Fashion-forward killer: Villanelle, costuming and queer style in Killing Eve

Gilligan, Sarah and Collins, Jacky (2021) Fashion-forward killer: Villanelle, costuming and queer style in Killing Eve. Film, Fashion & Consumption, 10 (2). pp. 353-376. ISSN 2044-2823

s3.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives 4.0.

Download (9MB) | Preview
Official URL:


Costuming within the BBC television drama series 'Killing Eve' (2018–) functions as a spectacular dressing-up box to support the representation of Villanelle (Jodie Comer) as the glamorous globe-trotting assassin. This article will argue that Villanelle’s fashion-forward wardrobe offers a multifarious representation of contemporary queer styling. Her costuming is characterized by gender fluidity and a play with the dominant codes and signifiers of lesbian style and identity. Villanelle’s looks move beyond the stereotyped constraints of the butch-femme binary to construct a polymorphous representation of femininity with broad cross-over appeal. In offering a striking silhouette that draws attention away from the material body onto costuming, Villanelle’s representation highlights the fluidity of gendered and sexual identities. Her costuming may appear to reduce Villanelle to a series of surface appearances, yet these iterations result in a significant queer representation on mainstream contemporary television.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: Research funded by British Academy (Rising Star Engagement Award). EN\170029. An earlier version of this article was presented as a conference paper at Critical Costume (August 2020).
Uncontrolled Keywords: Killing Eve, Villanelle, butch-femme, costuming, fashion, lesbian style, queer style, television drama
Subjects: W200 Design studies
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Design
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2021 12:20
Last Modified: 26 Nov 2021 12:30

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics