Glitter, Glamor, and Extravagance: The Influence of “Euphoria” on Gen Z Fashion


Illustration courtesy of Natalie Fuchs and Warner Media

HBO has renewed Euphoria for a third season, and the wardrobe department on set will continue their individual character development through their clothing.

Lucy MacNeela, Staff Reporter

Who cares about dress codes or overdressing when you go to Euphoria High? To the main characters of HBO’s hit show “Euphoria,” the hallway is a runway. 

After an extremely successful first season, “Euphoria” released its second season on Jan. 9, 2022, and has had huge control over microtrends and Gen Z style ever since.

The controversial TV show covers mental health, addiction, and friendship, and certainly draws on fashion to create characters’ personalities and aesthetics, as well as adding a unique quality to each character.

The show targets a teenage audience, and they are very successful in grabbing the attention of high school-aged kids. Recently, a popular TikTok trend derived from “Euphoria” fashion has created a lot of chatter surrounding the show. This new trend playfully makes fun of “Euphoria”‘s exaggerated take on youth fashion. These videos show people in normal, basic outfits and then cut to them in their “Euphoria High” outfits, all with cut-outs, intricate makeup, and glitter. 

Fashion is a huge part of the show. Heidi Bivens, the wardrobe head on “Euphoria”‘s set, said that this season the clothes that each character wears and the style niche in which they fall is a reflection of their personal growth and development. Even the character’s color palettes have changed from a hyper-feminine, pastel color palette to a darker color scheme in an effort to reflect a more mature vibe. 

This season aimed to be more refined and more real. The goal was to minimize the use of rhinestones and sparkles both in clothing and makeup to mature the characters. 

Season one also held immense influence over adolescent fashion and trends, one being Maddy’s iconic black cut-out flare pants. Anyone who has watched the show can tell you exactly what these are.

The makeup in season one was also a lot more colorful and more out there with pearls, glitter, and impressive eyeliner. Season two has been more muted although still very influential and much crazier than anything you’d see walking into a real-life high school. 

The shock factor of the show and the outfits is precisely what keeps people coming back week after week. 

“Euphoria” truly has a grasp on Gen Z because of the relatability yet extravagance of the show that will keep eyes focused on each new episode, and keep dictating trends due to its vast influence. 

From an outside perspective, “Euphoria” might seem over-the-top and unrealistic, but many find themselves relating to the main characters. Struggles with mental health, gender identity, friend and family issues, and drug abuse are unfortunately realistic depictions of what some teenagers experience. Some have argued that the show glamorizes these things, which is a valid stance, but “Euphoria”‘s impact on youth style prevails. 

This glamorization and ridiculousness of fashion within the show draws people in and creates interest. A full designer outfit is not typical for a regular teenager, but in the glamorized world of “Euphoria,” it is. Even characters who are not typically viewed as the fashion icons of the show still have very well thought out and influential styles. 

The wardrobe department on this set has its finger on the pulse of all emerging trends and brands to display on the screen. Popular brands like Unif, IAMGIA, Wildflower Cases, Omighty, and other emerging brands can all be seen on the set “Euphoria,” causing these items to sell out on websites upon the days that these episodes release. 

Since a lot of the actors and actresses on the show are so involved in pop culture and have a big influence on Gen Z styles, “Euphoria” has been able to create many extremely popular trends in the short time that the show has been airing.