With the new age of streaming, a seemingly infinite amount of shows are accessible with the click of a button (but not without a monthly fee). With a range of online services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime, the accessibility of TV has revolutionized and revitalized much of popular culture and is inspiring the fashion choices of young adults. Whether it be a bold makeup choice from “Euphoria” or an homage to a classic Rachel Green plaid skirt, there is no doubt that people are taking notes from the stylebooks of these shows. Here’s a look at some of the most popular trends influenced by TV.
Oh, “Friends”…how we miss you. Once accessible on Netflix, the smash hit NBC show from the ’90s occupied the laptops and TVs of millions of households — and for good reason. Besides Chandler’s quips, Ross’s love life and Phoebe’s serenades, the show resurrected into our generation as one of the world’s biggest influences in fashion. Suddenly, the ’90s were beyond in style, it became style. Phoebe’s bohemian flair, Monica’s amazing denim and Rachel’s plaid charm completely dominated the racks of stores like Urban Outfitters, Forever 21 and Brandy Melville.
Although Joey’s turtlenecks, Chandler’s sweater vests and Ross’s leather pants are iconic, there is no doubt that Rachel, Monica and Phoebe are who we look to most for our fashion inspiration. Monica’s classic Levi’s 501 jeans have caused a resurgence in pairing white tees with worn-in denim. This look has also brought back geek-chic, a reflection of her sweaters and mini dresses. Monica has popularized styling businesswear with sleek styles, from dainty floral dresses to bold blazers. She inspires the confident, no B.S. chick in us all.
Phoebe’s quirkiness shines through in no better way than her bohemian fashion with funky floral patterns and chunky accessories. Her character brought back the craze of the ’60s and ’70s in both her hippie attitude and her flowy, carefree style. From her adventurous patterned dresses and skirts to her wide color palette, much of Phoebe’s down-to-earth vibes have translated to the faux leather, maxi dress and colorful sweater fashion that can be seen all over runways and stores. Whatever crazy adventure Phoebe went on, she had a killer outfit to follow.
And finally, the coveted style of Rachel Green. No other character has inspired as many looks, hairstyles, and envy than Rachel Green has among generations. It’s not just the plaid skirt that we all love, or the dainty turtlenecks and shoes, but it is her story as well. She encapsulates a young and hopeful girl trying to make it big in the world, which is why so many found inspiration in her girl next door vibe. Rachel’s outfits from the show have even influenced modern fashion on a greater level, with Ralph Lauren even issuing a Friends 25th Anniversary “Rachel Green” collection in its flagship New York City Bloomingdale’s store this past fall. As an audience, we fell in love with her journey and personality and now with her wardrobe.
Streaming on HBO, Euphoria has garnered both critical and popular acclaim for its raw, unfiltered and often raunchy portrayal of teenagers in the modern day. It follows Rue, played by Zendaya, who is a recovering drug addict that attempts to relive and decipher high school. On top of that, Euphoria explores the nuances surrounding the teenage experience and all the highs and lows that come with living amongst love, addiction and trauma.
Although many of the show’s loyal fans watch it for the thrilling and intense storylines of its characters, there is a distinct stylistic aesthetic that Euphoria’s makeup artist Doniella Davy and showrunner Sam Levinson created for the show that draws viewers in just as strongly. Each of the female characters’ styles is developed throughout the show to be unique and reflective of their individual personality. Because of this, many of the show’s fans are able to connect deeply with not only their stories, but also their fashionable flair.
Sam Levinson expressed that he wanted the makeup to play a major aesthetic role in the show by evoking and portraying the journey of the teens featured in the series. When watching the show, it’s clear that Rue, Jules, Maddy, Cassie and Kat (the female protagonists), are dripping in sequins, glitter, colorful eyeshadow and bold eyeliner. For example, Jules evolves greatly over the show, starting with quirky and adventurous looks featuring wildly colorful outfits and playful makeup to represent the evolution of her finding the confidence and freedom to express herself. However, as her character develops, Jules falls into a grungier, more punk aesthetic to represent her serious and severe demeanor.
Some of the most recreated looks on the show are inspired by Maddy, who often takes on graphic glitter eyeshadow and bold bedazzled eyeliner. Her sense of style screams fierce and tells us that she is not afraid to show the world who she is and get what she wants. Maddy is often portrayed in a wide range of looks, and Euphoria artist Doniella explained why on her Instagram.
“From a designer’s standpoint I wanted to present a BIG range of looks on her which vary from raw & disheveled to simple placement of pearls & gems, to full-on elaborate eye looks.”
Whatever it may be, there’s a clear reflection of the current generation’s aspirations and hopes woven throughout the stylistic choices of “Euphoria.” Generation Z has begun a crusade to completely redefine what makeup and fashion mean to them and to challenge what is normal by turning it upside down, backward and everywhere in between. Whether it be rejecting what gender identities “should” look like to prioritizing creativity, we are learning from the shows that we love like “Euphoria” and “Friends” that there is no one way to dress or look. We have the power to push boundaries and break barriers through our stylistic expression, and that’s the new normal.