to realize. “We talked about attempting to make this form of dandy,” Mr. Cumming said, “this eccentric Scottish laird.” Or, as Mr. Spector put it: Sherlock Holmes, with a touch of “villain from a James Bond movie.”

Robin Emry, a 31-year-old researcher in London who has seen each the British and American versions of “The Traitors,” described Mr. Cumming’s wardrobe as “Vivienne Westwood meets Vincent Price.”

To make Mr. Cumming’s clothes pop much more, Mr. Spector accessorized the host in fly plaids, a form of Scottish scarf worn over one shoulder, hats, capes, sashes and opulent brooches, which tied a lot of his outfits together (literally and figuratively). A few of his accessories, like a pair of blue opera-length gloves, were made especially for the show.

“The gloves are only hilarious,” Mr. Cumming said. He wears them with what he called “a little bit policeman’s cape” and a porkpie hat — an eccentric get-up that even he said pushed the bounds of an already theatrical wardrobe.

“It’s essentially the most mental look,” Mr. Cumming said, “but I find it irresistible.”

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