Long gone are the days of My So-Called Life, Skins, and even Gossip Girl (although we all know we’re anxiously awaiting the reboot). As social media, pop culture and the like coalesce to usher in the newest generation of teen drama fanatics, meet HBO’s newest craze that’s changing the game: Euphoria. To call this show a tween dramady would be an extreme misnomer; at once avoiding gratuitousness and glorification, Euphoria leaves little unexplored, depicting things like sexual violence, leaked nudes, phone sex, drug addiction – the list really does go on. But if its handling of contemporary teen realities, or the superb soundtrack, aren’t enough to intrigue you, then surely the beauty movement it’s spearheading is.
The dreamy, fantastical makeup, vintage and designer garb, and emphasis on individualism are both inspired by Gen Z high schoolers, and fashioning the beauty image that comprises them. Costume designer Heidi Bivens and makeup artist Doniella Davy expertly craft a personal aesthetic for each character, and the beauty movement these fashion gurus are igniting is certainly not one of subtleties and minimalism. After watching Euphoria, you’re left not only obsessing over the characters’ outfits (i.e. Maddy’s custom Swarovski two-piece), but also inspired to cultivate an equally ambitious and individual look.
Meet Euphoria’s lead, Disney’s former sweetheart, Rue Bennett (aka Zendaya). Her simple, street boy style is undoubtedly the least flashy of the show; converse and sweatshirts are her staple, a very Daisy ‘I just threw this on look,’ except she probably actually did. And yet, her makeup look is unbridled and unmatched in its originality with its glittered tear streaks. Then there’s her best friend, Jules Vaughn, played by Hunter Schafer. Her pastel pinks, cat corner eye jewels, and ‘atomic’ crop top give her an at once anime and candy stripper vibe, sweetly innocent and yet somehow still sexy. Maddy Perez, played by Alexa Demie, perhaps has the most developed style; think two-piece sets, big hoops, even more bedazzled temples. Scroll through Demie’s Instagram and you’ll actually see a fashion persona not too far off from her on-screen presence in Euphoria – heavy eyeliner and glittered eyelids give her that 90’s glam allure, transitioning seamlessly from show to real life. Kat Hernandez, (Barbie Ferreira), dons plenty of deep reds, black lace, corsets, and chokers. Well known for her stint on the show as a cam girl, you can see her sexuality progress and develop through her style.
The list of characters goes on, but you get the point – these teens’ absurdly well-developed and individual senses of style are enough to make you self conscious of the many pairs of white sneakers and black boots you probably own. And more likely than not, this show is stoking the fire of the future, the newest beauty renaissance: bold, highly individual art. No longer are so called outrageous looks reserved for runway fashion, but they will soon inundate streets everywhere. Scroll through Gen Z-ers’ Instagram feeds and you’ll be immersed in a technicolor swirl of bejeweled faces and pastel two-pieces. Euphoria is sparking a movement that encourages us to get as experimental as we want, using fashion as our very own raw and unrestrained instrument for self-expression.