So, when we got the opportunity to interview the show’s costume designer Jenn Rogien, we were over the moon with excitement. Rogien was a pleasure to talk to and I could tell she genuinely loves her enviable job costuming one of television’s hottest, buzziest shows and working with its talented writers.
We’re also glad our interview took place after season one had ended because that meant we got to chat about how the characters’ style developed throughout and learn all about that *spoiler alert* surprise wedding–arguably the show’s most important fashion moment thus far. (Also interesting: Refinery29 speculates that actress Jemima Kirke’s just-announced pregnancy is going to be written into the show and that was the reason for the seemingly random wedding.)
Read on to learn all about that, as well as Adam’s perpetual shirtlessness, that feathered amazingess that Jessa wore to the Bushwick rager, what to expect from season two and an interesting phenomenon she’s started experiencing: seeing people on the street dressed like Girls characters. Hmmm.
Fashionista: How do you feel Hannah’s style has evolved from the beginning of the season to the end of the season?
Jenn Rogien: It’s such a short period of time in our story. It’s a little bit more of the costumes folding into their adventure, and a little less of an evolution. It was more about the situations that they get themselves in and adapt their look to that particular episode. Hannah probably had the most obvious evolution because her look was going along with the growth of her relationship with Adam. In the episodes where they are together, her look definitely takes on a little bit of influence from his world. His pajamas, his athletic wear, which I think Hannah would never wear [otherwise].
Speaking of Adam, he almost never wears a shirt. Was that something that you thought of or was written into the script?
It was requested in some of our very early meetings [that Adam not wear a shirt] before I had seen much of the script. I was very game, and Adam was very game. As we got [more of the] script we started to understand that it was a very specific part of his character.
Another unforgettable look: Jessa’s feather outfit at the Bushwick party. What was that?
Funny enough, that actual piece is something that we had found for an entirely different character much earlier in the season, and when I sent the photos, Lena said, “Hold on to that. Whatever you do, do not send it back; there’s going to be a place for that in an upcoming episode.” We held onto it, and when the script came out [for the Bushwick episode], and the description was of an ethereal, birdlike ensemble, we knew exactly what they were talking about.
The dress itself was a piece from the 1930s. I didn’t know if it was going to hold up the production demands for the show, so we remade it so it could travel through the fight and the hospital and the potential blood. The look has to be right, but there is also a practical demand that we have to take into consideration for every single piece.
Where do you source most of the clothes? Do you borrow clothes from PR companies or fashion houses?
We go all over. It’s very character-driven and it’s very script-driven and I want every piece to support the story, and for Girls specifically, we end up going places that would be realistic for the characters. There’s a ton of vintage with a ton of thrift. We spend a lot of time in Williamsburg. We love H&M. We love Zara.
Is there much designer or is it more thrift store and high street?
Very real girl. And that’s one of the things I love about the show is that a lot of TV has become really brand-driven and we had a little bit of both but the primary inspiration in the shopping is what these girls really do. There are some pretty amazing designer pieces, whether they are vintage or whether they’re time well spent at Century 21. We’ve gotten some really amazing things at Loehmann’s and Century 21. And yeah we pick a bit from the occasional showroom–I have some great relationships with some people that I’ve been working with for years that I absolutely love, and it happened to be the right thing for the show.
Juicy details on collaborating with Lena and putting together the wedding looks on page two!