“Girls” Costume Designer on Her Top Looks From Season 1 (and a Sneak Peek at Season 2!)

Marni Golden
“Girls” Costume Designer on Her Top Looks From Season 1 (and a Sneak Peek at Season 2!)
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As much as we love Amy Poehler and Tina Fey, we have a strong hunch that the Golden Globes’ ratings might experience a significant drop around 9 p.m. this Sunday thanks to the much-anticipated return of Hannah, Marnie, Shoshanna and Jessa to the small screen. Whether you’re a fan of the show or not, there’s no denying that HBO’s hit show “Girls” has made a sizable impact on pop culture, highlighting a previously underexposed sect of contemporary twenty-something urbanites.

A far cry from the cosmos and Manolos we came to know and love on “Sex and the City,” the “Girls” depiction of the urban dweller is much grittier, hipper, and shockingly honest, and there’s one person who resides behind the lens that is integral to the show’s success. This would be Jenn Rogien, the show’s costume designer, whose spot-on styling and curating is as essential to the story as the story itself.

Hailing from Montana with degrees from Yale University and Parsons under her belt, Rogien has surely made a name for herself and was recently appointed as intimates line Aerie’s Fit and Style Expert. We were able to snag an interview with the style star and also asked her to walk us through some of our favorite looks from season 1 (and some never-before-seen shots from season 2!).

Click through the above gallery to hear what Rogien has to say, and read below for her take on “Girls.”

StyleCaster News: Each of the main characters on “Girls” has her own distinctive style. Where did you draw inspiration for each of them?

Jenn Rogien: I did inspiration boards for each character for my very first meeting with Lena (Dunham) and Jenni (Konner). Those developed into my working inspiration images as I started shopping and fitting the characters. I pulled images from all over—street style blogs, retail catalogs, fashion magazines, Etsy, Flickr. All those images were guided by the script and creative conversations with Lena.

For many of us experiencing our 20s in NYC, our style often evolves as our careers and lives do. Can we expect a “style evolution” from the principal cast this season? 

I don’t want to give anything away, but I will say that we tried to have the wardrobe keep pace with the “Girls” as they move into season 2.

Which character’s style do you have the most fun with and why? 

I have fun with all four for different reasons. With Hannah, I have fun constantly messing with fit and proportion to keep her looking slightly disheveled. With Marnie, I enjoy walking the line between polished and a little over done. Shoshanna’s whole flirty look is a blast to shop. And Jessa’s eclectic look—particularly her accessories—are like a treasure hunt. It’s fantastic to have four such individual characters and specific looks in one show.

Is your own personal style similar to any of the cast’s?

I’m a bit of a style chameleon. I often pick up accessories or even whole looks from the characters I’m dressing. I’ve definitely bought some jewelry for myself while out shopping for Jessa. I don’t think I necessarily dress like any of the girls, but shopping for my own closet while shopping for the show is my best and worst occupational hazard!

Can you share with us any obscure shopping destinations that you pull from for the show? Vintage, flea markets, lesser-known boutiques, e-commerce etc …

I love 21 Tara, a small Tibetan store in Clinton Hill. I’ve gotten loads of jewelry there for “Girls,” myself, and other shows I work on. I worked with an amazing friend and Etsy seller Phaedra Elizabeth to make Shoshanna’s tiny hat that she wore to Hannah’s housewarming party. I love Erica Weiner for cool offbeat jewelry. Amarcord Vintage is on of my favorite vintage resources—their pieces are in amazing shape and they are so nice to work with. Atlantis Attic is one of my favorite thrift stores—you have to dig deep but we haul away bags and bags of hipster wear.

One of the most prominent themes on “Girls” is the influence of men. From Adam’s hipster nonchalance to Booth Jonathan’s art house lothario persona, how do you costume the boys with regards to their personalities? 

I approach the boys much the same way as the girls. I also did inspiration boards for the guys, drawing on information in the scripts. Once we had a direction, we got out and shopped. It all starts coming together when we get everything into the fitting room and work with the actors. I love menswear—my first job was as an assistant buyer in menswear at Saks—so I love dressing the guys as much as the girls.


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"Girls" costume designer Jenn Rogien walks us through her favorite looks from season 1 (and a couple sneak shots from season 2!). "Girls" returns to HBO this Sunday, January 13.

"This put-together look shows off Shoshanna's signature bag - a great carryall adorned with a feminine scarf to help personalize the look." 

Photo: Courtesy of HBO/

"This is such a moment of contrast: Shoshanna in loungewear counseling Jessa in her first-day-of-babysitting look - a whole lot of look."

Photo: Courtesy of HBO/

"This tomato sweater was one of my favorite pieces for Hannah - it looks so frumpy in the best way. In this scene she had tried to put herself together for work, and it just didn't quite get there. Again."

Photo: Courtesy of HBO/

"This is a great look that shows all the little details that add up to Shoshanna: tiny apple earrings, a small Tiffany-inspired necklace, polka dots on her mini-trench coat, and, of course, her signature bag."

Photo: Courtesy of HBO/

"The is the most straightforward Jessa look, ironically at a time when things are most chaotic for her. This look had a few layers and simple accessories to play against her emotional arc in this episode."

Photo: Courtesy of HBO/

"Post jog, Hannah and Adam head out together. This is Hannah's version of athletic gear, and she's wearing it out in public to a non-athletic event."

Photo: Courtesy of HBO/

"Another great Shoshanna look: feminine, flirty and picking up on some of her staples, peace signs, bows and soft colors."

Photo: Courtesy of HBO/

(Season 2!) "Playing off some of season 1 themes, Jessa has bold accessories with her sheer vintage dress for a second season look."

Photo: Courtesy of HBO/

(Season 2!) "This great Jessa and Thomas John moment is also a great wardrobe moment: Jessa in vintage and Thomas John in a crisp, finance-guy blue shirt."

Photo: Courtesy of HBO/

(Season 2!) "This shot shows how the girls' looks continue to keep up with them throughout their (many) upcoming shenanigans."

Photo: Courtesy of HBO/

(Season 2!) "For me, this shot is all about the shoes! It's a rare treat to see shoes on TV. Each "Girls" character's personality goes all the way through to the tips of her toes, as the four very different pairs of shoes show."

Photo: Courtesy of HBO/

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