Like Eve, the viewer is totally enraptured by her, and especially by her luxurious style. (A particularly notable scene in the first series was when Villanelle flounced about in a pink tulle Molly Goddard dress after a successful kill.) The next series, which is due to air on 7 April in America, and hopefully soon after in the UK, promises to be even more experimental with its fashion, according to costume designer Charlotte Mitchell, who is new for series two. ‘Everybody wanted to push it further,’ she tells Grazia. ‘Every look had to be different – Villanelle never wears the same thing twice. So I was constantly coming up with a new style for her.
Villanelle, she adds, uses colour to be playful, show her motive and provoke a reaction. ‘Pink is part of that,’ continues Charlotte. ‘So I wasn’t afraid of using the colour again – characters have to be real and wear the same colours at different moments.’ With her multifaceted identities, Villanelle is a costume designer’s dream. ‘She’s not a leather-clad, stereotypical assassin – she’s her own person,’ she continues. ‘She can be demure and sweet, then other times she’s quirky, and sometimes she’s elegant – it’s as though I am designing for about 10 different characters at one time.
‘Villanelle puts things together in her own way,’ she adds. ‘At the beginning, when she finally gets her wardrobe back, she wears a Chloé jacket with an Isabel Marant shirt and a pair of silver/gold trousers. They all slightly don’t work – but she looks amazing with her strong, tomboy silhouette, in a very elegant way that Jodie can totally pull off.’
But while Villanelle loves luxury labels, (Armani appears in the second series), she’s also a thrift shopper, or a ‘magpie’ as Charlotte calls her. ‘I found the most incredible vintage pieces in Amsterdam and Paris,’ she says. Jodie is ‘extremely involved’ in the designing process. ‘We have lots of conversations, both read the scripts, we do a fitting and work through it together,’ she adds. ‘If Jodie really feels the costume, she’ll evolve into Villanelle in the fitting. You’ll know which outfit she wants to wear, and she’ll fight for it and tell the producers, “I believe in this.”’
Jodie, who also spoke to Grazia recently, says she feels ‘so lucky to have such beautiful costumes’, although she feels that she ‘can never wear a pink dress again’. The challenge of this series, Jodie says, was keeping the characters fresh. ‘The show has to keep the cat and mouse chase alive and make sure that Villanelle is still completely crazy,’ Jodie says. ‘I don’t really want to have a moment where people think, “Oh I see why she did that, that’s… rational.” She’s crazy and dangerous – I love it.