Earlier this year, the BBC released the hotly anticipated trailer for the show’s second season, months after teasing fans with a series of photos from upcoming episodes.
In the minute-long trailer, assassin Villanelle (played by Jodie Comer) celebrates her return to the screen with a staggering nine costume changes. Sartorial choices in the clip range from a Pulp Fiction-inspired black tailored suit to a pink and white milkmaid dress to an oversized slouchy red jumper and a pale pink oversized shirt.
So renowned was the design that Goddard presented a reinvention of the dress – a larger, multi-layered version – on the runway at her autumn/winter 2019 show at London Fashion Week last month to rapturous praise from Villanelle fans.
Phoebe de Gaye, the costume designer for season one of the show, wasn’t expecting her designs to be so well received but says it was crucial to show that Villanelle’s choice of attire is inherent to her character.
“[Villanelle] has a wardrobe full of impulsive purchases and selects from it according to the scenario she is planning, or that has been prepared for her,” she says.
“So she is instinctive but at the same time highly manipulative.”
However, if unlike Villanelle your wardrobe budget isn’t financed by assassin duties, we’ve rounded up a selection of alternative high-street options to recreate Killing Eve season two’s fashion looks.
In the season two trailer, Villanelle wears a black tailored suit teamed with a button-up white shirt and black tie. Given the character’s love of dressing up (remember last season’s nurse’s outfit?) and the dark wig here, it’s most likely this look is a disguise.
Explaining Villanelle’s priority when choosing clothes, De Gaye notes: “She responds to whatever catches her eye at any particular moment. Her choices are a reflection of her current mood or preoccupation.”
Power suits reigned supreme on the autumn/winter 2019 runway last month, with brands including Proenza Schouler and Jonathan Simkhai showing deconstructed elements (think slits and cutouts) with classic jacket-trouser combinations.
Team a suit with a pair of trainers or colourful stilettos this season to put a modern spin on this “Le Smoking”-inspired look.
Even an assassin sometimes need a comfy choice of clothes to snuggle into during downtime.
So, this might explain why Villanelle has opted for this oversized fluffy number in red, which perfectly complements her dusty pink hair in this scene.
“Villanelle is a chameleon,” says De Gaye as she reflects on the character’s sartorial choices in season one.
“For a kill in Vienna, she takes on the persona of a well-dressed bourgeoise in Lanvin and Burberry. At home, she relaxes in Etro pyjamas.
“In Berlin, she becomes androgynous in a Dries Van Noten trouser suit – she likes to tempt fate. She is a gambler and would never allow herself to disappear into the shadows.”
Invest in several comfy layers of tomato red knitwear this spring paired with “Mom” jeans or white cropped jeans.
To achieve Villanelle’s rose-tinted hair, vegan and cruelty-free hair product range Bleach London sells a variety of shampoos, conditioners and semi-permanent hair colour creams that add a subtle touch of pink to locks in need of a refresh.
If Villanelle’s Molly Goddard tulle number was anything to go by in season one, it’s safe to say the assassin isn’t scared of wearing bold colours.
Recalling the “little girl” Molly Goddard dress she chose for the character in season one of the show, De Gaye says Villanelle isn’t afraid to be “cheeky”.
“The occasion was an assessment by her psychoanalyst to check that her extremely violent responses are still intact,” she recalls, describing the scene in which Villanelle wears this outfit to meet with a psychologist who must determine whether she is still in the right frame of mind to kill.
In the new season’s trailer, the character can be seen wearing a baby pink shirt, tied at the waist, teamed with a salmon-hued skirt. She accessorises the look with a pair of statement oversized gold earrings.
“Living coral” was dubbed Pantone’s 2019 colour of the year, so prepare to see a lot of pink and orange hues hitting the high street this season.
Dressed in another disguise, the character can be seen channelling a far more bohemian look here.
The bright orange shade is reflective of pieces sent down the runway at fashion month in February, courtesy of Dries Van Noten and MSGM.
“Her personal style is a way of rewarding herself,” explains De Gaye of Villanelle’s clothing. “Moreover, she can play at seeing herself in different guises.”
The costume designer says that Villanelle’s choice of clothes depends on her mood and her mission, so viewers shouldn’t always expect her to wear the latest runway trend.
“She can run out of luck,” says De Gaye.
“At the end of the first series she is incarcerated in a Russian prison and her lovely pink coat and Marni knitwear are confiscated. Instead, she is obliged to wear a nasty green uniform and depressing headscarf. ”
Recreate this look with an oversized orange knit in a variety of hues and accessorise with a pair of tortoiseshell thick-rimmed glasses.
De Gaye admits she found inspiration for Villanelle’s fashion in season one from “fashion photographs and the street”, which may explain why the character appears to always be on the pulse when it comes to the latest trends.
“Discovering the character was an alchemical process between the clothes and Jodie Comer, with me hovering in the background chucking things at her to try on,” reveals De Gaye. “There were also comments from the director and producers. Costume designing is a highly collaborative process.”
While we doubt Villanelle intentionally meant to channel this high-fashion trend in this scene (the blood might be a giveaway), we appreciate her bold choice of colours and print in broad daylight.
Channel your inner Villanelle this spring with a light stain pyjama top that will take you from day to evening.
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