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As fans know, the road to season two of "Los Espookys" was a long one.

The beloved HBO series co-created by Julio Torres and Ana Fabrega premiered in June 2019; an order for a second season was announced the following month. The team was already well into the new run of episodes when the pandemic shut down production in March 2020. It would be almost two years before they'd be able to come back together. (Fabrega announced they wrapped season two in February 2022.)

"The turn was very different, in terms of photography — the look, in general, changed," says Muriel Parra, who returns as costume designer, of the concept of the second season. "In my case, for costume design, I felt that in the first season, the characters had marked very clearly who they were. One of the beautiful things of 'Los Espookys' is that everything is possible. Anything can be done."

Fashion is an important piece in the wonderfully weird, weirdly wonderful puzzle that makes up the world of "Los Espookys." Especially with the core four, the way each character dresses is an extension of who they are — and, at times, as part of the joke. 

Meet los Espookys: Úrsula (Cassandra Ciangherotti), Renaldo (Bernardo Velasco), Andrés (Julio Torres) and Tati (Ana Fabrega).

Meet los Espookys: Úrsula (Cassandra Ciangherotti), Renaldo (Bernardo Velasco), Andrés (Julio Torres) and Tati (Ana Fabrega).

At first, Tati (played by Fabrega) might seem like a quiet wallflower, with her awkward newsboy cap and dated (though on the come-up) graphic tees, but she reveals herself to have a rich internal world and an ability to infinitely shape shift. Úrsula (Cassandra Ciangherotti) and Renaldo (Bernardo Velasco) fit into the stereotype of the alternative, occult-loving outcasts, dressing almost exclusively in chain-accented black; however, they, too, have layers, literal and figurative. Andrés (Julio Torres) makes himself the main character of any space he occupies, and his outfits reflect that to the nth degree.

The main difference between the sartorial vision for season one and that for season two, according to Parra, was that she, as a costume designer, felt more emboldened in her vision. She was able to shed any lingering fear that might hold her back, creatively, and lean into what makes "Los Espookys" so thrillingly fun. 

"The most that could happen would be that we'd say, 'Not so much' — but that rarely happened," she says. "The communication with Julio and Ana is quicker. We know each other better. I feel they're people whose heads are always fresh with new ideas."

Andrés and Tati. 

Andrés and Tati. 

The leveled-up costumes are imaginative in a way that's specific to "Los Espookys," but every so often, you see a direct line to our world. Though there weren't any major overhauls to the creative direction and scripts during the hiatus, Parra, her team and the co-creators had consumed plenty of content during that time at home, and they brought that back to set to expand on their existing ideas. 

"The creative thinking of two years ago isn't the same as the creative thinking of today," says Parra. "In that sense, there's always the possibility of adding new things… It was definitely going back to revise, to look at things and grab a few of these more up-to-date things — much more black, more sparkle, more gems. It was so fun going back and looking at those episodes with new inspiration." 

There are two germs of inspiration, in particular, that fashion lovers might pick up on in season two: Andrés' dark-cowboy turn in the last few episodes has a touch of Kim Jones' Western-inspired designs for Dior Men, while the moon's fully silver-sequined caped look from her celestial party is reminiscent of  Valentino's larger-than-life Fall 2020 haute couture collection, specifically the sparkly ensemble worn by Dua Lipa on "The Graham Norton Show." ("At some point during the pandemic, I posted it on Instagram, and Julio said, 'That could be the moon!' That stayed in my head.")

The costumes of "Los Espookys" are a mix of custom-builds (especially for the more out-there characters like Andrés, the moon and the planets) and pieces bought by the wardrobe team (primarily for characters that Parra describes as "more classic and neutral," like Úrsula, Renaldo, Tico and Tati.)

A focused Tati.

A focused Tati.

"[Tati] is an intellectual character, with an interminable interior world," says Parra. "Her sensibility might be in details that aren't as perceptible… It's a very special [kind of] humor." This stands in stark contrast with Andrés, who's the polar opposite, literally wearing his persona on his sleeve.

Úrsula and Renaldo fit more into the more familiar punk-slash-goth aesthetic, but Parra pushes those elements further in season two.

Úrsula, in her shorts.

Úrsula, in her shorts.

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"Úrsula, I feel like she starts shedding certain layers," she says. "We maintained certain things, like with the colors and the textures, but she became much more whole and neutral in the black, and less gendered. We discover she wears these long shorts, which Cassandra also felt very comfortable and free in; she was less stereotyped in this darker world, which is closer to Renaldo's."

Renaldo still loves his chains, metal jewelry and graphic patterns in the latest run, but we see a more alluring side to him, especially as he's followed by the spirit of a pageant queen. "I liked that in the last few episodes, we used things that were more fitted, more attractive, more that could interest a character like our chained queen," says Parra. "He became more attractive as a man, not as comic book-y."

Renaldo bares arms in season two.

Renaldo bares arms in season two.

Tico (Fred Armisen) is the only core character whose wardrobe remains largely unchanged between seasons. "We even repeated certain clothes he used in the first season," says Parra. "Fred asked to not change much. As a designer, you always try to introduce new things or open new paths, but Fred was very structured — like, 'That wouldn't be Tico.'"

Then, there’s Andrés, which Parra describes as the "most intense" of the Espookys crew, costume-wise.

Andrés as a staircase salesman. 

Andrés as a staircase salesman. 

"Andrés' world is interminable, creative, spatial… He could be here, but he could be in another world. It's fascinating, creatively," sars Parra. "Don’t forget that Julio is very present in all of his ideas. I feel he co-designs a lot. I present him with things that I feel interpret what’s in his head, but he decides a lot. The alarm is always his laugh: If Julio sees something and laughs, it's like, 'Okay, this will work.'"

Parra has worked with Torres outside "Los Espookys" — namely on his outfits for his 2019 HBO special, "My Favorite Shapes." Their now multi-year, multi-project partnership has allowed them to not only understand each other's sensibilities better, but also to build on ideas across mediums.

"If you look at my work with Julio, there's always been a theme of handiwork, of detail; in all of the things I see on his Instagram or in the worlds that he invents, there's always this through-line of objects having life," he says. "All the details on the clothing can have a meaning. It becomes infinite, the amount of creativity that one can put on a hat, on a chain, on something hanging from a glove. Julio, in that sense, is very free in his imagination, so that opens up a whole other world."

Andrés and Úrsula, plotting.

Andrés and Úrsula, plotting.

There's a similar dialogue happening between Parra and Fabrega about Tati. "Ana has a very detailed sensibility," she says. "Sometimes I feel that there are things that'll resonate with her that don't get there, and there are others that I'm not too sure about that feel super fun and logical for Tati. It's very demanding, this character. I always have to be very alert."

Beyond the style evolution of the Espookys gang, season two introduces a pretty spectacular new character: the moon, played by Academy Award-nominated actor Yalitza Aparacio. Her everyday look consists of a silver sequin-covered bodysuit, complete with an attached headpiece. Then, at one point, she hosts a party for all stellar entities — and adds a matching cape.  

The moon (Yalitza Aparicio), a new character in season two.

The moon (Yalitza Aparicio), a new character in season two.

"That was an idea from pre-pandemic," says Parra, of the party. "I remember talking to Julio about it and deciding it could be normal people that have a little something, a detail that makes you go, 'Oh, that's Saturn.'" They got to the point of doing fittings when the pandemic hit, and the team was forced apart for almost two years. By the time they got back to set, armed with new references and streams of inspiration from months spent in isolation, they decided to think bigger: "Every idea that came to our heads, we were able to execute. There wasn't any restriction." 

As far as what the future might hold for "Los Espookys," Parra just hopes for the opportunity to be able to play more.

"I hope we get a third season, that we can keep traveling with this imagination and craziness, that hopefully people like my work and that of my colleagues and that we get scripts that are more and more extravagant," she says.

New episodes of "Los Espookys" premiere on Fridays at 11 p.m. ET on HBO.

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