Fashion is how we express ourselves; its how we show the world who we are and what we want from life. That’s why fashion has found itself permeating virtually every facet of the human experience. From the way we do business, to the way we entertain ourselves, the clothing we wear while doing so has become an inexorable part of the way we live our lives.
Euphoria, HBO’s hit tv-series centered on a group of high-school students experiencing extremely raw, real, and relatable circumstances, recently began its second season on January 9th, and fashion is certainly in focus this year. To the excitement of many fans, their favorite characters have returned with stylistic vengeance, sporting some changes to their looks that some of the more keen-eyed viewers may notice.
In interviews with Mel Ottenberg of interviewmagazine.com and Jamilia Stewart of Vogue, Costume Designer Heidi Bivens, the woman responsible for the striking, diverse, and eye-popping fashion ensemble seen on the set of Euphoria, described how each character’s style has changed (and how it hasn’t) since the first season.
“In terms of style, I played it safe the first season. I really tried to be conscious of making it realistic, so that the audience couldn’t really pick the story apart.”
Bivens stylistic choices during the first season certainly reflected a more realistic interpretation. Save for a select few, many of the designs chosen could easily find their counterparts in any high school across the continental USA.
With the second season, Bivens decided to flip the tables on reality, opting for a more open, creative, and chic approach to each character’s appearance. Some of these changes have been made to not only add some new flavor to a new season, but to reflect the development that they have gone through as young adults moving forward with their lives.
If Rue’s signature burgundy sweatshirt-and-shorts slacker look changes at all, fans will definitely notice; apparently that’s exactly what’s going to happen. According to Bivens, she still wants to flesh this character out more, which would require her to ditch the sweatshirt.
What this will mean for Rue in terms of her story arc remains to be seen. After all, that sweatshirt was originally owned by her late father, a man who slowly and tragically passed away from cancer while she took care of him. Bivens explained that the sweatshirt is no mere clothing item, but a serious source of comfort. In this season’s first episode, she already changed it up, rocking a Jean Paul Gaultier top vest and vintage Roberto Cavalli pants
If you failed to notice, Jules’ normally joyful, colorful and vibrant stylistic choices have taken an intriguing turn down a darker avenue, as a representation of her character’s evolving nature as both a young adult and a trans woman. That being said, her characteristically bright color palette is thankfully not gone for good. As Bivens illustrated, Jules will remain true to her roots in season 2 while exploring other areas of her identity.
“ A lot of scenes came up where it just didn’t make sense to put Jules in the silhouette of the costumes of the first season. Obviously, she still has a lot of those clothes in her closet—it’s not like she got a whole new wardrobe overnight.”
While it is true that Jules captures the screen with her choice of color, another compelling addition to her ensembles are the many accentuating accessories she has. Tahitian pearl necklaces, arm sleeves, and a dark green sheer ribbon with pink star-beaded trim are among the collection she wore for the first episode.
Much like Jules, Maddie’s vibe has gotten darker; Her dress is darker; Her make-up is darker; Even her demeanor is seeming darker than usual. However, with her mind set on the future, shes feeling more her age and is looking forward to leaving school. Her dress reflects this choice, adding some years to her appearance and making her look more mature. In the interview with Ottenberg, Bivens described Maddie’s elegant-yet- sexy black dress as an original design that was commissioned to be made by Mexican fashion designer Aiden Euan.
Bivens describes Cassie’s style as being more a reflection of what she sees online, rather than who she is as a person. As a character, Cassie is often trying to please others, and because of this her style can appear to be very superficial.
And yet, In spite of her flaws, she still manages to stand out in a crowd of partying teenagers with a ruched sky blue ‘Ella’ mini dress by Brit brand House of CB and a pair of white Prada sandals.
Kat’s look has changed multiple times since the pilot episode, but this time she appears to have achieved a more mature version of her hot-topic vibe; less intense and in-your-face than season one. Bivens explained that her dress was custom made with Mini Wade the previous season, but wasn’t used and needed to be remade. The designer couldnt, and so she printed the fabric using Wade’s patterns and remade it herself.
Biven describes Kat’s wardrobe as reflecting her maturation in the face of some strenuous circumstances. She has become more of an individual in her stylistic choices, and is not influenced by the fashion of those that surround her.
As each character’s story arc changes and they experience new challenges, develop their personalities, and become young adults, the way they express themselves will inevitably change as a result. It would appear that Bivens is employing this realistic approach, and we absolutely love it.
But that’s not to say that this second season, and the seasons to come, won’t be larger than life. When asking Sam Levinson, the director of Euphoria what direction she should take their wardrobes, he said “I don’t give an eff about reality.”
Apparently, that resonated with her. We’re excited to see where she takes us.
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