by Stella Hughes
8 min

This is not a drill – Euphoria is back. Returning to our screens on 9 January after two and a half years and a fair helping of Covid-related delays, the teen drama seemingly took over the world when it dropped in 2019. People quickly got attached to the messy plots, heart-wrenching characters, but most of all, the looks.

The show was a cultural moment, with its intense, rhinestone-heavy makeup looks changing the face of beauty at the time. Gems and graphic liner took off, catalysing an industry-wide shift into more experimental, editorial looks taking the limelight. It didn’t stop at the makeup, though – many of the outfits from the show sold out upon its release, as well as being clowned for their sometimes questionable association with high-schoolers. The guys of the show bring a streetwear edge to its style, which is only set to be amped up in season two, if that first episode was anything to go by. In honour of season two dropping, we’re taking a closer look at Euphoria’s impact on fashion, from moments to memes.

However – as Zendaya has warned – the show isn’t all glitter and whirlwind romances. As season one skyrocketed in popularity thanks to TikTok, especially amongst younger viewers, Zendaya issued a statement on Instagram stressing that Euphoria is for mature audiences and “deals with subject matter that can be triggering and difficult to watch”.

Costume director Heidi Bivens told Love magazine that her styling and design choices for Euphoria were inspired by “real teens”, using a combination of emerging designers, fast fashion and luxury threads to craft each characters’ aesthetic. And whilst the looks were certainly out there, they were widely praised for their unique and more realistic depiction of Gen Z fashion at the time.

Arguably the most iconic episode for fashion in season one was the Carnival, which saw the cast head to a local fair to continue the drama. Dressed in a purple cutout two-piece from I.AM.GIA to deliver one of the most memorable lines of the series, Alexa Demie’s character Maddy saw the set sell out globally. When TikTok blew up a year later, the line from this scene became a viral sound on the app, leading to a second wave of the set selling out, as well as the brand bringing out the design in multiple colourways. Copycat designs started popping up everywhere, and now reside in the fast fashion universe, often just titled ‘euphoria set’


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No high school drama is complete without a coming of age moment. Season one saw Kat, played by Barbie Ferreira, becoming an online dominatrix in her spare time between class – as you do. However, this aesthetic stuck, and saw her experiment with deep colours, corsets and chokers as an antidote to the light glitter stuck on characters elsewhere. Her private life continued to bleed into her fashion choices throughout, as we later see her in a harness and red leather choker for a casual shopping trip.

On the other end of the spectrum is Rue – the show’s tortured protagonist, played by none other than CFDA fashion icon Zendaya. We saw Rue’s style as relaxed, toned down, and utilitarian. The looks featured lots of oversized silhouettes and cargos – trends that snowballed after the show’s release and are only set to get bigger for 2022.


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In terms of the guys in the show, Bivens went with a more realistic aesthetic that leaned heavily into the silhouettes and style of streetwear. In Season one, we see McKay (played by Algee Smith) don outfits which blend streetwear and sportswear. Hoodies are oversized, and shirts plaid. His character prioritises outerwear, often pairing a statement jacket with a plain tee, but also wearing a selection of key Supreme pieces as the series develops.

Elsewhere, we see Fezco be a little more experimental in his style, and if the first episode of season 2 is anything to go by, this too is a streetwear-heavy reference for Bivens. Played by Angus Cloud, who was cast from walking down the street in NYC, we see lots of Palace and Supreme – even down to underwear. Speaking to GQ, Cloud says that they understand his personal style and have tried to replicate that with his character, Fez, who noted that “they love to work with the actors and ask them what they’re comfortable wearing”. He even wore his own shirt in the pilot, for added authenticity.


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A new character which we saw introduced in the first episode of season two is Elliot – who also seems to be taking the streetwear baton and running with it, from what we’ve seen so far. Played by Dominic Fike, Elliot appears at the party in cargos and a white logo tee. However, Bivens has told Vogue that we can expect to see his style start to bleed into Rue and Jules’, as their relationship becomes more intense and intertwined. Watch this space.

Everyone has their favourite Euphoria beauty look, and it was a major part of what made season one so iconic. The show became as synonymous with rhinestones as it did with teen hedonism – think Skins, but make it sparkly. The work of makeup designer Doniella Davy, the makeup looks were known for the bold colours, editorial nature, and experimentation.


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Take Maddy’s (played by Alexa Demie) cheerleading look – a crystallisation of what Euphoria season one had to offer, pun intended. Elsewhere, we saw graphic liner and neon shadows frame the characters’ eyes, as well as long, shiny eyelashes adorn Jules’. However, makeup artist Doniella has revealed that the looks will be taken in a new direction for season 2, telling Allure that “It’s weird because [the new season’s vibe] is not really simplified because some moments are more experimental, but some of them are more minimal”, even noting that her signature use of rhinestones would be “retired for now.


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With episode one giving us bat-wing inner-corner liner on Jules (Hunter Schafer) as well as an admittedly more muted, but still dynamic gem look on Cassie (Sydney Sweeney), it seems we’ll still be treated to our fair share of recreatable fashion and beauty looks, despite the toning down.

As iconic as these looks were, they also spawned a lot of questions from people who looked around their school corridors and failed to see a rhinestone in sight, let alone a cut-out minidress. Memes and posts about the show have been circulating on TikTok and Twitter, with some highlighting the absurdity of some of the characters’ fashion choices when removed from the Euphoria-verse. However, instead of being indicative of unpopularity, their circulation actually points out Euphoria’s wide cultural reach –  it’s clear that people are eagerly awaiting the new season, which drops one episode at a time.

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