‘Only Murders in the Building’ Costumes Offer Clues – and Alfred Hitchcock Easter Eggs

The second season of ‘Only Murders in the Building’ picks up minutes after last year’s finale, which ended with a cliffhanger and a mystery: who killed Arconia’s board chairman and bully resident Bunny Folger (Jayne Houdyshell) with a knitting needle? !

The new thriller is rapidly escalating and venturing into interesting places – literally. The same goes for costumes from Dana Covarrubias, who returns to help reunite the Arconiacs with our favorite amateur sleuth podcasters, chasing each of their signatures. Raise a bottle of Gut Milk!

Broadway producer Oliver Putnam (Martin Short) continues to hustle in dramatic scarves, jewel tones, and early designer jackets and vests. Charles-Haden Savage (Steve Martin) copes with his unfortunate breakup with bassoonist Jan (Amy Ryan) by staying protected in his blazers, navy palette and porkpie hat associated with the television detective he once played. Millennial artist Mabel (Selena Gomez) still inspires OOTDs with her striking marigolds, plaids, and seriously good coats. (Are you a Putnut, Haden Maiden or Mabelline?)

Charles matches Mabel, while Oliver channels Mabel.

Yet, says Covarrubias, “our cast has now entered a new phase in their lives, as a trio.” So she came up with a visual way to connect the three.

As Mabel, Charles, and Oliver enter the second season of their own real-time investigative podcast (while also becoming people interested in Bunny’s unfortunate demise), they begin to merge and borrow each other’s brands. trade. At the Bunny memorial in episode two, for example, Mabel and Charles team up in Prince of Wales check blazers (above), hers in dark green by Maje and hers in dark navy by Hugo Boss. Oliver’s cashmere Marigold coat by Marciano – worn over his brown Oliver Spencer blazer – and matching vintage cashmere scarf give a nod to Mabel. These choices represent the “subtle, subtle ways that we might say, ‘OK, they’re growing, and they’re changing, and they’re coming together as a group,'” Covarrubias says.

Gomez, Martin and Short look adorable on the Upper West Side set in December 2021.

Gomez, Martin and Short look adorable on the Upper West Side set in December 2021.

Last December, paparazzi snapped the trio filming on location on the Upper West Side wearing what might be the most sartorial item associated with the hit Hulu show: statement coats. The season premiere solves the mystery behind Oliver and Charles cutting Mabel’s look, but behind the scenes, Covarrubias takes credit.

“I actually kind of wrote that moment myself,” she says.

During a production meeting with showrunner John Hoffman (who directed the episode), Covarrubias suggested a scripted reason to keep the trio warm, as the action moves quickly from inside the Arconia. to the winter yard. “He was like, ‘Yeah, I love that!’ she says.

Covarrubias presented the team with optional faux fur coat racks. “Hoffman picked favorites for the three of them, but the one they ultimately picked for Mabel is just a cute little capelet,” she says. (It’s vintage Donna Karan.)

For the mysterious new arcs that continue to bring our trio back, Covarrubias turned to a themed benchmark: “I’ve rewatched all the classic Alfred Hitchcock movies, like ‘Rear Window’, ‘Vertigo’, “Dial M for Murder and ‘The Birds.'” She even drops a few nods to the director in the closets of the three protagonists, but especially Mabel.

“She’s figuring out who she wants to be,” Covarrubias says. “She wants to be more of an artist, but she’s constantly thrown back into this mysterious and murderous world.”

Podcasters have become people of interest.

Podcasters have become people of interest.

At the police station, Mabel changes from her white turtleneck – soaked in Bunny’s blood – to a crimson hoodie (above). The Hanes Comfort Wash sweatshirt, which has been hand-dyed for added saturation, references the red lace party dress Grace Kelly’s socialite/potential murder victim wears at the start of the “Dial M For Murder” from 1954 designed by Moss Mabry.

“I just thought it was so fascinating: in a murder mystery, why would you want the female leads to start out in a blood red costume?” Covarrubias explains. “It’s on the nose and weird, but I like it too.”

Martin, Gomez (at Proenza Schouler) and Short returned to the Upper West Side in January.

Martin, Gomez (at Proenza Schouler) and Short returned to the Upper West Side in January.

Gomez was also snapped by Dads in January as Mabel, wearing a moss green belted faux fur coat by Proenza Schouler (above). The plush layer pays homage to the iconic skirt suit and fur jacket that Tippi Hedren’s diary heiress wore for the majority of Edith Head’s 1963 “The Birds” costume. Covarrubias wondered, “How would Mabel wear something like that?”

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Covarrubias also references Hitchcock’s cinematic techniques in the costumes, with a continuous black-and-white theme evoking his use of “shadow imagery”. It illustrates the inner conflict and contradiction experienced by the main characters.

“They’re constantly trying to push towards who they want to be, but then they’re thrown back into this murderous drama and they can’t move on,” says Covarrubias. “There’s a lot of duality there.”

Mabel in her Hitchcock-inspired black and white, with Oliver and Charles on watch.

Mabel in her Hitchcock-inspired black and white, with Oliver and Charles on watch.

In a climactic moment from episode six, Mabel wears a chic white wrap coat by H&M over an all-black ensemble, down to patent loafers adorned with a gold Steve Madden chain and leather gloves (above) . This look is reminiscent of the oversized lapel white coat over a black turtleneck dress, gloves and sheer scarf worn by Kim Novak’s enigmatic character in 1958’s “Vertigo,” also a costume designed by Head.

As well as referencing Hitchcock, the checkered and checkered pattern continues Mabel’s previously established fondness for port patterns. “There’s this ongoing theme of grids,” says Covarrubias. “You see it all the way through ‘North by Northwest.'”

Oliver, Mabel (in a Lisa Says Gah cardigan and Zara pants) and Charles study their new murder board.

Oliver, Mabel (in a Lisa Says Gah cardigan and Zara pants) and Charles study their new murder board.

In season two, Mabel finally begins to hang out with someone her own age – and with common interests: art gallery owner Alice (Cara Delevingne).

“There’s this funny thing where Mabel is always hanging out with two old guys, and when she’s with them, she’s in ‘detective mode,'” Covarrubias explains. “She needs to be comfortable and able to run and tackle someone on the ground if she needs to. There’s really no opportunity for fashion and glamorous looks.”

When Alice invites Mabel to her gallery opening, Covarrubias jumped at the chance to portray a more experimental and chic side of Mabel’s personality.

According to the storyline, Mabel gets free access to her wealthy aunt’s wardrobe and pulled out a sheer orange watercolor trench coat by Dries Van Noten, an orange shirt dress by Nanushka and white By Far boots. (Mabel’s aunt has really good taste.) Complimenting Mabel’s evening dress, Alice said, “I know I want this dress.”

Mabel puts on heels for a visit to Alice's studio.

Mabel puts on heels for a visit to Alice’s studio.

As well as venturing downtown to Alice’s studio in episode two, Mabel deviates from her usual notched-soled boots and instead layers a soft buttercream coat from Five to Seven. (above) in a black and white sweater from & Other Stories with cropped knit pants from Vince and architectural heeled patent leather boots from Steve Madden.

“Alice represents a different type of New York look that we haven’t seen on the show until now,” says Covarrubias. “She’s more from the Lower East Side or Brooklyn art scene.”

Alice has her own duality – be it her intentions or her contrasting wardrobe aesthetic. In her studio, she wears very practical yet chic ensembles, such as a cropped white tank top by James Perse and structured cargo pants by Maeve (below). “But then you see this other side of her,” Covarrubias says, pointing to Alice’s gallerist responsibilities, who must put herself forward to sell expensive art and impress a tony crowd. “That’s the side of her that you are, ‘What is she up? “” (There’s also a touch of international modeling, as Delevingne provided Alice with some of her personal accessories, such as her chunky chain necklace and boots.)

Alice (Cara Delevingne) welcomes Mabel to her studio.

Alice (Cara Delevingne) welcomes Mabel to her studio.

When she sends Mabel an intriguing DM, Alice wears a very Cara Delevingne-esque Burberry rubber trench coat, then later, for a gallery night, a Thierry Mugler tuxedo jacket with contrast lapels and Max Mara trousers. “She’s wearing these brightly colored blazers with sexy little tops underneath — or no tops underneath — and skinny jeans and boots. It’s a very Saint Laurent vibe,” Covarrubias says. In a later episode, there’s a faux python blazer from Rotate worn over a corset from Zara with faux leather pants from Philosophy, which she describes as “more than [Alice’s] “showman look”, where she tries to pretend to be that person she’s not really.”

Because at the Arconia, there’s a clue at every turn — and in every outfit.

The first two episodes of “Only Murders in the Building” will air Tuesday, June 28 on Hulu, followed by one episode per week.

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