Firstly , I would just like to make it clear- I thought of this article before Vogue did.
For anyone who has not yet watched Killing Eve, it follows an MI5 agent called (you guessed it) Eve, played by Greys Anatomy’s Sandra Oh, and her quest for cold blooded Killer, Oksana Astankova, or as she likes to be called: Villanelle. She’s played by award winning actress Jodie Comer. The infatuated agent and attention seeking assassin quickly become obsessed with each other in what tuns into a dangerous game of cat and mouse. It’s Tom and Jerry for adults.
When most people think psychopath, they don’t see couture gowns, 80’s gold earrings, and Burberry dresses but somehow, between kills, Villanelle finds time to stay stylish.
Now don’t get me wrong, Killing Eve is gripping, scary and sometimes comedic (I mean, it was written by Fleabags Phoebe Waller-Bridge), but the continual costumes were the center of attention, I mean, they were to die for!
So, in no particular order (because that would truly be mission impossible) here’s 7 of Villanelle’s best pieces:
1. Green Leather and Sunnies
In what can only be described as The Matrix meets Miranda Priestly, these are definitely pieces you’d expect to see in the wardrobe of an assassin. It’s not over the top but its brave. Perfect for anyone who wants to stay lowkey yet get a little noticed.
2. Comic Book Onsie?
This onsie is mischief personified! She may be a highly skilled, trained professional but Villanelle proves that there’s no such thing as inappropriate uniform. Put into context, you soon realise that this outfit is a quick throw on. After all when you’ve got to sneak out of hospital with a stab wound, comfy and quick is the way to go.
3. Did I Mention She Wears Wigs?
The pink one is my favourite. There’s nothing like inflicting grievous bodily harm in a bubblegum pink wig. Of course though, it is practical. Every assassin must have a wide range of wigs in order to slip into the crowd. Although, something’s telling me Villanelle’s not doing this for ambiguity.
There’s nothing more chic than a besuited assassin. Whether it’s an ‘Eaton school boy’ cable knit sweater or a Loewe Black Striped Blazer, Villanelle is formally dressed to kill. As Luke Jenkins (author of the Villanelle Books) put it, ‘her clothes reflect her status and independence’. Oh and did you notice the black wig?
5. Casual, Yet Not So.
Firstly, I would like to say, plaid is NEVER a bad look. Maybe I’m speaking with bias as an ex flannel-shirt loving teenager but to this day plaid stands strong, especially as trousers. As for the tucked in, matching plaid top and the modest gripping of a knife on the side – the subtle becomes a little more statement. The same can be said for the combat look on the right. Whilst bomber jackets signify everything cool and laid back, the matching trousers and combat boots scream business.
6. The Sheer Black Gown and Lace Veil
Every killing show has a funeral scene, but not like Killing Eve. The dramatic, edge of your seat scene needed an equally dramatic look. That’s why costume designer Charlotte Mitchel had to scoop up this 2012 Alexander McQueen gown when she saw it auctioned online. Yep, and that’s not all. She was so passionate, that she custom made the veil to match!
7. THAT Pink Molly Goddard Dress
I lied when I said this list was in no particular order. This is the best one. On anyone else, this dress would would look ridiculous, lets be honest. But this frilly Molly Goddard piece had the tabloids in a frenzy. The baby pink gown paired with black buckle boots brings Comers character to life. Its almost a juxtaposition of personality, the killer black boots with the childish playful dress up. She couldn’t dress more Villanelle if she tried.
There were many other iconic looks but in all honesty, I didn’t have the time to include more and I KNOW that you don’t have the attention span. But I must say, it is refreshing to see a strong female lead dressing adventurously, she just doesn’t care. Not only are the outfits in this TV series colourful and visionary but this might just be one of the first shows that hasn’t focused solely on the male gaze. The two piece suits, bomber jackets and children pajamas are all purely for fun and fashion. And the best part is, IT WORKS. The cultural impact is evident in the avalanche of newspaper column’s and magazine articles that have picked up on it. It really is possible to have a strong successful antagonist (and protagonist, Eve) without making them seductively bare all for the patriarchy. You can conquer the world in a bomber jacket and combat boots ladies.
And with a third season in the works, I’m eager to see more looks from the powerful lady who really did Kill Bill.
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