Heidi Bivens, the costume designer for HBO’s hit series “Euphoria,” discussed how she created each character’s Halloween costume in the latest episode of Variety Artisans presented by HBO.
Because series creator Sam Levinson wrote in costume cues for each episode’s script, Bivens felt she was able to execute his vision to the fullest extent. For her work on the Emmy-nominated episode “The Next Episode,” in which all of the characters attend a Halloween party, Bivens wanted to make sure that the actors also had a say in their twilight looks.
“With the Halloween costumes, I would collaborate with the actors and actresses in fittings,” Bivens said. “Because we had a visual reference for each character that already existed, then it was a question of ‘How would the character from the show interpret who they wanted to be for Halloween and where would they get there costume and how would they put it together?'”
But, these weren’t typical Halloween costumes. Zendaya’s character Rue dressed up as golden age actress Marlene Dietrich, Hunter Schafer’s character Jules was Juliet from Baz Luhrmann’s 1996 adaptation of “Romeo and Juliet,” Maude Apatow’s Lexi was Bob Ross and Barbie Ferreira’s character Kat was a nun from “Ms. 45.”
“I knew from the visual reference that Sam [Levinson] had given me that [Rue] would be wearing a tux. Zendaya had worn a lot of boys’ clothes in larger sizes so they’d fit her, so I immediately thought, ‘I’ll get a little boys’ tux,'” Bivens said. “For Jules with ‘Romeo and Juliet,’ we found that dress vintage which was fantastic, it was on Etsy or Ebay, and then we recreated it for the pool scene.”
Beyond the intricacies of Halloween costumes, Bivens worked with Levinson to make sure each “Euphoria” character stood out with their everyday fashion.
“Each character had their own color story, that was a way that I could really differentiate,” Bivens said. “Kat’s primary color is red, Maddy is purple and jewels and Hunter [Jules] from the beginning was very pink and candy colors and that sort of moved into more orange and acid green.”
Bivens hopes that her costume design can encourage teenagers who connected with the characters on the show to take some fashion risks of their own.
“Sam [Levinson] gave me the license to be free with it and not have to stick solely to what I considered to be realistic. He was really wanting to push it visually and that was more important than authenticity necessarily. When you have the freedom to do that in a show like this, it can change the way people think about clothes out in the world,” Bivens said. “If someone, for example, in their life didn’t have the self-confidence to dress like some of the characters on the show, in seeing the show they might be inspired to think outside of their normal box.”
Watch the full video above.