TV’s best-dressed assassin is back in the new season of Killing Eve, and Villanelle (Jodie Comer) is as fashionable as ever. “Clothes reflect her status and independence,” says Luke Jennings, author of the books that inspired the hit TV show. “She doesn’t have to conform or please anyone’s gaze.”
Adds costume designer Charlotte Mitchell, who shopped her way through Europe with Comer to source Villanelle’s 35-plus looks for season 2, “She plays by her own rules — and never wears the same thing twice.” Here, she wears a Rosie Assoulin blouse (“She’s sitting in a cafe in a bubble of love,” says Mitchell) and ’80s Christian Lacroix earrings from a vintage shop in London.
“She uses color to provoke reactions,” says Mitchell, who took over the show’s fashion duties from season 1 costumer Phoebe de Gaye. Villanelle’s love of pink is well documented: Here, she wears a frothy Molly Goddard dress for a pivotal scene in season 1.
This Chloe jacket and purple Isabel Marant blouse echo the Dries Van Noten suit Villanelle wore to a Berlin club in season 1. “We found [these pieces] in Paris,” says Mitchell. “They weren’t meant to go together, but she wears things in her own way.”
The secret hair story
The pink hair — to match the Armani shearling jacket — was a last-minute addition, says hair and makeup designer Lucy Cain. She dyed two wigs, since Comer’s body double needed one too. “A slightly stressful day!” says Cain.
When Villanelle is in disguise, “She likes to play up the situation with a dark sense of humor,” says Mitchell, who chose an Anthropologie jacket and Topshop top for this look. “There’s also a little pin that says ‘Can I help you?’ which adds a touch of naughtiness.”
Though the script originally called for Spider-Man pajamas, “I don’t think Marvel would give clearance for a psychopath to wear them,” jokes Mitchell. So she had PJs custom-made in a stretchy fabric that was meant to fit tightly. “We wanted to give it a sense of awkwardness.” Still, a designer sensibility remains: “We made sure all the writing matched up.”
Villanelle likes to put a cheeky spin on business wear. For her suits, Mitchell “was inspired by an image of k.d. lang. It’s an incredibly sexy, masculine style.”
With her muted colors and soft silhouettes, Eve Polastri (Sandra Oh) is meant to be the practical foil to exotic Villanelle. “She thinks fashion is trivial and can’t be bothered,” says Jennings. “And if she could be bothered, she’d be hopeless at it.” But that doesn’t mean Oh and Mitchell don’t sweat the sartorial details. “Eve wears elastic waists; she doesn’t have time to do up a button fly,” says Mitchell, who favors high-street brands like Uniqlo and Marks & Spencer (this trench is agnès b.) and purposely chooses linen fabrics that crease to create a more disheveled look for Eve.
As for this rare glam moment for Eve, “She can’t wear a bra with it, and she thinks it’s bloody sexy,” says Mitchell, who chose this strappy dress by Karen Millen.