Creator and Co-star of GIRLS, Lena Dunham has become my most recently literary inspiration. The series is full of dry humour and post-adolescent complex emotions that my 25 year-old mind just loves to entangle itself in.
The series reflects a part of the population not portrayed in Sex in the City, Gossip Girl and the likes. Those shows had women who had figured out work and friends and wanted to nail family life, whereas GIRLS, is the portrayal of the space before that, which hadn’t been addressed on television in a real way.
With that said, I’m not here to talk about GIRLS in any great depth, but to address the metallic gold, crocodile-textured and vinyl covered cocktail dress Marnie wore on the latest episode. It was sensational. Costume designer Jenn Rogien breaks down the look — which she designed and made herself — as well as all the other characters’ outfits.
“When Marnie is trying to find something to wear to Booth’s party, I think it’s the first time we’ve really seen her in her underwear. The thing that was significant about that is it’s the first time we’ve seen Marnie in a mismatched set, which reflects that she’s trying to loosen up a bit. There have definitely been moments when we’ve seen her underwear, but the mismatching was very deliberate.
It’s almost as meaningful when she points out that everything she owns is “so basic.”
I actually made the dress from the episode. The underlayer is metallic gold, crocodile-textured vinyl. It’s a bandeau top and a high-waisted miniskirt. And the overlayer is a charcoal-tinted, transparent vinyl with a heavy-duty brass zipper up the back, and brass grommets to hold it all together. Sewing it would have perforated the material and made it come apart, so it’s all hand-grommeted together.
We took some artistic liberties with this. We are making costumes for TV, after all! The script called for her to show up in a plastic dress, inspired by a moment in Lena’s life where she had a fight with a friend who was wearing a plastic dress. We wanted to take it one step farther, in that Marnie knows she’s going to an art party, and, having worked in a gallery, she has the resources to put that look together. It had a classic silhouette, which is very Marnie, but came in very unusual materials. It’s certainly a moment of theatrical reality for her. And it’s still Marnie in that she really went for it, and overreached a little bit.”