Outfits represent how someone feels, what they want, and who they are. Television shows have become a way for people to look into a character and learn to embody a characteristic they see on screen. Television shows like Euphoria, Bridgerton, and Freaks and Geeks have had immediate or lasting impacts on what society decides to express.
Euphoria is everywhere. The alluring HBO television show has consumed young adult society. It’s a show meant to break down barriers teenagers face coming-of-age while shining a light on drug addiction, manipulation, and sexuality. Its costumes do all of that. We pay our respects to Heidi Bivens, who has worked on the show since season one. In season one, the costumes were an accepted exaggeration. In season two, outfits became crucial in depicting character development.
Euphoria does a brilliant job building a distinct aesthetic for each character’s wardrobe. For instance, Fez’s knit sweaters are meant to juxtapose his nurturing motivations to his unfriendly career. While Cassie attempts to embody Maddy in season two, she starts work on the outside by copying Maddy’s wardrobe. The closest Cassie can personify Maddy is coping with Maddy’s entire look. Maddy is wearing all the glitz and glam because she needs to be treasured by her peers. This aesthetic looks wrong on Cassie because Cassie’s character has been shaped into a sweet girl-next-door vibe. Therefore, the wardrobe is crucial in reflecting the character’s plot development. This allows the audience to pick and choose which character they would like to dress like that day. Dressing like Jules means bending gendered expectations and using colour in unexpected pops. I try to emulate Kat’s wardrobe because her confidence is effortlessly conveyed.
Most teenagers come to school in jeans, a hoodie, and some worn-in Nike Air Force Ones. However, Euphoria changed this routine for teenagers. According to Variety, Euphoria has accumulated a viewership of 16 million people on the season two premiere. Consequently, young adults in society feel empowered to wear clothes outside the traditional uniform.
The budget for Euphoria wardrobe was beyond the scope of a young adult’s bank account. In season one, episode ten, Jules is pictured wearing a tank top that runs about $170 USD. This means people take the ideas Bivens has pressed into the costumes and use their resources to develop their interpretation. This elicits creative challenges for people to recognize clothes textures, forms, colours, etc., that portray an idea. How can I capture the feeling of Kat’s confidence when she wears skin-tight red latex? During this self-discovery, people foster true confidence and ultimate faith in themselves. Thank you, Heidi Bivens and Euphoria.
Corsets are all the rage, and we can only look to one place it all began, Bridgerton. The costume design of Bridgerton comes from Ellen Mirojnick. The costumes are entertaining, extravagant, and engaging. Additionally, they are also difficult to replicate. It’s hard to wake up in the morning and decide that this is the day I will be wearing a traditional 19-century ball gown to Stauffer Library… no matter how much I want to. However, Bridgerton still fed us glorious period pieces, and society ate it up. There are at least a handful of people in corsets at every social gathering I go to, and I am here for it!
Society of cycling through the trend cycle at a rapid pace. We have seen the resurgence and death of the early two-thousands, nighties, and eighties in the past few years. However, I notice the cycle never goes back far enough to reach the early 19th century before the nineties are in style again (in my opinion, the nighties are always in style). Bridgerton was refreshing because it reminded society there are so many more centuries we can be inspired by! The striking issue before Bridgerton was that period pieces from the 19th- century seemed like there was no hope in styling them contemporarily. In an interview with Vogue, Mirojnick admits the costumes are not historically accurate on purpose. Instead, they were distorted to match the high drama plot of the television show.
Presently, becoming a “main character” has become an uncovered ideology in young adult society. Bridgeton suggests a corset is a perfect way to elevate a person’s experience through their wardrobe. Such as Daphne’s transformation from an insecure young girl to claiming a spot in a royal court.
It’s fascinating to see what similarities we can draw between the 19th century and current society. Scandal, gossip, and romance. Not much has changed. Bridgerton is the spark fashion needed to make couture accessible. Looking forward to the garments and pieces coming up in season two.
Freaks and Geeks
Freaks and Geeks deserved so much better. The television show ran only for one season in 1999, but its impact has lasted an entire generation. This show consumed the entire Tublur explore pages of teenagers. Debra McGuire was responsible for the costume design, and she was responsible for what grunge teens would be wearing for the years to come. What’s special about the character’s wardrobe in Freaks and Geeks is that it can be easily replicated. Rummaging through my mom’s old clothes in search of a flannel. I scored a sweet leather jacket from my dad, which looks like the one Daniel Desario (played by James Franco) wears.
I think Freaks and Geeks is a defining moment in coming-of-age. It splits the experience into two. The Pre-Freaks and Geeks era is defined as waking up, getting dressed, and going about their day. There’s nothing to see here. After watching Freaks and Geeks, it’s about asking questions like, “if I wear my shirt untucked, what are people gonna think about me?” Lindsey and her younger brother Sam possess strikingly different attitudes and vibes. Lindsey’s careless grunge look comes from baggy jeans and band logo t-shirts. Sam’s uptight and anxiousness comes from his tucked polo and khakis. It becomes someone’s outfit speaking a secret message in code.
Freaks and Geeks created an accessible outlet for manipulating personal style. It encourages people to look into their closets and get jiggy with it.
If I can trade my closet for any costume department, I would trade mine for Robs in High Fidelity. Rob’s closet is composed of unconventional prints, the right amount of cultural references, and an unforgettable leather trench coat. The prints Rob wears are unique yet resist the power of a trend cycle. Victim to the cycle, sucking them in and repulsively spitting them out. High Fidelity‘s wardrobe is tantalizing because Rob is wearing something you can’t walk into a mall and directly find. High Fidelity is my next recommendation for incorporating television into personal style. Come September 2022, I will be walking to campus in a sleek, long, leather trench coat.
HEADER IMAGE SOURCE: ILLUSTRATOR MADDIE