Shoshanna and Ray.
Photo: Jessica Miglio/HBO
As the Girls characters get increasingly batty, their outfits become stranger and stranger. Although Jessa and her caftans are still on their mysterious sabbatical, Shoshanna’s ensembles get wackier in her absence (those sleeves!). Meanwhile, Hannah’s fragile mental state results in a pantsless trip to the hospital. Girls costume designer Jenn Rogien breaks down the looks from last night’s hairy episode.
Because of her OCD, Hannah has to pick her wedgie eight times on the elevator when she’s going to meet with her publisher. Did you have to factor in the wedgie when you were planning her outfit?
Jenn Rogien: We considered it, but there wasn’t really anything we had to accommodate, other than picking a dress with a full skirt, which is sort of a signature shape for Hannah anyway. We were trying to walk the line between showing her emotional issues and the fact that she’s going to a meeting with her editor, where she may have to deal with consequences of her mental illness. She’s trying to appear put-together, but she definitely isn’t.
What about those crazy sleeves Shoshanna wears when she’s serving Ray tea in her apartment?
That shirt was actually something we swapped in last minute, because the original shirt had some strange fit issues on the day of shooting. The one she wore has all its defenses up. Those stiff ruffled shoulders just scream, “Don’t come near me,” which underscored the emotions of the scene.
How about Marnie’s at-home recording outfit?
She’s just hanging out at home in her hoodie. We were carrying forward what we did in the last episode in that we’re really breaking her down. She’s floundering, so she’s not put-together at all.
What about Ray? Is that a snuggie?
Yes, it’s Shoshanna’s snuggie. She wore it in season one, when Hannah comes over to her apartment and they’re watching the game show network on her sofa. On Shoshanna it was quite cute, and showed her existence as a college student who watches game shows in a snuggie in the middle of the day. But in this case we turned it around, so Ray is wearing it like a robe, with a T-shirt and boxers underneath. It makes him look sad, and almost like an old man when he gets up and walks away in it. Also, when people are in relationships they borrow each other’s clothes, so it was also a lighthearted nod to that.
How did you come up with the outfit Hannah’s wearing when she gets a splinter in her butt?
We wanted to show that she’s not in a good state. Hannah’s worn similar things before in her low moments — pair a really gross tank top with gross underwear. In this case we picked two completely clashing patterns — her tank has zigzags on it — in an effort to show how bad things are going for her.
And then she goes to the hospital without pants on.
Yeah, she’s just wearing a really gross T-shirt, and underwear. She’s not in a frame of mind to take care of herself. The T-shirt actually says “Life’s a Beach,” which is so sad, especially since you can barely read it. The T-shirt is meant to reflect that this is the lowest we’ve seen her, because it’s a muddy color and it’s so old and way too big. We found it at Salvation Army.
It’s also the worst thing you could be wearing when you run into an ex-boyfriend.
Yup, pretty much! Particularly a boyfriend that she has unresolved issues with. It’s also important to note that Adam was wearing a polo shirt, which is a first for him. We’re getting to see new dimensions of his character.
Going back to Marnie — the dress she wears to Charlie’s party is quite cute.
We wanted to show that she’s making an effort. It’s not quite as out-there as that plastic dress, but we wanted to continue incorporating edgier materials with her. This dress is Rag & Bone, and it’s made of leather with mesh panels on the back, which you can’t really see. We call it “inner costume,” when the audience can’t necessarily detect an element of the costume but the people on set know it’s there, and the character can feel it.
Charlie’s outfits haven’t changed that much, but he’s gotten a lot hotter. How have you managed that?
We’ve gotten him out of those worn-in plaid shirts and washed cottons into more crisp fabrics. He’s not as soft, personality-wise or in his wardrobe. We’re seeing him come into his own.
Shoshanna’s yellow party dress is very intense.
It is really intense. Yellow is a new color for her, and we’re continuing to broaden her color palette to reflect that she’s growing up a bit. She’s embracing her sexuality. But it’s still very much a Shoshanna dress, with the retro collar and the buttons and the bow. So we’re walking the line of moving her forward incrementally but still keeping her Shoshanna.