It's not news that Euphoria has been an enormous success. The plot, the great artists involved, the movement of the cameras, the intriguing soundtrack that inspired millions of Tik Toks, the makeup, and the fashion altogether create the narrative of the emotional journey of five high school girls. The plot represents many situations and problems that young American people face. The juxtaposition of these realistic and dramatic matters against fantasy makeup and fashion-forward Euphoria clothes is spectacular. The dramatic styling of the main characters takes us to the emotional world of these characters, making us find the girls intriguing.
Euphoria's fashion is part of the story. The narrative wouldn't be the same without the glittery eye shadows on Rue's eyes, Kat's empowering clothes, Maddy's aspirational journey through fashion, or Jules's alien-inspired styling.
The Euphoria characters use clothing as a form of expression. Let's take a look at how their narrative is portrayed in this spectacular award-winning styling that is inspiring so many trends and emerging fashion talents.
Euphoria and drama: Cassie's emotional crisis
Many movies and TV shows have covered the story of a man cheating on his girlfriend with the girlfriend's best friend. However, in Euphoria, fashion played a crucial role in illustrating Cassie's emotional journey.
Through the two seasons, we see Cassie as a beautiful girl who doesn't struggle to find men's attention but ends up filling empty and alone when she realizes they were only attracted to her physically and not emotionally.
So when Cassie feels connected with Nate, and Nate gets distant from her, Cassie wants to get his attention. With what seemed to be 3 to 4-hour morning beauty rituals, Cassie did her hair and makeup and experimented with different fashion styles that Nate might find attractive. Playing with colors, textures, flattering, flamboyant, minimal, and bold styles, Cassie tries to find approval from Nate through her clothes. And it seemed that she would only feel comfortable in her clothes once Nate looked her in the eyes again.
Most of us have an established fashion style in which we feel comfortable. The style evolves because our personality changes with fashion trends, our surroundings, our age, and our interests. But this tends to be a slow process that, for the most part, isn't radical. Cassie's radical fashion changes accurately illustrate her identity crisis, not knowing who she is because she is too worried about who she should be. The scene escalates to the point where she feels joy for a couple of seconds after Nate finally smiles at her again, he looks at her clothes, and he seems to be interested in Cassie again. Moments later, we see that Cassie is wearing clothes aligned with Maddy's style. Was Cassie trying to become Maddy in the process of getting Nate's interest? How much is she willing to sacrifice to get his approval?
There's also an element of guilt in betraying her best friend that makes the whole situation particularly stressful. Fashion can help us mask our emotions, but they often reveal what we are trying to hide. In Cassie's case, it was the latter.
The drama and fascinating plot around these characters wouldn't be so engaging if the clothes didn't accurately represent the story of each character. As we saw in the first episodes of season 1, each character has a rich personality with a strong background full of experiences that make us feel empathy for them at some point.
Euphoria fashion: Kat Hernandez
A character whose fashion truly stands out is Kat. Kat's fashion evolution is fascinating because it is truly a celebration of plus-size beauty, confronting body shaming and the outdated idea that plus-size figures should be hidden behind loose layers of fabric. Kat's fashion is not just empowering in that sense, but it is truly inspirational and fashion-forward.
There is a nice element of storytelling through Kat's clothes. In the first episodes, she wears minimal makeup and fairly simple clothes. As the character evolves, she becomes bolder and gains self-confidence connecting with her sexuality. Her makeup looks vary and are experimental, as well as her clothes. We see Kat finding her true voice with bold colors and styles, and we even see how her friends start to perceive her differently.
Unlike Cassie's journey looking for a fashion style, Kat seems to find comfort in these clothes, and she is looking to be satisfied with how she looks without seeking people's approval. Kat's edgy style advances and intensifies to the point where her best friend tells her in the last episode of the first season: "I really miss the old Kat."
Euphoria and Gender Roles: Jules's Journey Through Womanhood
When we first met Jules in Season 1, we saw a girl who wore very soft colors and feminine clothes. Pastels, skirts, cute jewelry, and feminine hairstyles were some ways in which this character expressed herself during the first episodes of the first season. The soft colors of Jules make a huge contrast with the darkness and boldness of Kat and Maddie's fashion. So we see a difference in personalities beautifully illustrated with a contrast of colors throughout the scenes.
As her story continues, she struggles to define her womanhood. At some point, she realizes she was pursuing her femininity on behalf of men's approval, leaving her a sense of emptiness and disconnection with herself. This is how Rue's love helped her to overcome this perception and find her womanhood and authenticity with the characteristics that make Jules unique.
Toward the end of the first season, we started to see Jules with bolder colors and eclectic fashion. During the second season, when she got distant from Rue and spent some time with herself without really looking for anyone's approval, we see Jules expressing herself with androgynous clothes that seem less pretentious and more honest about who she is.
We also see lots of fantasy makeup in Jules. Eyeshadows with colors, textures, and shapes that most young people wouldn't use to go to school, yet the character truly represents many matters about young generations in the 21st century.
Euphoria's great styling makes us see the evolution of Jules's character through the story, which is intriguing and fascinating.
Euphoria style: Rue's Ups and Downs illustrated in makeup
Rue's style might not be as visually attractive as the others, but it is true to Rue's story and emotional journey. In fact, Rue might be the character with the deepest emotional connection to clothing and styling.
That maroon hoodie has become such an important element in Rue's narrative that HBO created one for the fans.
We see Rue wearing a maroon hoodie throughout a huge part of the first season. The hoodie belonged to Rue's dad, and we see the main character deeply attached to it. She wears it to school and at her house, and it is essentially a form of cocoon for her where she finds comfort during her sadness and anxious moments.
For Rue, makeup played a key role in illustrating her emotions in such a dramatic and visual way that it may have started a whole trend around makeup and glitter. We see Rue with a considerable emphasis on makeup under the eyes and very little eyeshadow. This glitter below the eyes illustrates the sadness of the main character and how she seeks calm through drugs. The character herself admits how drugs don't really make her sadness disappear, and there are way more negative consequences to her addiction than positive ones. So this glittery makeup becomes an artistic way of representing Rue's attempt to cover her sadness through drugs. Sadness prevails as "easy" or "cool" as it may be to try drugs and feel temporary pleasure.
In the second season, we see Rue wearing different clothes, although she still relies on dark and toned-down colors.
Euphoria aesthetic: Maddy's biggest dreams through clothes
We know that Maddy works as a babysitter, and there are many scenes when we see her daydreaming about being a wealthy woman who wears expensive jewelry and high fashion, the way the mom she babysits for does.
Walking through someone's closet and celebrating what fashion and wealth together can do, is one of Maddy's biggest passions. It is exciting to see Maddy's clothes and fashion moments throughout the series. Unlike other characters, it doesn't seem like Maddy hesitates about her style or the clothes she should wear. For this young woman, it is all about using clothes as a form to express herself and celebrate who she is.
It is hard to go wrong with a little black dress. There are endless possibilities when it comes to styling, and it's all about finding the right fit and the right style for your personality and the occasion. One of the fans' favorites is the little black dress Maddy wore for the New Year's Eve party in the first episode of the second season. It is the spartan sandals, the hairstyle, and the makeup that make this dress so empowering, but maybe it's Maddy's confidence that makes this whole look so aspirational and empowering.
For Maddy's style, it is fascinating to see how there is a lot of retro inspiration from the 60s and the 90s.
We see colorful monograms, full denim outfits, edgy makeup, and an authentic style that has helped to bring back some styles from the 90s to the Gen Z consumer.
Although there aren't any memorable fashion statements in Nate's styling, there is a reason behind the clothes he wears. We don't see this character wearing colors with high chroma (bright reds, blues, greens). We see him wearing classic prints like plaids or stripes, but we don't see florals or high-contrast graphics.
In Nate's plotline, we know that he is carrying a lot of thoughts and emotions. The relationship between his mom and dad is very toxic, as well as the relationship with his brother, who he attacked so hard that he ended up in the hospital with several injuries and mobility restrictions. (Not to mention he later blackmailed him and ended up in jail for the attack on Maddy that Nate was responsible for).
Nate's colors in his clothing are toned down because they represent his sadness and darkness behind the athletic body and attractive smile the people around him praise him for. Through the two seasons, we see an unhappy and frustrated Nate making all kinds of aggressive decisions, thinking he is protecting the people who loved him and cared about him. Toward the end of the second season, Nate changes his mind and decides to break ties with some people around him and starts to make some decisions that most of us would think are "the right thing to do." This important change makes us question how Nate will show up to the third season of Euphoria and how his clothes will represent this new person he is becoming after he decides to stop talking to his dad for good.