Now that season 2 of Killing Eve is upon us—BBC America aired the season premiere on Sunday night—it's as good a time as any to recognize that its creator, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, isn't the only Phoebe who's been instrumental to the show's runaway success. Indeed, if anyone else could be called the show's behind-the-scenes maestro, it just might be Phoebe de Gaye, its costume designer—and not just because of its reputation as the most fashionable show on television.
Rather than a distraction, or a product of women in the lead roles—at the show's center is the unlikely obsession between the titular Eve Polastri, an MI5 agent played by Sandra Oh, and her would-be killer, Villanelle, an ultra-glamorous, probably psychopathic assassin played by Jodie Comer—style is simply fundamental to Eve and Villanelle's chemistry. Just like us, Eve can't help but marvel at Villanelle's wardrobe of custom-dyed Burberry, brocade Dries Van Noten, satin Miu Miu, and leather J. W. Anderson, even after it becomes clear that they're essentially rewards for and souvenirs of each of her kills. The difference being, of course, that Eve could soon become one of them. (Even if Villanelle—and her move to replace the contents of Eve's suitcase with designer pieces like a Roland Mouret cocktail dress in exactly her size—has her experiencing the Stendhal syndrome.)
After the pastel pink confection of a Molly Goddard dress that Villanelle wore during an otherwise unnotable scene turned it into a standout fashion moment, it was only a matter of time before Villanelle was recognized for what she really is: an assassin, yes, but also a street style star in the making. But that moment, a tease of which appears in the trailer for season 2, is not upon us just yet. Which brings us to our very first spoiler alert: Villanelle is not only alive (duh), but also in the midst of a potentially monumental sartorial slump.
After putting some distance between herself and her couture-filled Parisian apartment—where, to both of their surprise, Eve stabbed her in the gut—Villanelle sets about attempting to clean her wound. Realizing that a bottle of liquor belonging to a sleeping homeless man probably wasn't going to cut it in terms of dressing the wound, she then literally steals the coat off his back, thoroughly soaking it with blood before switching it out, just in time, for a disposable hospital gown.
Since Villanelle doesn't exactly do pity, she deals with her uncomfortably close proximity to another invalid—a boy recovering from a car crash that killed his entire family—by turning him into her pawn. But once he's completed her mission of stealing her a nurse uniform that will help her pillage the hospital in relative peace, she encounters another hurdle: the fact that she can't exactly wander the wards without attracting notice in bare feet.
If Villanelle had found herself in this predicament two years ago, when Christopher Kane was making waves with the crystal-bedazzled—and occasionally fur-lined—Crocs he sent out on the runways for spring and fall 2017, this wouldn't have been a predicament at all. No doubt aware that the ugly shoe trend hit its peak nearly two years ago, though, Villanelle gazes upon the solution to her problem—a pair of orthopedic shoes that resemble low-rent, backless Crocs—with palpable disgust.
Alas, they're her only option, so put them on she must. (Even if the thought of doing so literally makes her toes curl.) A silent, wince-filled queenly tantrum later, the deed is done, allowing Villanelle to acquire yet another eccentric accessory: a leather briefcase, which, after a visit to the pill supply closet, Villanelle turns into an on-the-go pharmacy of sorts.
Either of those pieces on their own would have looked quite chic on Villanelle, though maybe not together. How to complete the look, though? Well, with a set of the boy's pajamas, naturally. Though the fit is a bit tight (the shirt buttons look like they're about to burst) the comic book-inspired print, ("BLAM," "POW!") nonetheless pack a punch.
Eve, meanwhile, is sticking to her signature accessory: a look of complete and utter distress, whether motionless in the bath or in the kitchen where she first came face-to-face with Villanelle. Such an encounter has yet to take place this season, but it's only a matter of time; if there's one thing that can be said about Villanelle's final ensemble, it's that she sure blended in with the kids she secretly hopped in the backseat with to hitch a ride to London, heading Eve-bound.