5 Fashion Lessons to Steal From TV Characters in 2020

Some of the most compelling small-screen characters are reinforcing some big fashion ideas for 2020.

For example, Villanelle from “Killing Eve” has proven over time that she is equal parts fashion influencer and assassin. Her ensembles are as innovative and unpredictable as she is. One outfit, in particular, solidifies her influential status: a larger-than-life pink volume dress and combat boots worn in Season 1. Today, this look is one of the most sought-after for the new year, available in trend-forward stores like Zara. Similarly, Alex Levy, Jennifer Aniston’s character on “The Morning Show,” is worth noticing for her style. Her look is a lesson in refined polish and her outerwear, in particular, is masterfully executed. In the later episodes of the season, Alex donned looks based around vests, an item anticipated to be a big fashion story for 2020.

Here are five characters who appear to have advance intelligence on the fashion stories worth paying attention to in the future.

Jodie Comer as Villanelle in “Killing Eve
Fashion Lesson – Play with contradictions

It should come as no surprise that Villanelle tops the list. Her exquisite fashion is nothing short of high style. After all, she lives in Paris, the world’s fashion capital. Looking back on Season 1, Villanelle introduced one of the biggest fashion ideas for 2020: A volume dress worn with a combat boot. If you’ve watched “Killing Eve” closely from the beginning, then you most likely haven’t forgotten the scene where Villanelle wears emerging designer Molly Goddard’s large-scale bubblegum pink chiffon gown. The mountains of fabric overtake the seat cushions of the entire couch during a scene where her sanity to continue in her role as assassin is being assessed. Her black bra straps are exposed to remind us of her sensuality underneath the babydoll style (in case we forgot) only to reveal black combat boots when she stands up. The look is electrifying. In a world that only Phoebe Waller-Bridge is clever enough to dream up, assassins wear the color pink; a color that evolves in Season 2 as one of Villanelle’s “signatures.” Villanelle’s dualities are reinforced in this very specific volume dress/combat boot look — an idea that will be important for 2020. For a cool girl effect, pairing elements that seem diametrically opposed is key.


Rachel Brosnahan as Miriam “Midge” Maisel in “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Fashion Lesson – Don’t be afraid to wear and mix color

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” overwhelms the senses in the best way possible, tugging at our affection for nostalgia while simultaneously introducing a universe of color and imagination. Looking forward to 2020, one of the biggest fashion stories to emerge is monochromatic dressing in every shade from beige to fuschia. Even though “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” is specifically focused on traditional late-’50s/early ’60s ensembles (something we won’t be seeing), the show’s expansive color palette and mixture of colors is exactly the spirit designers and stylists are going for in the new year. Midge Maisel’s ensembles reinforce her boldness, resilience and fearlessness. Susie Myerson, her manager, often says throughout the show, that Midge has “guts,” which clearly is not exclusive to stand-up. As we look ahead to 2020, we all need to take a page out of this style playbook. Whether it is investing in a suit in a bold hue like red or wearing a cream colored knit with cream trousers, fashion for 2020 is about having the conviction to wear one head to toe color, including the accessories. For extra credit, experiment mixing tonalities within one hue.

Asia Kate Dillon as Taylor in BILLIONS (Season 4, Episode 08, "Fight Night"). - Photo: Jeff Neumann/SHOWTIME - Photo ID: BILLIONS_408_852.R.JPG

Asia Kate Dillon as Taylor Mason on “Billions
Fashion Lesson – Invest in a suit

Asia Kate Dillon’s role on “Billions” has started a fashion conversation around gender fluidity. Dillon is non-binary and uses singular “they” pronouns. The role of Taylor Mason on “Billions” is the first non-binary main character on a television show in America. Their suit-based ensembles speak to the changing conversation happening in fashion right now. Fashion trends are also moving toward the non-binary. Just when many might have thought casual Friday style was de rigueur, fashion has other plans. Suits are not only meant for the interior of a boardroom. The retail offerings are rich right now, from the more traditional styles seen on “Billions” to bolder styles in vivid color.

Morngin Show - Season 1 | Episode 6 Jennifer Aniston in “The Morning Show,” now streaming on Apple TV+.

Jennifer Aniston as Alex Levy on “The Morning Show
Fashion Lesson – Invest in outerwear and try a vest for 2020

Alex Levy, anchor of the show within a show “The Morning Show,” may be unraveling beneath the surface, but her wardrobe tells another story. Her impeccable outerwear appears to be holding her together amidst unnerving change. Her look is exacting, a display of classics that are always in fashion. Highlights include a statement belted wool coat in iconic red, a must-have camel coat, the perfect trench, a green safari jacket and a lust-worthy duster-length camel vest. Levy’s outwear is tailored, classic and luxurious. For 2020, vest looks appear to be on the rise after a dormant period. If any television character can serve as a style guide on how to pull off a vest, it’s Levy. While it remains to be seen whether vests will ring the register, everyone can benefit from investing in a status coat.

Regina King as Angela Abar in “Watchmen
Fashion Lesson: Invest in a statement leather piece

While drawing ideas from a slightly altered reality might feel unnatural at first, Regina King’s character Angela Abar in “Watchmen” confirms that fashion exists on all planes. Her signature leather hooded trench-style cloak feels high fashion (think Rick Owens/Gareth Pugh) and powerful. Right now, fashion is celebrating the look of statement leather pieces in real and vegan leather alike. In many cases, vegan leather is fashion’s most desirable leather. The leather trench is emerging as one of 2020’s power pieces. In addition to a statement leather trench, there are several other choices to consider, including paper-bag pants, button-down shirts, leather shirtdresses and even new takes on the ubiquitous puffer coats. Abar’s signature hooded cloak confirms the superhero status of leather for the year ahead.

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