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

Sarah Gilligan*, Jacky Collins

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-376
Number of pages24
JournalFilm, Fashion & Consumption
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2021


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