WARNING: This article contains spoilers for ‘Big Little Lies’ season two.
Some say “The clothes maketh the man”. If we were to update the saying, we might say: “The clothes hold the clues”—especially when it comes to TV.
This is certainly the case for the Monterey Five in season two of the blockbuster series Big Little Lies, which returned to our screens in 2019, in a blaze of TV glory, with the inimitable Meryl Streep in tow.
And while the premiere gave us a reunion with the five after season one’s dramatic ending, along with Streep’s brilliant debut as Celeste’s mother-in-law and the scream that sparked a thousand memes, a closer inspection at the show’s costumes reveals a much more nuanced glimpse into the character’s mental states this season.
Here, we take a look at all the best costumes from season two of Big Little Lies so far and decode surprising details hidden within.
Amabella’s birthday party: Episode four
Renata and Amabella’s mother-daughter party dresses: Episode four
Celeste’s ‘Studio 54-meets-American-Bandstand disco night’: Episode four
Disco party outfits: Episode four
Bonnie’s effortless beauty look: Episode four
Zoë Kravitz is one of the world’s most stylish women, so it was only fitting that her on-screen character, Bonnie, nailed the disco aesthetic.
Bonnie’s faux-bangs and contrasting lip and eye makeup made for one of the season’s most memorable beauty moments—and was surprising, considering Bonnie prefers a pared-down look on the show.
Image: Twitter @kathrynnewton
Renata’s Calvin Klein 205W39NYC dress: Episode three
Renata’s Gucci and Balmain ensemble: Episode three
Later in episode three, Renata wreaked havoc around Monterey (and had an awkward encounter with Mary Louise) while wearing a Gucci logo belt and handbag, paired with a $3,000 tailored Balmain blazer in crocodile print worn over a gold blouse. Maximalism at its peak.
Renata’s Norma Kamali puffer vest with Gucci pants and a Gucci bum bag: Episode two
Renata may have been in the middle of a meltdown but she still looked stylish to a fault in her Norma Kamali puffer vest and Gucci bum bag.
Renata’s red and white knit: Episode two
Bonnie in a black sports bra: Episode two
Jane, Celeste and Madeline: Episode one
While the trio generally appear to resemble their last season selves, there’s one important difference that stands out: Jane (Shailene Woodley) sporting a striking new fringe and retro-style sunglasses. Now that she is less pained by her past with Perry, the look may signify a move towards a bolder, more confident Jane.
Mary Louise’s Hermès Scarf: Episode one
Meryl Streep’s debut as Celeste’s mother-in-law Mary Louise is one for the ages, as is her penchant for an Hermès scarf. A subtle yet significant accessory, the colourful scarf set against her rotation of grey ensembles appears to symbolise Mary Louise’s high regard for tradition and doing things the ‘proper way’—with a twist, making her one to watch as the season progresses.
Renata’s Roland Mouret Gown: Episode one
Arguably the best look to come out of episode one, the burgundy Roland Mouret dress Renata (Laura Dern) wore in a photo shoot for her magazine cover costing a staggering $6,576 AUD. The black La Perla bra and thigh-high Christian Louboutin boots totalled around $3,800, bringing the entire look’s approximate value to $10,376 AUD.
According to Friedberg, the ‘superwoman’ look riffs off of Renata’s power dressing from season one with one key difference.
“In season two, we amplified that a bit as the walls are caving in on her,” she told Fashionista.