Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Entertainment Spotlight: Teen Wolf

I don't watch too many teen shows, but there's something about Teen Wolf that just makes it entrancing to watch. After re-watching the past few seasons to get prepared for the new season on MTV, I'm able to better understand how the cast's outfits fit into their own character's traits and development, especially looking at the implicit messaging with trend setting clothes.

Fashion may not be a focal point in the show, but Teen Wolf's costume designers and stylist do make the characters outfits reflect on the character. Queen Bee Lydia Martin, played by actress Holland Roden, is the only character who actively discusses fashion and uses it as a form of social status. There are scenes where she will go out of her way in the name of fashion, whether it is shopping for multiple party outfits, searching for the perfect winter formal dress, or giving her best friend a harsh critique of her date night outfit. Routinely decked out in trendy dresses and heels, Lydia comes across as someone who deliberately chooses her outfit every day in order to communicate to the world who she is. Or rather, what she wants to be.

With Lydia, there is more to learn about her character than what she presents to the world, even through her outfits. Although she pretends to be dumb to her friends and boyfriend -often covering up her seemingly random knowledge with "Um, I read it somewhere" - Lydia's teacher tell her parents that her advanced placement classes push her to a 5.0 GPA. Along with that, her character is often the one who helps out with research on unknown and supernatural subjects, such as translating Archaic Latin in order to stop a new bad guy. Instead of her clothes playing into who she truly is, her outfits instead show who she wants to be to make her life easier. She would rather be a dimwitted rich girl whose only concern is to wear the next trend in clothes than an intelligent woman with her own mysterious supernatural powers.

Costumers choosing for Lydia to wear purposefully trendy clothes make her outfit development interesting to see through the seasons. Whereas some characters will wear only certain colors to reflect their characters (Ex: Derek Hale only wearing dark colors, jeans, and leather jackets as a minimalist wardrobe and Allison Argent wearing functional clothes for her werewolf hunting), Lydia's closet reflects the real life fashion of the time. Her clothes move away from cleavage baring and ultra-short to looser fits and more delicate prints, just as it has on store racks of the juniors section over the past couple of years. This takes me back to Gossip Girl where Blair Waldrorf and Serena Van Der Woodsen purposefully wore the trendiest clothes, outfits designed more for the runway than a trip to a coffee house. For all three characters, fashion is important part of their lives and used for them to show their social status and popularity. The difference between the girls of GG and Lydia is that her fashion interest acts as a form of distraction from the harsh life and death realities she has to deal with on a regular basis. 

Catch Lydia Martin & Co. this January on Mondays on MTV.

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