I have really been enjoying the current series of Skins, especially the style of the characters which makes it stand out from other British dramas. Earlier this week I caught up with the man in charge of costume for the show, Edward Gibbon, to talk about his influences and which celebrities he thinks inspired the characters style. This is the first TV show that Edward has styled alone. He has previously worked on stage productions and will soon be starting the new series of A Secret Diary of a Call Girl.
- Inspiration for characters style: We’re given nine individual, quite different characters and my job is to make them stand out and to bring home some of their character points. We film a year in advance so it’s quite dangerous to be too of the moment as things will look out of date by the time the series comes out. I include elements of teenage life since teenagers we’re invented in the '50s, so there’s that kind of rebellious thing. This year, Cook was influenced a great deal by The Clash and there are bits of punk in Effy.
To hear what else Edward had to say, read more.
- On making the show look British: There’s a deliberate effort to make things not look too perfect and too polished. There’s an English quirkiness to it, and Effy and Naomi personify that the most. Naomi has a very English way of dressing, that kind of magpie putting things together in your own way. We wanted to create a whole scene of their own, a thing where they were the coolest people in town or that they were the people that everybody wanted to be.
- On Effy: Effy’s a delight because Kaya (Scodelario) is so gorgeous you could put a paper bag on her and she’d look fabulous, but she goes on quite a horrible emotional journey in this series and she feels quite down. It’s always interesting that kind of trashed beauty, and I like that. There’s no conventional attitude towards what she should be wearing or what other people think she should wear, but at the same time she’s hiding a lot of insecurities underneath all of that. So all the jewellery she wears is like armour, to protect herself from other people.
- On Naomi: Naomi's self image is quite confused; she’s not really sure who she is, but she wants to present a strong front to people so she wears quite confrontational things. She doesn’t want to be treated like a sex object so she’s always quite covered, but at the same time she still looks attractive. When we were developing Naomi we looked at Agyness Deyn a lot with her slightly androgynous look. Agyness was also the inspiration behind bleaching Lily’s hair.
- On the twins: We had to make them physically very similar, so that’s why we dyed their hair the same, gave them the same haircut and, to begin with, they had the same make up. Then we wanted to subtly highlight their differences as they were breaking away from each other, so I pushed Katie’s out-there sexuality further. Emily’s much more honest and up front and this is reflected in the way she dresses. It was nice to have those two complete opposites.
The last episode of series three airs tonight and the whole series is out on DVD on April 6th. Don't forget to check back tomorrow for the final style quiz!