Love her or fear her, Maddy Perez is a true style icon.
Unlike most high school students, Maddy Perez isn’t on a mission to find herself. She knows who she is and is simply waiting for everyone else to catch up.
As the bonafide It Girl on HBO’s Euphoria, her style is the most recognizable and easy to recreate. Channeling the ’90s and early aughts, Maddy’s wardrobe is comprised of shoulder bags, mini skirts, crop tops, bodycon dresses and Clueless-style matching sets. Confident and combative, Maddy serves endless style inspiration and quotable one-liners.
Played by the equally fashionable Alexa Demie (who helped curate the character’s aesthetic with costume designer Heidi Bivens), Maddy and her style has had an influence in the world outside of Euphoria. (Who can forget the I.Am.Gia set she wore in season one, which went on to become one of 2019’s most coveted looks?). In season two, as the lives of the show’s teens descend into even more chaos, her fashion becomes decidedly darker. (Spoliers ahead!)
As far as Maddy’s personality is concerned, we can be sure of two things: She loves her friends and she is intimidating AF. This season, she’s betrayed by her best friend Cassie Howard (Sydney Sweeney), who starts up a relationship (we use that term loosely) with Maddy’s abusive ex-boyfriend Nate Jacobs (Jacob Elordi). In the most recent episode, released on February 6, Maddy finally learns the truth.
“I’m literally going to get violent,” she says (and we didn’t doubt she would). But even when cursing Cassie out, Maddy maintains an elusive (almost eerie) coolness.
While other characters have gone through fashion transformations as a reflection of inner growth, Maddy’s core style has been consistent.
“Maddy knew who she was from a very early age,” Rue Bennett (Zendaya), the show’s narrator, said in season one. “For as long as Maddy could remember, everybody loved her. She never knew exactly what it was. She just knew that she had something special.”
Maddy is well-aware of her beauty and knows how to weaponize it. It’s arguably the reason she can get away with making biting jabs at her friends while remaining the unofficial leader of the group.
In season one, we learn that the high school student never had a desire for a career, but rather, she preferred to do…nothing at all. At a young age, she would watch her mother, an esthetician, “give pedicures to rich people.” She’d study the women with their feet in the foot bath, Rue narrates in the season one episode “Bonnie and Clyde.”
“What she realized was that none of them actually did anything. I mean, they may have had children to raise or like, homes to decorate, but at the end of the day, they literally did nothing. They literally did nothing. And strangely, none of them had confidence.” But Maddy does.
When we met her in season one, Maddy’s feminine style included pastel colours, floral designs and tight silhouettes. This season, Bivens told Vogue the character is more grown-up and mature. “She has seen a lot in her short amount of time, so she’s jaded and is imagining herself in the next chapter of her life, and is even fantasizing about what it’s going to be like to be out of school and have more freedom.”
Maddy’s new expensive taste is beyond what she can afford as a teenage girl. Her affinity for the finer things can be seen in season two when she raids the designer-filled closet of the woman whose son she’s babysitting. What comes next is a glorious montage of her trying on pieces by luxury fashion houses like Thierry Mugler, Dior and Chanel.
The only person who can turn Maddy’s confidence upside down is Nate. After he physically assaults her in season one, her outfits reflect the trauma she’s processing. She ditches her signature cat eye look and opts for sunglasses, baggier silhouettes and muted tones.
In episode two season two, Maddy reveals to her friend Jules Vaughn (Hunter Schafer) that she’s considering getting back together with Nate. Jules replies, “I wish you could see yourself the way the rest of the world does.”
Jaded by her childhood and the fractures in her tough, confident exterior, Maddy maintains her It Girl style status in the second season of Euphoria, but with an edge. In the first episode, her bold eyeliner and all-black cut-out ensemble from clothing brand Akna Store sets the tone the character.
“A Maddy wing is always THE sharpest wing. Sharp like a knife to cut through whatever stands in her way,” said makeup artist Doniella Davy, who added that Demie took the lead on the character’s makeup this season.
Still, we can expect Maddy to serve some glamorous style in this season of Euphoria. Already, she can be seen wearing pieces inspired by Y2K label Blumarine, including a crop top with low-waisted skirt moment, a fur-trimmed cardigan and a custom-made slip dress.
A true diva personified, Maddy treats the halls of East Highland High as her runway. Armed with hindsight and shocking news about her best friend, it’s likely the character’s calculating, combative side will come out even more this season. Fashion-wise, we’re expecting bold statement-making pieces and sharp, eye-grabbing makeup. It’s Maddy Perez, after all.