Euphoria Costume Designer Opens up on Dressing her Characters in Provocative Clothes

American web series Euphoria’s second season grew further in popularity with memes and make-up inspirations from the show’s characters taking over the internet. Created by Sam Levinson, Euphoria’s appeal lies in its aesthetic and high-end fashion moments. As it deals with some deep and dark issues of sexuality, gender identities, and drug addiction, it is the glitter-infused make-up and Y2K-inspired fashion styles sported by the actors that brings some respite and an insight into the characters psyche.

However, many have found the sexy outfits worn by the characters, who are supposed to be in high school, too provocative or unrelatable. Speaking about her method of what goes behind dressing the characters of Euphoria, costume designer Heidi Bivens told Dazed Magazine that she let her creativity flourish since the high school is not a “real place.”

Bivens told the publication in an interview earlier this month, “Euphoria is its own world. East Highland High does not exist. It’s not a real place.”

The girls of Euphoria, Rue (Zendaya), Maddy (Alexa Demie), Jules (Hunter Schafer), Kat (Barbie Ferriera), Cassie (Sydney Sweeney), and Lexi (Maude Apatow), have their own sense of style created by Bivens that often reminds us of the early aughts nostalgia and vintage clothing.

Talking about dressing up actors who are playing high school kids and how she may have faced some flak over dressing them in too sexy clothes, Bivens shared an anecdote from the first season of Euphoria. Bivens said, “I thought so during the first season. I remember there was one scene where Cassie is walking across the gym auditorium. She’s wearing a Realisation Par dress and my set costumers didn’t tie it properly in the back so it wasn’t hoisting her chest in the way it should have.” Bivens explained that the top made Cassie’s look sexier than she had anticipated.

Following the scene, Levinson came to Bivens and told her to not dress Cassie in that manner again. The costume designer said that at the time she thought she had done something wrong. However, Bivens said, “I’m a woman putting a female in something sexy so, to me, it’s the female gaze. Free the nipple. I’m okay with being provocative. But as a male director, Sam was a little more conscious of how it could be construed.” Bivens added that by the time the second season came she and the creators realised that the audience was ready for them to push all the boundaries. The journalist-turned-costume designer said that the Euphoria creative team was energised by the positive response of the first season and went from the gut.

Euphoria has been renewed for season three.

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