Fashion-forward killer: Villanelle, costuming and queer style in Killing Eve



Gilligan S & Collins J (2021) Fashion-forward killer: Villanelle, costuming and queer style in Killing Eve. Film Fashion and Consumption, 10 (2), pp. 353-376.

Costuming within the BBC television drama series Killing Eve (2018‐) functions as a spectacular dressing-up box to support the representation of Villanelle (Jodie Comer) as the glamorous globe-trotting assassin. This article will argue that Villanelle’s fashion-forward wardrobe offers a multifarious representation of contemporary queer styling. Her costuming is characterized by gender fluidity and a play with the dominant codes and signifiers of lesbian style and identity. Villanelle’s looks move beyond the stereotyped constraints of the butch-femme binary to construct a polymorphous representation of femininity with broad cross-over appeal. In offering a striking silhouette that draws attention away from the material body onto costuming, Villanelle’s representation highlights the fluidity of gendered and sexual identities. Her costuming may appear to reduce Villanelle to a series of surface appearances, yet these iterations result in a significant queer representation on mainstream contemporary television.

Killing Eve; Villanelle; butch-femme; costuming; fashion; lesbian style; queer style; television drama

Film Fashion and Consumption: Volume 10, Issue 2

FundersThe British Academy
Publication date31/10/2021
Publication date online01/10/2021
Date accepted by journal08/08/2021

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Dr Jacqueline Collins

Dr Jacqueline Collins

Lecturer in Spanish, Spanish