Style lovers have to wait until the third episode of season two of ‘Killing Eve’ before our erstwhile tutu-wearing anti-hero gets her fashion mojo back. But without Villanelle stealing all the attention, viewers can focus on the other characters, leading to some gratifying conclusions.
Villains — and Villanelle — don’t always get the best costumes
With Villanelle confined to skanky T-shirts and crocs for several hours, the fashion honours are snatched by Carolyn Martens, Fiona Shaw’s MI6 boss lady. With her repertoire of Max Mara and Margaret Howell-esque collarless coats, tunic shirts and slim trousers, and her delectable Farrow & Ball home, she’s the only real grown-up in the room.
In-between colours win out in the end
While Villanelle is all try-hard flashy labels and head-to-toe surges of raging-narcissist brights, Shaw is all in-between shades of moss, slate and white. You know this woman shops at Liberty and listens to Philip Glass.
Fashion sells, but don’t oversell fashion
The temptation to go mad, designer wise, must have been intense after the “Molly Goddard moment” in the first season, in which a little-known British designer was catapulted onto the global stage when Villanelle wore one of her bright pink tutu frocks. After all, it’s Fashion Pops like these that give otherwise psycho killers a lease of life on Instagram that their gruesome tendencies might otherwise not allow. Clever, then, to rein back Villanelle’s designer togs in the first few episodes, and make the clothes character-driven. So, as Eve gains confidence, her previously schlocky wardrobe of anoraks and bad T-shirts sleekifies — is that a genuinely acceptable trench in episode four? Her major moment of defiance? When she pins up her hair, having been told by Villanelle that it suits her down, and starts to borrow from Carolyn’s muted style book.
Clothes really are a window to the soul
As Villanelle’s stomach wound miraculously heals, the terrible saggy T-shirts and sad joggers she pinched from the launderette are replaced by silver Isabel Marant trousers, velvet Chloe jackets, Jason Wu and McQueen couture... So far, so in character. Another delicious style apercu comes when Zoe Wanamaker’s gloriously foul-mouthed British intelligence officer launches into a rampage of Chaucerian insults — perfectly in keeping, psychologically, with the ostensibly unassuming cardi and grey trousers she’s wearing, once you clock a zany scarf and stripy socks.
Men’s style can be Insta bait, too
Witness dastardly silver fox Konstantin’s natty looks. Russian thugs have come a long way since KGB suits.
Crocs are never appropriate
Having to steal a pair from the hospital causes Villanelle visible pain. She probably did the robbed medic a favour, though. Adam Kay — the junior doctor turned comedian — recounts in This Is Going to Hurt, his highly readable account of his NHS career, that even among the least senior staff, Crocs were despised footwear.
Sheet masks are effective — but not chic
Reminding us that many beauty treatments make us all look like sociopaths.
Sustainability is for the good guys
Villanelle’s cartoon kerpow PJs, made by FunkiFabrics, are 82 per cent polyester. You hardly expected her to care about the environment, did you?
Villanelle’s self-knowledge is around zero
“Loser,” she scoffs, dismissing a would-be fan who wants to post her picture on Instagram. This while sipping a canal-side cappuccino dressed in a delectable bubblegum pink blouse, salmon-pink ball skirt, and earrings the size of a barge — the ultimate LOOK-AT-ME outfit. Is this the definition of a sociopath?