While everyone understandably has been getting very into HBO Insecure‘s unexpected story lines, those paying close attention have observed that the combination of fashion and beauty is informing the characters and the story in the same way they once did on Sex and the City. (We’ll leave to the side the music, a whole ‘nother layer that separates this show from prior all-girl ensembles dramas.)
Already, costume designer Ayanna James has added multiple layers to Issa Dee’s (Issa Rae) character through her citified bohemian fashion choices, which are marked by a very on-point t-shirt game. She sports lingerie that’s as comfortable as it is sexy and while the look makes sense for her aesthetic, we’ve already spotted a Tweet griping about Issa’s “granny pants.”
Fashion choices for Molly Carter (Yvonne Orji), are strikingly different from Issa’s. She is the cool business woman, who favors long and lean silhouettes, high heels and monochromatic color stories, epitomized by an off-the-shoulder, black two-piece look by Stella McCartney.
If you check out James’ Facebook feed, she provides insight on some of the messages being sent via the costume choices. Case in point, the logo for the non-profit organization Issa works for was intentionally designed (by James’ cousin) with a white hand. Says James, “After I read the pilot about Issa’s non-profit job and just how racially tone deaf her co-workers were, I came up with the idea to put little black children in a white hand as the logo. I chuckle every time because of just how horrible it is. It evokes the same feeling as some ‘Feed the Children’ campaign ads.”
James also let us know in episode six that Issa is a Beyoncé fan through a “Formation”-inspired hot sauce and lobster t-shirt, designed by Pop Aesthete. Clearly there is a ton going on with fashion on this show and now that it’s been renewed for a second season, it will be fun to see how characters and story lines are further fleshed out through James’ fashion choices.