Killing Eve: The Role of Fashion

If you have a good memory or are an avid reader of this cornerstone of the internet, then you might remember my article last year about my favourite series at that moment in time, Killing Eve. I spoke about how much I loved the series first of all but gave you a bit by bit analysis of the series and how this series dabbled into the unknown. Or the unknown for television. This was feminism. Back in the 90’s we had Sex and the City which did pave the wave for shows like Girls, The Bold Type and of course, Killing Eve. Yet for me, Killing Eve went beyond the grain with it’s ability to throw in the theme of feminism by it’s ability to make it surprisingly witty, sophisticated and most importantly stylish. For me, the style spoke feminism and modern 21st century feminism especially.

When the second series, aired in June, I was buzzing to catch it. The first series had kept hooked from the get go, so the second instalment had to have me on the edge of my seat. From, the teased images that were teased when the show aired in America months prior, there was one look that stood out to me, this was the all pink number. A pink blouse, a pink skirt, bold earrings and basic accessories to finish the look. To me, it’s sophistication, sass and power all combined into a perfectly pink outfit. It was the one outfit which I had to get my hands on, and definitely on a budget. Villanelle, sits wearing all pink in the heart of Amsterdam. Here, she informs a girl that she does not want to be on her instagram, instead the girl should get a real job. Here, the writers mock popular culture and social media culture in particular. A culture obsessed with image and social media especially; ironic when these images were curated with this in mind. Her all pink look, plays into the heart of gender norms; by this I mean that as a blonde young woman she should adore and enjoy wearing pink or be seen in pink. Villanelle, is costumed in this to play on these norms and then later kills a male in a grotesque way which again is an up yours to the patriarchy. Her way of killing is through seduction, killing him in the prostitute hub of Amsterdam and in a shop window. This scene, plays into the idea that when men are thinking with their cocks, they’re oblivious to the dangers and just go with what their cock is telling them; so she plays on this and lures him into his S&M death. The second, sex themed killings, we as viewers have watched.

When researching into the fashion that’s worn on the show, it’s the highest of quality and the best designers which is no surprise. When trying to find the meaning, we can only infer that the fashion is there to speak volumes. Villanelle, our serial killer and one of our protagonists, is using her clothing to make a statement, one that speaks to the audience on power and status.

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At the start of the series, we see Villanelle rocking this onsie, one that she’s stolen from a fellow patient of a hospital. She wears this for at least 1 episode. This costume, is playing on childhood and innocence. We as the audience, should be technically feeling sorry for her yet we don’t. The costume, is there to play on our minds since we as viewers know that she is being costumed into a child despite still being same ruthless evil serial killer we’ve learned to adore over the series. Ironic to think the pj’s she wears are for a superhero which is the complete opposite for her character. We shouldn’t feel sorry for her but through these fashionable statements and her vulnerability in the first three episodes, we some how feel sorry for her.

Take it back now yole, to season one, where she’s roaming the streets of Berlin, teasing, Bill and Eve, she wears a perfectly tailored suit. This suit, is designed to act as statement for a show that’s some how become a thumbs up to feminism and LGBT+. The suit, plays on these roles being reversed. Killing Eve, is somehow, taking all standard dramatic tropes of a man being some how either the main character, side kick or the director yet Killing Eve does neither. This is one happy party for bras, pants and boobs since it’s an all female cast and senior production team. The suit, therefore acts as this middle finger towards patriarchy. Villanelle, wears the suit suggesting to the audience, I wear the trousers, I’m in charge. Now, if you go through time, this is the first series I personally believe where we see a ruthless female in such a role but has not been cast to depict mental health issues or even be fragile. In the first series, the male characters presume she’s got weaker or her mental health has got poor, yet she mocks this and says the only thing bad at that time, is her period. The man, here was suggesting that she couldn’t do what she was planning to do, in killing more people. Gone Girl, groundbreaking film yet Amy, was somehow depicted on screen as this crazy woman you’d not want to mess with yet here, Villanelle is just a ruthless, cunning and crafty serial killer who does not seem to have any mental issues or ones that have been out rightly exposed. We’d fear for our lives around her but somehow all want to have sass. Let’s not stop there, whilst we are on a role. Take the third season, where she gate crashes Eve’s husbands’ school trip to Oxford. Here, we see her going for the whole masculine look; oversized trousers, shirt and a tie. To me, she’s playing a figure that’s mocking the male stereotypes of these prestigious educated hubs; mocking the middle class white man who has been her guide, her control and her master all these years. Oxford, Cambridge, Eton all places dominated by middle class white men; she waves it off and says, hey, I’m a gal and I can be here and be snazzy like you in your chinos, just without the bulge in my pants.

For me, I adore the series, the writing, the cast and the way this series has been made to be dark witty and yet some how addictive. If you’re wondering, I picked the shirt from Zara having seen it online then store locating it. Glorious. The earrings, I then picked up last year on ASOS. This shirt, I also picked up in white because it felt like a perfect addition to my wardrobe- a piece that can be worn up or down depending on the situ, back of the net. And on that bombshell, I’ll go and find another show to obsess over. 

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