House3
CLOSE
MENUCLOSE

The ‘Killing Eve’ Costume Designer Explains The Secrets Behind Villanelle’s Many Stylish Personas

Clothing

We chat with Charlotte Mitchell

We've already established that Killing Eve's Villanelle—played brilliantly by Jodie Comer—is one of the most exciting villains on television right now. Well, she's one of the most stylish, too. Costume designer Phoebe de Gaye's first season work caught everyone's attention when Comer wore a large, pink Molly Goddard dress paired with a pair of black combat boots (seen here). But this season finds our assassin, dressed by Charlotte Mitchell, with even more looks that kill.

The second season of the BBC America series starts off 30 seconds after the last episode of Season 1. So, if you're wary of spoilers, you should probably stop reading this piece now. After being stabbed by Eve (Sandra Oh), Villanelle struggles to the hospital to get treated, which is where we find our typically done up assassin stripped down. "[Villanelle's] always playful, always dressing up, always playing a character," Mitchell says. "And this couldn't have been that." When we see here, she's "at the lowest point in her life," Mitchell notes. "So, I thought, What can I put Villanelle in that makes her look quite broken down, almost vulnerable?" Enter: a pair of Crocs.

Before escaping, Villanelle plots to steal some medication. After she secures scrubs and a white coat, she realizes that she needs to place her delicate feet into a used pair of Crocs in order to complete her look. Why the divisive shoe? Mitchell says that she could've gone with trainers (British speak for sneakers), but that they "wouldn't have been so ugly… we wanted to find something really wretched." She made them look even more "ridiculous" by adding stickers and painting them slightly green "to make them a little moody and add a bit more yuck edge to it."

Next up, we see our villain change into a pair of boy's pajamas that she gets from her roommate. Mitchell's assistant found the comic book-looking fabric (they initially wanted to use Spider-Man pajamas, but she jokes that Marvel wouldn't have given them approval), and they made the outfit from scratch out of a stretchy Lycra. "It helped the joke that she stretched them out and that they were tight on her," Mitchell says. Some more not-as-funny comedy can be found in the words on the onesie. The young patient who gifts Villanelle her tween outfit has been admitted after surviving a car crash that killed his whole family. "The fabric has 'bam' and 'crash' on it," Mitchell points out. "It kind of nods to the dark humor of the show."

Once Villanelle finds herself back with her old employer, she also finds herself getting back to her luxurious sartorial roots. The first outfit we see her in—as herself and not as her playing dress-up—is a black jacket with puffed sleeves. "We knew it was going to be shot through the school gates, so we went with a strong silhouette," Mitchell shares. "We wanted her to look powerful at that point." And the outfits only get better from there. "She's really loving being back and being eclectic," Mitchell says. "She puts things together in her way and nobody else's."

She also dresses based on her location. Mitchell says that, when Villanelle is in the U.K., her wardrobe is a bit darker, with muted jewel tones, but, when she goes abroad, it's "poppy and bubblegum-y pink… we get more of a holiday vibe." It's this same bright outfit that elicits one character to come up to Villanelle and ask if she can take her picture for Instagram. "No! No, of course not," she says in return. "Get a real life!"

That's another thing about Villanelle, she's very aware of the fact that she knows how to dress. It's in the stylish outfits she selects (or picks out for other characters, like Eve in Season 1), but also in the way she criticizes those who can't. In episode four, she asks Constantine, who's wearing a black graphic print shirt, "What's with the shirt?" before adding: "Seriously, do not go shopping on your own again." She asks a similarly shady question of Eve in Season 1: "Is that a shirt… attached to a shirt?" Villanelle is not impressed.

But, best of all, Villanelle likes to have fun with her clothes. Like, when she's in Amsterdam and wears a traditional Dutch dress and a pig mask in order to murder a pretty piggish Dutch man in the city's Red Light District. Or, when she goes androgynous by wearing a white button-up, printed tie, tan trousers, and a sweater wrapped around her shoulders to speak with Eve's husband, Niko; it's a look that is clearly mocking his boring academic lifestyle. "That's her seeping into the environment," Mitchell says. "It's a really playful moment without her being playful in a colorful way."

And then there's the moment when she shows up to "kill" Eve while donning a vintage, sheer couture Alexander McQueen dress complete with polka dot veil (which Mitchell designed and created herself). "I thought I would dress for the occasion," she says after Eve compliments her outfit. "I'm about to be in mourning."

Mitchells says, "[Villanelle] really chooses her wardrobe based on what her mood is and how she wants to provoke a reaction… but she does it in true Villanelle style. And she doesn't do it subtly." The black dress is one of Mitchell's favorite looks from the season, and she calls it "the dress you'd wear to see your ex-boyfriend when you really want to show off." Which makes sense that she's wearing it to visit Eve. "She knows what she's doing," Mitchell says.

Whereas Villanelle's style is very much high-end, Eve's is not—just another instance where the MI6 agent serves as the assassin's foil. Eve's not low-budget per se, but she cares more about her job and getting out of the door than she does what she puts on while hunting Villanelle. So we see Eve wearing practical pieces, like pants with elastic around the waist rather than a zipper or buttons because Eve can't be bothered with additional time-sucks. "They had to be practical and quick," Mitchell says about these sartorial choices. Though Eve wears "regular people" clothes, Mitchell says it can sometimes be tricky getting the tone right, though it's much easier to find the pieces for Eve than for Villanelle.

Mitchell admits that it's Villanelle who takes up most of her creative brainpower, because Villanelle's demanding tastes and multiple personas requires a lot of careful attention. "It's kind of a challenge to design for her, because you have this split-personality person," Mitchell says. "You're designing for Villanelle, then you're designing for Villanelle dressing up as a character." It's a challenge at which Mitchell is surpassing all expectations.

True
Photo by Handout / Getty Images.

From selling probiotic supplements to picture frames and umbrellas

A Kardashian-level of success doesn't happen overnight, and it certainly doesn't happen without proper planning. Kim Kardashian West clearly knows this because, according to TMZ, she has already filed for trademark protection on the name of her two-week-old baby, Psalm West. From personal appearances and entertainment services to probiotic supplements and scrunchies, she is leaving no stone unturned in terms of possible business opportunities.

Apparently, all of the Kardashian parents file these kinds of trademark protections for their kids even if the businesses never come to fruition. It's done as a precautionary measure to keep others from profiting off of their name and to make sure that, should they ever want to start a business, they don't have to worry about someone else getting to it first. The sheer length of this list speaks to the huge earning potential of baby Psalm, who can't even control his own neck muscles yet, let alone go into business. Still, this brings a whole new meaning to "securing the bag."

Below, a list of all the things Kardashian West is seeking usage rights for.

Hair accessories

Barrettes

Bands

Bows

Clips

Ties

Ornaments

Pins

Scrunchies

Chopsticks

Twisters

Wrap

Hair extensions

Ornamental novelty pins

Entertainment services

Personal appearances

Skin care

Probiotic supplements

Toy figures

Doll accessories

Computer software

Clothing

Baby bottles

Furniture

Strollers

Beverageware

Swaddling

Blankets

Skin moisturizers

Lotions

Creams

Bubble bath

Fragrances

Body powders

Shower gels

Body oils

Skin serums

Nail polish

Nail polish remover

Nail care preparations

Puppets

Puzzles

Toy jewelry

Toy cameras

Toy food

Bath toys

Baby gyms

Playground balls

Electronic action toys

Baby bouncers

Baby changing tables

Baby walkers

Pillows

Mirrors

Cushions

Picture frames

Playpens

Baby carriers

Cosmetic bags

Toiletry cases

Duffle bags

Umbrellas

Clocks

Watches

Key chains

Calendars

Books

photo albums

Stationery

Stickers

Writing utensils

Collectible trading cards

True
FROM THE WORLD WIDE WEB
Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Well, actually it's crocodile, but she looks out of this world so...

Winnie Harlow walked the Cannes red carpet on Wednesday on her way to a screening of Oh Mercy!, wearing a showstopping gown.

The sheer black dress featured green embroidery on the front and back, which Ralph and Russo confirmed was in the shape of a crocodile. She belted the dress with a black crocodile skin-like belt and finished the look off with some strappy heels. She didn't leave it at just that. For beauty, Harlow packed on full lids of sparkly purple eyeshadow. She kept her hair sleek and simple.

Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Though the brand says otherwise, as Game of Thrones fans, we'd like to think the embroidery is reminiscent of a dragon's skin. Not to mention, Harlow looks out-of-this-world beautiful in it.

True
Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

That denim kimono!!

Marion Cotillard shut down the Cannes red carpet on Wednesday at a screening for Matthias Et Maxime. Instead of an extravagant gown that's expected of the event, Cotillard wore a matching black crop top and shorts. Despite wearing an outfit I typically don to a hot yoga class, she looks incredible. She completed the look with an oversized denim kimono, a statement necklace, and heeled booties.

Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

At first, I was drawn in by the crop top and hotpants duo, but, after looking closer at the kimono, it's clear that it's the real scene-stealer. The floor-length Balmain piece was decorated with artful rips and dragon motifs. I would like to live in it.

Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Let's all bow down to the Khaleesi of Cannes.

True
Asset 7
MORE in VIDEO
Photo by Frazer Harrison / Getty Images.

"It doesn't make you weak to ask for help"

Singer Billie Eilish is continuing to open up about mental health, this time in a new PSA video in partnership with the Ad Council and Seize the Awkward.

In the video, Eilish insists that "it doesn't make you weak to ask for help." She doubles down on the importance of asking for help, and stresses the importance of friends and family being there when their close ones reach out and checking in on them as well. "You should be able to ask anyone for help, everyone has to help someone if they need it." According to Eilish, there have been times when someone reached out to her at the exact moment she needed it, and it helped.

It was particularly refreshing to see Eilish acknowledge that there are things she still doesn't know and has to learn about her mental health. At the very beginning of the video, the interviewer asks her to reflect on her mental health journey, and all Eilish can do is let out chortle. "I think when people hear, 'Remember to take care of your mental health,' they think that everyone else is, and that is not at all accurate," she admitted. "You know, for me I'm trying to learn still to make sure that I stay okay."

Check out the PSA below.

Billie Eilish On Mental Health & Friendship | Ad Council www.youtube.com

Photograph via @kimkardashian.

"#NotOnMyMoodBoard"

Kim Kardashian has definitely been accused of borrowing a design now and then. But when Instagram influencer and Kardashian look-alike Kamilla Osman claimed the entrepreneur copied her birthday look for a Met Gala after-party, Kardashian was not going to let it fly—and shared plenty of photo evidence to shut down the claim.

Fashion industry watchdog Diet Prada first noticed Osman's claims on Instagram and shared side-by-side images of Kardashian's Cher-inspired outfit designed by Mugler and Osman's dress. "Never get confused with who 'inspires' who. They won't give you credit but they will copy," Osman wrote on her IG story. "I designed this dress for my birthday last year. Nobody had a dress like this was an original design."

Kardashian responded by posting the true inspiration behind her look: images of Cher, in similarly sparkly, plunging-neckline dresses and wigs, and of model Yasmeen Ghauri walking a Mugler show in the '90s. In fact, the only similarity between Osman's and Kardashian's looks is the bodycon mini-dress style, which the two are not the first to wear. Among the images, Kardashian included a blank slide with the hashtag "NotOnMyMoodBoard," making it clear that this was in response to Osman's claims.

Screenshot via @KimKardashian Instagram Stories

Screenshot via @KimKardashian Instagram Stories

Though I am with Kim on this one, Kardashian does have a history of co-opting other people's work. From being sued over her Kimoji app, to claims she copied makeup palettes and perfume bottle designs, to being accused of copying Naomi Campbell's entire style, it's far from the first (and probably, far from the last) time Kardashian's name will be mentioned like this.

True