Are costume designers the next trend-setters?
If anybody can claim to have established the rules of fashion in 2022—from Wednesday Addams’ wonderfully gothic attire to Jennifer Coolidge’s bombshell looks in The White Lotus to Euphoria’s excessive makeup—the it’s costume designers of streaming series, not the influencers. The most sought-after and best-selling clothing of the recent period has a cameo appearance in our Netflix&Chill evenings in common, and the data supports this. Examples include House of Sunny waistcoats, Prada lace-ups, crystals for the face, and more. With Emily in Paris, sales of pre-owned Chanel items skyrocketed, and at the start of the lockdown, the silver chain worn by Connell Waldron in Normal People became a must-have in jewelry boxes in English-speaking nations. Searches for the word Euphoria on Depop increased by over 345% and on Vestiaire Collective by 275% compared to the month before the release of the second season in January. While we have previously praised TikTok’s extraordinary ability to magically cause any product to sell out, estimations suggest that TV shows are the real marketing Holy Grail. With the image culture controlling trends in everything from beauty to apparel, the same productions that in the 1990s had the capacity to send American adolescent girls en masse to the hairdresser with a photo of Jennifer Aniston in their breast pockets are now thriving.
The timeless appeal of Princess Diana’s wardrobe, which was revived with the release of the fifth season of The Crown in November, can also be credited to Pam & Tommy. Thanks to Pam & Tommy, Pamela Anderson’s distinctive style has become a point of reference for Gen Z, so much so that it has earned its own core (the “Pamcore”) In fact, Lady D’s revenge dress was the most influential on-screen fashion moment of the year, according to Lyst’s 2022 ranking, to the point where the hashtag for the look garnered more than 101.7 million views on TikTok and searches for “off-the-shoulder black dresses” and “sweetheart necklines” shot through the roof. While HBO Max’s Gossip Girl reboot introduced the preppy “dark academia” trend, causing a surge in searches for varsity jackets (+53%), checked waistcoats (+47%), and turtleneck shirts (+34%), the Regencycore trend reflected a surge in interest in corsets and Bridgerton-style dresses, with a peak of 11.5 million views on the Chinese platform. The Tim Burton-produced Netflix series, however, broke all previous records. It is not only the second-most watched series on the streaming service, but it is also trending on TikTok with the hashtag #wednesdayoutfits (+2.3 million views), where users share their own tips for recreating Jenna Ortega’s black prom dress or creating Wednesday-inspired shopping lists on Shein. Prada was the most cited brand in the program as a result of the goth teenager’s Monolith lace-ups, which generated $1.4 million in media effect. And the outfit designers deserve a lot of the praise.
The people behind this unmatched media buzz have names and faces, ranging from four-time Oscar winner and Tim Burton collaborator Colleen Atwood to Patricia Field, who for many years was in charge of Carrie Bradshaw’s iconic looks and is currently battling Emily in Paris. They also include Heidi Bivens from Euphoria and Alex Bovaird from The White Lotus. Sometimes facilitated (or forced) in their decisions by a brand, entrusted with providing the looks for the characters of a given production – as was the case with the numerous Fendi baguettes worn by the protagonist of…And Just Like That – other times left to their own devices in the laborious task of characterizing or building the evolution of a character through the narrative tool of clothing. A media that can influence sales and entire markets by influencing public tastes in addition to conveying hints, hidden meanings, and the essence of the protagonists in a single glance.