Heidi Bivens Talks Fashion – WWD

HBO teen drama “Euphoria” is one of the few TV shows that resonates as much for its storyline as it does for its fashion, with the first season of the series influencing fashion trends with its over-the-top looks, nostalgic pieces and affinity for bright colours.

“Euphoria” – starring Zendaya, Hunter Schafer, Sydney Sweeney, Alexa Demie and others as high schoolers navigating love, friendship, drugs and their identities – debuted its second season earlier this month after a hiatus. over two years due to the pandemic.

The second season of the show stays true to the surprising fashion moments fans have come to expect from the show, but taking a leap in quality and leaning more on the imagination by heavily incorporating high-fashion brands that the average teen wouldn’t necessarily have access to.

“It’s about having fun and not thinking about it too much and just having freedom of expression, more than the first season, which was still really establishing who these characters are,” said costume designer Heidi Bivens, a former WWD staff member who worked on. both seasons of “Euphoria”. “The first season, it was my intention to keep it grounded enough to make it feel like these characters could actually wear the clothes, while the second season borders more on fantasy. I wasn’t going to keep all the brands cheap enough for all of these characters to afford them. I threw it away and gave myself free rein for whatever and whatever we wanted to put on the screen. “

For the second season of “Euphoria”, Bivens continued his strategy of curating the show’s costumes with a mix of vintage pieces with nostalgic references and more modern pieces by current designers. She explained that her inspiration comes from ordinary people she sees on the street or on Instagram, and she bought many of the costumes from stores in the Los Angeles area.

Although the second season of “Euphoria” was affected by the pandemic – filming for the season was due to start in mid-March 2020 and was delayed for a year – Bivens explained that she and her team had already chosen most of the costumes. and they didn’t change much once production resumed.

“COVID didn’t really affect any of the creative decisions or the free time we had,” Bivens said. “It’s pretty amazing just that things move so fast in fashion and there’s always this question when deciding on costumes whether they will feel relevant in X time frame. So the question came to me, what is that year that has passed – as if these decisions are still the right ones? Instinctively I thought so and we have remained faithful and so far so good “.

Like the first season, the show’s costumes continue to serve as another medium of storytelling, reflecting each character’s journey and personal struggles. While the first season’s costumes focused more on brightly colored pieces, the second season gets a little darker to reflect heavier themes.

This is particularly evident in Schafer’s character Jules, who is exploring her femininity and sexual identity after her bridge episode “Euphoria” released last January. So far, in the second season, Jules has apparently ditched pastel colors, mini skirts and other feminine pieces for a darker wardrobe.

Hunter Schafer in “Euphoria”.
Courtesy of HBO

For example, the character attended the New Year’s Eve party in Episode 1 wearing a more grunge-inspired look that consisted of a beaded top by NIHL, a fishnet bodysuit by Maroske Peech, and a corset skirt by Orseund Iris paired with crewneck necklaces. when he confronts Rue (played by Zendaya).

“She doesn’t wear so many cute skirts,” Bivens said of the character. “There are more pants and more gender fluidity there. It’s not overly femme all the time. She is still exploring and trying to figure out how to feel comfortable in her own skin and regularly wonders about her sexuality. I think there is an inner dialogue going on for Jules, so I hope the costumes reflect that in some way. “

Demie’s character Maddy also conveys her storyline through her costumes. Bivens explained that the character has become “darker, more mature, and more vampire” following her breakup from her abusive boyfriend Nate (played by Jacob Elordi) and that her fashion reflects her desire to leave high school life behind. .

This is reflected in the opening scene of this season’s second episode where the character babysits a wealthy woman played by Minka Kelly who has a closet full of one-of-a-kind vintage pieces. During the scene, Maddy puts on her fashion show, trying on pieces like a 1991 Thierry Mugler Kessler dress, a 1997 camellia print shirt dress, a metallic Halston caftan dress and a gold sequined Dior dress, all from Aralda Vintage in Los Angeles Angeles.

“[Maddy] he feels very stuck after the whole Nate experience and it’s only been a busy year since the first season, “Bivens said about the scene.” It’s inspired by the character of Minka Kelly who is the housewife and is projecting this idea. which could be her because she sees Minka as having this handsome husband and they have money and a son and she looks happy. “

Bivens also explained that “Euphoria” cast members are often involved in the costume design process, sending her inspiration and collaborating on some looks. For example, the costume designer and Demie worked together on Maddy’s New Year’s Eve look, a bespoke black dress from Los Angeles-based brand Akna.

“Alexa Demie will always do the moodboard for me,” she explained. “She is very good at this and she likes to do it on her own. I invited her to go shopping with me because I wanted her to sign whatever fabric we chose [for the New Year’s Eve dress]. It’s always great when you have a cast member who is willing to get involved and has great instincts. “

Sweeney’s character Cassie is another who has her identity crisis portrayed through her clothes. Bivens explained that Cassie’s penchant for ultra-feminine dresses, skirts and bright colors reflects her desire to be wanted.

“[Her style] she’s extremely feminine in a traditional idea of ​​what femininity is, “she said.” I think it’s safe for her. She feels attractive in that mode. A lot of her Season 2 costumes have to do with grasping the Nate’s attention, but Nate represents something bigger to her. It’s about wanting to be loved. We all want to be loved, right? That’s her way of putting it. Her idea of ​​being loved is that she needs to be attractive “.

Unlike the other characters with their flashier fashion, Zendaya’s Rue was known in Season 1 for keeping her burgundy hoodie, which was revealed in the Season 1 finale to have belonged to her late father.

Bivens explained that the symbolism of the garment is explored more in the second season as the character continues his journey with drug addiction.

“When she came out of rehab in Season 1, she wore it a lot and it was like a safety blanket,” said Bivens. “I think we are entering new territory for Rue. I haven’t said this before and now it occurs to me that there may be the idea that she is so conflicted with who she is when she is sober versus who she is when she is on drugs that there is a certain amount of shame in her using it. I think wearing the hoodie at this point might remind him of that due to the relationship with his father.

Overall, Bivens’ goal with the “Euphoria” costumes is to help guide the narrative while remaining fresh and fun.

“It’s all about trying to take every opportunity to tell a story through clothes,” she concluded. “So thinking about what is the emotional landscape? What are we trying to accomplish here? It’s just this constant process of asking yourself questions that will hopefully lead you to the right decision. “

Click on the gallery above to see more fashion moments from the second season of “Euphoria”.

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