Killing Eve is back, and television’s most riveting game of cat and mouse continues.
The BBC show, now in its third season, would have won us over with its stellar cast alone (Golden Globes winner Sandra Oh plays Eve, a spy perpetually in pursuit of Jodie Comer’s hired killer, Villanelle), but it truly raised the bar with its costume design.
Especially that of Villanelle, whose sharp, fashion-forward style is as flawlessly executed as her victims. Killing Eve tosses out all long-held ideals of what an assassin should wear, instead giving its murderous antagonist pretty dresses, power suits and glamorous silk robes for days. No slinky black catsuits here.
Unsurprisingly, Villanelle has also become a modern day style icon, if not an unconventional one. All those pink gowns you saw on the red carpet of the 2019 Academy Awards? You can credit them to Villanelle’s fashionable power move early on in the show, which came in the form of a bubblegum pink Molly Goddard frock that bore all the sweetness that its wearer did not.
Just like Villanelle makes a study of her targets, here we examine her killer outfits throughout the spy thriller series and list out how you can build your own version of her covetable wardrobe.
The pink dress
What would you wear to an assessment of your murderous capabilities? Villanelle chose to greet her superiors in the last thing anyone would think of: a sheer, tulle dress in candy pink, one of Molly Goddard’s signature girly designs. Indeed, killing is child’s play to Villanelle, which explains her sartorial choice, but the dress also reveals her twisted sense of humour. Not that you need it to wear any of Goddard’s diaphanous ruched frocks, like these in blue or coral pink.
The bomber jacket
Perhaps the closest thing to conventional killer couture that Villanelle owns is a bomber jacket, but even then she doesn’t play by the rules. In a memorable murder scene scored by a moody Cigarettes After Sex track, she wears one in army green satin featuring a cute cat patch. Her Phillip Lim floral bomber jacket is a particular stand out, not just because of its vibrant design (mirrored in this Dries Van Noten one) but because of the way it elevated her otherwise casual ensemble of a Stella McCartney blouse and Roksanda trousers.
The glam jammies
You won’t find Villanelle slacking even on her days off. The hit-woman owns all manner of luxe loungewear for us to lust after, especially now that we are stuck at home. For bedtime, she has a soft spot for matching silk pyjamas, which evidently continues in season 3 where she sports this set. You can find something similar offered by its designer, Olivia Von Halle, but don’t sleep on these lustrous patterned sleepwear by Richard Quinn and Morpho + Luna, either.
The silk robe
Villanelle’s penchant for glamour is also underscored by the countless designer robes in her wardrobe. Throughout Killing Eve, she has worn an Olivia von Halle tiger-print silk robe (paired with pom pom slippers), a black floral robe by Meng, and an opulent Etro jacquard kimono. The one that truly stole the show, though, was a green satin coat by Jason Wu, now unsurprisingly out of stock. But fret not: we bet that Villanelle would kill for any of these elegant, vintage-inspired robes by sleepwear label F.R.S (For Restless Sleepers).
The power suit
One of the most chilling kills carried out by Villanelle was marked by her outfit: a brocade suit by Dries Van Noten that was as much a symbol of her bravado as it was an excellent style choice. Befitting her meticulous nature, Villanelle proves to be a fan of tailoring through the many power suits she dons during the series. And despite her undercover status, she continues to choose the most striking designs in the show’s third season, including a pointed-shouldered Dice Kayek suit and this marble-print Halpern ensemble.
The black gown
If it isn’t obvious enough, Killing Eve’s villain lives for drama. She coordinates her outfits to match the different personas that she takes on for her missions, and sometimes uses them to send a message. In her most stunning high-fashion moment, she wears a sweeping black Alexander McQueen gown, already prepared to mourn a foe at their funeral. The dress was vintage, but the British fashion brand does have a similar design for sale — as do Christopher Kane and Dundas.
The floral dress
For more proof of Villanelle’s style icon status, look to this floral dress by The Vampire’s Wife that she wears in the new season. Not only does it nod to her contemporary sensibilities — she styles the dress with square-toe sandals and a woven tote bag, both equally trendy — but it’s also named after her, as the Birkin was named after Jane. Having redefined the look of an assassin for the modern day, the Killing Eve star definitely deserves the recognition.