It’s giving “Euphoria:” a deeper look into the hit show’s fashion

By Farah Bassyouni Jan 28, 2022
Alexa Demie as Maddy Perez Image provided by Wiki Commons
Alexa Demie as Maddy Perez
Image provided by Wiki Commons

If you are not included in the average two million people who watch Euphoria every week then I am forced to believe you are living under a rock. Whether it is about costume design or character development this show and star studded cast have been the topic of conversation for the past three weeks.  Since it first dropped on the platform in 2019, the impact of Euphoria on today’s fashion has been huge.

Euphoria is an American teen drama television series on HBO that first premiered in 2019. The show, written by Sam Levinson,  follows a diverse group of students who are handling almost every issue you can imagine. The show has become so popular because it does not shy away from serious issues or the way it shows true relationships and friendships.  That’s not the only reason it’s so popular, however, and you only need to spend a few minutes online shopping to see Euphoria’s effect. 

The show’s costume designer, Heidi Bivens, has become one of Hollywood’s most in-demand costume designers. Bivens has been nominated for Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Award for Outstanding Contemporary Costumes in 2020 and 2021. 

Euphoria is full of so many different outfits per episode and based on just the looks of every outfit, price was not a factor. Even though most of the characters are in high school, viewers enjoy the expensive outfits characters don because it creates an illusion of this made up universe.  Many users on Twitter talk about the extremely high fashion looks. A Twitter user wrote, “so happy euphoria’s costume designer doesn’t care that she’s dressing the characters in expensive high fashion. sell me the fantasy!”

Some of the brands on Euphoria include Miu Miu, The Marc Jacobs, Online Ceramics and Aerie. The brands vary from Miu Miu which is an Italian high fashion brand that is a full subsidiary of Prada. Brands like Aerie are very attainable, affordable and also incorporated into the show. 

All of the characters’ clothes, makeup, hair and nails have a lot of meaning. Even in the first season, Bivens wanted viewers to look at a character and get a glimpse into their personality by just a look. After playing it safe in the first season Biven wanted to do more insane outfits. 

With a bigger role in season two, the outfits have to be bigger with Maude Apatow who plays Lexi Howard. The show mostly is about teens doing incredibly graphic activities. 

Lexi represents a normal girl, who wears modest clothing and is not seen as the most crazy party girl.  “So the brands she (Lexie) tends to gravitate towards are feminine, but maybe in a more intellectual way than her sister (Cassie),” said Bivens in Vogue.  Lexi is wearing a lot of Miu Miu this season and while it is obvious the character could not afford it, Bivens thought why not? 

Emmy-winner Zendaya who plays Rue Bennet on the show lives in baggy sweats and sweatshirts mostly. Rue is a drug addict who struggles with relationships and staying clean. The sweatshirts and sweatpants represent how little she cares about life. While the sweats she wears are incredibly cool, they give off the same message. 

Fashion is one of the most important things to Alexa Demie who plays Maddy Perez. Demie plays a huge role in her character’s overall look. In episode two Maddy has a fashion montage made of dreams. Throughout this scene she dresses up in vintage Christian Dior, Valentino and Chanel. This scene is a turning point for Maddy because of her struggles with an abusive relationship and shaky friendships, this scene shows a truly happy Maddy. Even though her costumes may not always be the most expensive on the show, her clothes represent her. Maddy is strong, confident and honest. Her outfits always show that she is not afraid to be herself and become more mature in season two. 

Jules Vaughn, who is played by Hunter Schafer has become a style icon over the last two seasons. Jules normally wears incredibly layered outfits to show how many facets of her personality there are. In Vogue, Bivens said, “… she is constantly thinking about how to layer her performance and not just her outfit.” In season two, Jules has already shown so many new levels of herself and her clothes are representing that as well. Jules plays a lot into ‘90s casual fashion that seems so wearable. In season one Jules dresses hyper girly and evolves in season two, to the ultimate cool girl. 

Sydney Sweeney who plays Cassie Howard on the show has  complex character development. Throughout the first three episodes Cassie has been hiding her true personality to impress a guy. She has dressed like other characters, Maddy and Jules in order to get attention. Even before then, Cassie’s outfits lack uniqueness because her character lacks a lot of sense of self. In Vogue, Bivens said, “She’s still trying to figure out how to present herself to the world, and I think so much of what she does and how she dresses is about wanting to be loved.”

This A24 Production focuses on amazing characters, costumes, makeup and was even shot on Kodak Ektachrome film. This Sunday when tuning into episode four, make sure to pay close attention to what everyone is wearing because you may notice something new about your favorite character. 

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