Euphoria’s got it all. The style, the sex, the one-liners, Angus Cloud. Since the long-awaited second season aired last week, it’s all anyone can talk about. (Guilty as charged – even us). We’ve reached peak-Euphoria fever, revelling in an intense high through clouds of neon smoke and acid eyeshadow. For now, let us ignore the impending comedown after the curtain call, and rejoice in the hottest teen drama since Skins.
When it’s not shagging nines and doing lines, though, the HBO drama is essentially marketing a Gen‑Z subculture all of its own. It’s a heady cocktail of hyper-coloured boob tubes, Y2K kick-flares, sk8er b0i slouchies and ethereal, medieval mystic shapes thrown into a blender, served with ice and shown off down the mean street halls of East Highland High. It’s a pick ’n’ mix style that suits the cat’s cradle tastes of its younger audience, and had us heralding the return of the bodycon – a relic of our recent Apple Sourz past.
Last night hit a different turn, though; one that had its UK viewers (and fashion nerds) feeling a little warm inside. Euphoria saluted the Great British designers of now by including KNWLS, Claire Barrow and AUNE.
It’s all down to the show’s stylist, Heidi Bivens, who’s worked on a roll-call of coming-of-age films: finding common ground in the sleazecore styles of Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers (2013) and The Beach Bum (2018), and creating an authentic rummage into LA skate culture with 2018’s Jonah Hill-directed Mid90s. With Bivens having been a part of the skate scene at the turn of the millennium, she was a dab hand at digging through eBay for pure authenticity using now-defunct, ’90s brands such as Menace and Kools.
These days, celebs (or their stylists) are more in tune with British fashion than ever before. Not since the ’90s invasion – that saw designers like Alexander McQueen, Hussein Chalayan and John Galliano beat their chests to grand effect – have emerging Brits been so widely appreciated and worn. Rihanna recently wore Maximilian, Kim Kardashian Namita Khade (who hasn’t even graduated uni yet) and pseudo-punk sister Kourtney KNWLS.
Euphoria’s salute to British fashion in this episode – not to mention Fezco in Palace in episode one, and Kat in Mimi Wade and Rue in Aries in episode two – feels like an optimistic turn in the rise (and rise) of our designers.