Shopping the Girls Wardrobe: Costume Designer Jenn Rogien Talks Brooklyn Vintage, Design, and Where She Managed to Find Those Bloomers

Jenn Rogien (above, left) headshot courtesy of Joe Tanis
Jenn Rogien (above, left) headshot courtesy of Joe Tanis

We could argue all day about whether or not the characters on Girls represent any “real” part of Brooklyn—well, some people could definitely argue all day about that—but since its first episode, the show’s most indisputably authentic facet has been the wardrobe. Under the direction of costume designer (and Clinton Hill resident) Jenn Rogien, the characters’ clothes have served as both a refreshing change of pace from the inexplicably immaculate (and expensive!) looks of the supposedly young and broke on TV, and a platform for some of our borough’s best shops and emerging designers. At the wrap of season 3, we chatted with Rogien about her favorite Brooklyn resources for the Girls wardrobe, how her approach has changed over the seasons, and what in god’s name is going on with Marnie.

“What we keep in mind is ‘does this look realistic for the character,'” Rogien explains. “It’s not necessarily a price point thing, it can be situational, it can be color palette (each character has a specific one). My colleague Joshua Marsh and I now spend a lot of time looking at things thinking, is this like Hannah season 1, or does it feel like Hannah season 3? Each of them have evolved as their situations changed.”

With Hannah finally employed (and at a fashion magazine, no less), Rogien says “her clothes did fit a little tiny bit better,” and her color palette has become brighter, “less vintage and more contemporary.” Shoshanna, of course, got “distinctly more body conscious” in Season 3, and Jessa “kind of backslid,” Rogien explains. “We used more black than we ever have with her.”

And then there’s Marnie. “Marnie’s were an effort to keep up with, because her story was all over the place,” Rogien tells us. “She started very down and out, and her costumes and emotional situation were really ping pong-ing. Mid-season, we purposely relaxed her wardrobe to underscore the fact that she’s trying to figure out what she was doing. And later on when she gets into her music and is essentially developing something creative for the first time, we moved things in a more downtown and Brooklyn aesthetic that was very new for her.”


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