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the insider: jenn rogien

the hbo 'girls' costume designer's top 10 looks.

by: ray siegel

March 18 2013

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The Girls season two finale can be summed up in a few words: breakups, make-ups, and bad bang trims. When it comes to selecting the appropriate attire for such occasions, there's no one who does a better job than HBO Girls costume designer Jenn Rogien, who is already "up to her elbows" creating the looks for season three. At the crack of dawn this morning, we listened intently as she put together a season two retrospective of her 10 favorite looks from the show, starting with last night's season finale. Take a trip down Girls memory lane with Rogien and-- alert--you just might found out exactly why Ray wore Shoshanna's Snuggy or how Marnie's "fantastic plastic" look came to be.

Episode 10 , Finale: Shoshanna's Butterfly Breakup Dress
"It's the first time we used a black color on Shoshanna. We still tied it back to her color palette with teal and yellow. She made a big decision and we wanted to reflect that."

Episode Nine: The Snuggie
"We had Ray wear Shoshanna's Snuggie because it was a reflection of him embracing being part of the couple. And it also looks ridiculous on him; he sort of looked like an old man. I always like to try and repeat pieces throughout the season--it was a great way of repeating the Snuggy in a completely new environment."

Episode Eight: Charlie's Profesh look:
"It seems subtle, but I loved the way Charlie looked in his office at Forbid. It's sort of a classic blue shirt and jeans. His shirt has two shades of blue--the sleeves and pocket are one color--it was a nod to the American working guy uniform, and an indicator that he was coming into his own and that he's much cooler than the audience has seen."

Episode Seven: Jessa's Entire Weird Family
"Jessa went to visit her family and I'm going with the way her whole family was dressed--they're such unique characters. They're so odd--it was such a great way to see where Jessa came from."

Episode Six: Marnie's Plastic Dress
"There are several reasons why: she's trying so hard to be cool and arty, it shows how much she overshoots when she gets dress for an event, and I got to make that specifically for her. We did a ton of research on plastic clothing. A lot of them come out of the S&M/bondage world or incredibly high-end runway. After seeing what was out there in the world of vinyl and plastic, we found two swatches that happen to be sitting next to each other. We made four or five dresses so that we could fit more than one option. Towards the end of the episode Marnie's look quickly unravels."

Episode Five: Patrick Wilson's "Adult" Clothing
"I have to go with Patrick Wilson's entire closet. It was a great moment of having an adult character's presence on our show. His look was clean, grown up, slightly more expensive, and adult. As to whether or not that episode was a dream, you'd have to ask Lena. We approached him like he was a real character."

Episode Four: Jessa's Crochet Dress
"The beautiful, white hand-knit dress that Jessa wore in the episode is incredibly cool in real life. She wore it to the steak house with her new husband's parents and it has gotten a lot of discussion for how inappropriate it is. We tried to continue that look throughout both seasons--she also wore the sheer white Swiss dot dress when she was babysitting."

Episode Three: The infamous Mesh tank
"I don't think I have to say anything more about that!"

Episode Two: A Tie Between Marnie's Work Uniform and Elijah's and George's Breaking Up Outfits
"We did a ton of research on high-end hospitality uniforms. We wanted to come up with something that would be a big challenge for her, but also something that was sexy for her--it was a challenge in a good way. With Elijah and George we wanted to highlight as much about why they were breaking up in the wardrobe--George is beautifully dressed, and Elijah is in a hoodie and trying a power clash with jeans and belt. We wanted to show that he was saying, "You haven't got your shit together and I do have it figured out." It was about being able to support the dialogue and the action as much as possible."

Episode One: A Tie Between Shoshanna's Cocktail Hat and Marnie's Mom in Her Entirety
"Shoshanna's hat is actually a fascinator on top of a cocktail hat. My friend Phaedra Elizabeth made it solely for the show. It was great working with someone who has so much experience in that department. She wore it with the amazing dress with the full skirt. Shoshanna was dressed for the party--come what may. Then Marnie's mom was played by Rita Wilson, who brings such life to everything. Her character Evie is wearing a completely inappropriate amount of jewelry and expensive shoes--yet it comes off looking way too young for her age. She talked about dating a cater water, so we wanted a contrast between the two characters, and to really let you see where Marnie came from."

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