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Sam Levinson’s Euphoria made waves when it debuted in 2019. The graphic content made the audience’s jaws drop from the very first episode. However, it wasn’t just the storylines that garnered attention. It was the different styles of the characters. In fact, Euphoria’s costume designs could almost be considered a character all on their own. Recently, the costume designer for the HBO series talked about the reasoning behind the characters’ looks.

'Euphoria' Season 2 stars Barbie Fierra, Alexa Demie, and Sydney Sweeney having a conversation in a high school bathroom.
‘Euphoria’ characters Kat, Maddy, and Cassie | Eddy Chen/HBO

Costume designer Heidi Bivens read ‘Euphoria’ Season 2 scripts to ‘empathize with characters’

While most of the characters in Euphoria have similar lifestyles (aside from Rue Bennett, played by Zendaya), they each have unique qualities that Bivens incorporates into their styles.

“I’m always looking for a way to communicate the story through costume. After I read the scripts, I’m trying to empathize with the characters and put myself in their place and imagine what it would be like to feel what these characters feel,” says Bivens in an interview with Variety.

Bivens explains the costume choices for ‘Euphoria’ characters Cassie and Maddy in season 2

It’s hard to imagine topping some of the clothes the characters wore in Euphoria Season 1. (Maddy Perez’s outfit at the carnival was iconic.) However, Bivens uses each character’s story over the past two seasons to create a specific look for each girl.

For Maddy, played by Alexa Demie, Bivens uses her “mean girl” persona as a starting point. The character often snaps at her friends and bosses them around. Maddy’s also completely aware of her sex appeal and uses it to her advantage.

Bivens told Variety she and Demie often collaborated on Maddy’s costumes, “She understands the idea that this character can be iconic. I think she understands that there is real opportunity there.”

Bivens took a different approach to Cassie’s costumes. Cassie’s storyline includes the character teetering toward the brink of a breakdown. The stress of keeping her relationship with Nate Jacobs a secret from Maddy keeps her in a constant state of turmoil. However, her overall style gives off the vibe that she doesn’t know who she is yet.

“For Cassie, it’s important for me that the fashion is really accessible because I think she’s someone who is trying to figure out who she is and who she wants to be — she wants people to perceive her as she’s presenting herself. She’s looking at a lot of other people in the world, whether it’s on social media or other people,” says Bivens


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Kat’s personal growth over the past two seasons influenced Biven’s costume choices for the character

When audiences first met Kat, her outfits seemed hastily thrown together. Her storyline in Euphoria Season 1 showed Kat becoming more confident with her sexual prowess as a woman. Bivens used that to help inspire Kat’s look in Euphoria Season 2.

“Kat grows up very fast over these two seasons,” Bivens says. “She’s light years away from when we first met her, so that was important to establish somehow with her costumes.” 

For more unique styles seen in Euphoria, catch all-new episodes on Sunday nights on both HBO and HBO Max.