Costume designer Pen15 on Cringey College fashion recreation – Footwear News


I thought the embarrassing college years were behind me, but no. After watching an episode of Hulu’s “Pen15”, I was transported to the year 2000, all thanks to the wonderfully hideous fashion and great portrayals of 13-year-olds.

If you haven’t watched the comedy series, which debuted Season 2 in September, it follows stars and creators Anna Konkle and Maya Erskine as they play versions of themselves as outcasts. teenagers, surrounded by real teenagers.

It’s set in 2000 and follows them in sixth and seventh grades as they navigate puberty, friendship, and, of course, style. Their miserable hairstyles, immature jokes, and rolling backpacks will have you facing episode after episode, as it will take you back to those eerily similar weird years.

The first challenge when it came to dressing the actors for this time was making the 30s look 13.

Maya Ishii-Peters (Maya Erskine) and Anna Kone (Anna Konkle) were dressed in low rise flare jeans and cargo shorts that helped hide their adult curves.

CREDIT: Alex Lombardi / Hulu

“We had to find a way to make Anna and Maya flatter their chests,” costume designer Melissa Walker told FN. “We made several different versions of compression bras so they could wear them under different shirts and not see anything.”

Staying true to the times was essential for Walker, who sourced from eBay, Goodwill, Etsy, and other vintage stores.

“We really had to work really hard with the clean-up team because I think if it had all been done generically, it wouldn’t have had our finger on the trigger of those specific memories and emotions,” he said. -she explains.

Think Etnies skate sneakers, puka shell necklaces, Gushers, Mudd Jeans, Tommy Hilfiger, AIM. Being as specific as possible with the popular labels of this era is why the show is so cringe-worthy – in the best possible way.

PEN15 -

Anna (Anna Konkle), Ian (Ivan Mallon), Margot (Annabelle Kavanagh), Brandt (Jonah Beres), Ben (Brekkan Spens) and Maya (Maya Erskine), featured in episode 106 of “Pen15”.


For the main characters, Maya (Erskine) and Anna (Konkle), the trendiest Millennium clothes weren’t in their closets, which set them apart from cool girls.

“Their clothes would just be a little old-fashioned or worn out or something that isn’t quite trendy or trendy,” Walker explained. “These cool trends would go to popular girls, and then when Maya and Anna start to really get into brands, they just don’t execute them right. It’s about always having a sense of style, which they haven’t quite developed yet.

Other must-have shoe brands include Skechers, Adidas, Rocket Dog, and Sanuk which really brought the nostalgia home. You will see Anna in a pair of Adidas slip-ons and Maya in metallic blue Superstars.

Walker said she worked closely with Skechers for Season 2 as the company recreated an iconic pair from the early 2000s, as well as the Lucky brand, which reprinted the 1999 and 2000 graphics on T-shirts. for the show.

Pen15 suits

Maya Ishii-Peters (Maya Erskine seen in Skechers sneakers in Season 2.


For inspiration, Walker, Erskine, and Konkle searched their phone books, old teen magazines, and photos from their younger years. The costume designer then basically made closets for each character.

For example, Alex (played by Lincoln Jolly, 15), had all kinds of light blue and light green and yellow short-sleeved surf shirts, as well as Hurly and Quicksilver products. Brandt (played by Jonah Beres), meanwhile, wore skateboarding clothes from Alien Workshop.

“We are not ‘Sex in the City’. We don’t need to show different trends. And while there was such a showcase on the costumes for this show, it still had to be in a realm of reality, ”Walker said. “It wasn’t for high fashion or to market new trends. It was a question of remaining faithful to what these college students would have gone through. “

She added, “I didn’t want the costumes to overshadow anything. I didn’t want to draw attention to it. I wanted it to be just natural and able to live in the story. “

If there is anything you need to do while on vacation, it is to watch “Pen15”.

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