Of course, there was The L Word, which was more of a lesbian fashion apocalypse than anything, but it still gave us characters like Bette (Jennifer Beals) and Helena (Rachel Shelley), who rocked the kind of dapper power suiting I began associating with “queer style. ” Now, there’s Villanelle, who’s taken it to a whole new level on Killing Eve.
My favorite Villanelle look of the series, so far, is from episode four of season two: She wears a shoulder-padded raspberry blazer over a casual white T-shirt with a red lip graphic, matched with a floral flare pant. It’s maddening. It’s sick.
In the second season, Killing Eve raises the stakes, in every respect: Villanelle and Eve are somehow even more fixated on each other (with the former even referring to the latter as her “girlfriend”), the violence is more unique and depraved, and the fashion is more central to the assassin’s visibility as a queer woman.
It looks like something my closeted eighth-grade self dreamt up, as if my emo middle school girlfriend grew up and started murdering people for cash. (This is high praise, if that was unclear. ) The second is a graphic, horse-printed Chloé blazer, shimmery gold trousers, and a ruffle-neck, purple Isabel Marant blouse.
When I think about what I—and many queer women—crave, it’s Villanelle’s power suits, button-ups, and tailored pants, in patterns that might feel questionable but are somehow still alluring.