A Broke (to Not-So-Broke) Woman's Guide to Dressing Like Villanelle From Killing Eve


If you’ve been watching Phoebe Waller Bridge’s brilliant BBC America crime drama Killing Eve (which concludes this Sunday), then you’ve likely become obsessed by the 1.) insanely gorgeous hair of Sandra Oh and 2.) wardrobe of trained assassin Villanelle (Jodie Comer), and one frothy pink dress in particular.

The dress I speak of is by British designer (and Rihanna favorite) Molly Goddard. When Killing Eve costume designer Phoebe de Gaye was asked by Vogue why she chose a dress so playful for a woman so lethal, she told them:

“What it said in the script is she’s wearing a big poufy dress. I think Phoebe Waller-Bridge [the show’s creator], had, perhaps, something more classic in mind. I thought Molly Goddard’s stuff was just perfect for it because it has that subversive streak,” explains the designer. “In that scene, her minder takes her to the psychoanalyst to see if she’s losing her edge. It’s like she’s sticking two fingers up and saying, ‘Okay, I’m going to dress like a little girl and act like a mad little girl.’ She’s quite subversive. I thought that would be great to use with the color and the mixture of the extremely feminine, almost to the slightly perverse point, with those boots, which are a good mix.”

The boots, by the way, are Balenciaga because money is no object once you’re trained to kill (though Jezebel does not endorse this line of work).

This cotton candy fantasy is from Goddard’s 2016 line and is therefore no longer available to buy, though even if it was, most of us could not afford it. But say you, my kindred spirit, are also captivated by this dress and want one of your own—or at least as close as you and your budget can get? Sadly, the designer’s collaboration with ASOS is a thing of the past, but maybe these dresses I’ve come across in my own hunt will help you fill the void:

This dreamy silk-organza dress is also by Molly Goddard AND it’s on sale for a cool $845. Let’s each get two! Or—more realistically—get one and share it Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants-style between 845 of us.

When brainstorming substitutes, I was immediately reminded of this beautiful sheer dress (left) from Discount Universe ($179) that—though lacking in the volume—is replete with girlish details like puff sleeves and ruffles. Pair it with a pair of Doc Martens and someone could mistake you for Villanelle herself, but only if they’re squinting and very, very drunk. Lazy Oaf also makes some ruffled pink… daywear? Sleepwear? I don’t know—kids today and their sheer dresses. Honestly, the cherries on the nips of this lil number are giving me agita, but if you like it, you can get on the waiting list for one ($73.60) here.

When I first saw the side of this ASOS dress ($119), I thought I had found exactly what I’ve been looking for. And then I saw the front and realized this dress is too ugly to even get blood on. (Note: Murder is not funny.)

If it’s mostly the tulle that you want, the Emphasis on Opulence dress from ModCloth will get you there for $125. Since we’ve already entered the terrible, unsustainable world of fast fashion, consider these from H&M: the long satin dress ($34.99), the ruffle-trim mesh dress ($99), or the silk-blend shift (59.99).

Here we are getting ever closer, but still… what we really want remains just out of reach. For some voluminous options, we have this chiffon midi dress (left) for $100 from Topshop, a far more ‘spense-y, but glamorously floaty mini dress (center) by Stine Goya, available at Shopbop for $340, and a Vilshenko dress (right, also from Shopbop), which would be equally at home on a beach or while hiding out from Interpol in plain sight. It costs $425, but I don’t know! Maybe you got a good tax return or something.

LOOK AT THE DRAMA IN THESE SLEEVES. Could you have weird sexual tension with Sandra Oh in one of these? I think the answer is yes. From left to right: Scuba embellished a-line mini dress ($92), all over embellished shift mini dress ($103), and the pleated trapeze mini dress ($51), all from ASOS Curve.

This bell-sleeved mini ($49.90) from Zara is so sweet that no one would ever expect you of being a lethal murder machine. (Again: DO. NOT. MURDER.) The others, all from & Other Stories, at least capture the disturbing sweetness of the Molly Goddard dress, and they’d all look good with a tough motorcycle boot. From left to right: Satin maxi dress ($145), layered frill dress ($95), and the high neck frill dress ($85).

All this for one dress? YES, all this for one dress. I’m drawn to it like MI6 investigator Eve Polastri to her enigmatic, illusive target, Villanelle; and also like Eve, I will not stop hunting until one of us is in the other’s possession. (Or not. I am already sleepy.)

Now, if someone wants to do a similar guide to good knock-offs of Villanelle’s Dries Van Noten suit, I—and many others—would greatly appreciate it.

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