We’ve been massive fans of costume designer Jenn Rogien for her creativity and attention to detail on HBO’s series Girls since the very beginning — what with Shoshanna’s velour sweatsuits, Marnie’s “Ann Taylor” interview outfits, Adam’s invisible shirts and, perhaps best of all, Hannah’s inexplicable hooded sleeping bag with arm holes. And by the looks of a freshly released trailer, we’re thinking Season 3, which premieres in January, won’t be any different.
Amidst the montage of clips from the upcoming season, our eagle eyes (OK we wear corrective lenses, SO WHAT) spotted Ms. Horvath, played by the show’s creator Lena Dunham, wearing a tee that appears to be embellished with plastic lizards — see the screen grab above. We knew we’d seen it somewhere before — this isn’t the kind of item you easily forget. But where? After Googling various combinations of the words ‘lizard,’ ‘figurines,’ ‘tee,’ and ‘fashion’ and a lot of guttural groaning, we found it — in an Etsy shop! Doesn’t get much more grassroots than that.
Toy Syndrome, a shop run out of New York by 26-year-old Natalya Nyn who — according to her bio — graduated from FIT and has apprenticed under Oscar de la Renta, sells hand-embellished tees and accessories, most involving small plastic reptilian figurines. (Rogien confirmed to us that Hannah’s tee was indeed from Toy Syndrome’s shop.) Toy Syndrome’s designs can also be purchased through its own site and at Patricia Field in NYC. The exact top worn by Hannah on the show goes for $45.
We reached out to Nyn, who told us how her tee (now dubbed ‘The Lena‘) ended up in Dunham’s hands — and the answer was way more adorable than we could’ve expected.
“I was having lunch at Madison Square Park, and, by some amazing luck, Girls happened to be filming next to the park,” Nyn, a big fan of the show and Dunham, told us via email. “So I see Lena by her trailer, and what the hell, I decided to approach her. She was super sweet and down to earth and loved the top. I had no idea that she would post it on her Instagram or wear it on the show!!!!! I am really lucky and grateful.”
If anything, Nyn’s story proves that one, Lena Dunham is awesome, and two, sometimes it just pays to ask. You never know when your bravery and handiwork with tiny faux animals could land your work front and center on a super buzzy, internationally broadcast television show.