“The White Lotus” fashion designer talks about a hidden clue in Tanya’s wardrobe

Warning: This story contains spoilers from the season 2 finale of “The White Lotus.”

Talk about a fatal ending.

In the second season of HBO’s hit show “The White Lotus” on Sunday, Jennifer Coolidge’s Tanya McQuaid is sent to her watery grave — after taking out an entire yacht full of conspiring gays.

But shocking as Tania’s fate beheld viewers, the eagle-eyed fashionista noticed a key clue that she wouldn’t survive her vacation in Sicily: her final dress, which linked her to a doomed character from “The Godfather.”

And Coolidge’s character’s ominous outfit wasn’t the only easter egg seen in season two; Plenty of other costume choices from previous episodes hinted at the main players’ inner desires and true motives as well.

Below, “The White Lotus” stylist Alex Bovaird dishes on the season’s most iconic wardrobe moments—and what they all mean.

Tanya’s dress inspired by “The Godfather”

Jennifer Coolidge White Lotus
This floral dress connects Coolidge’s character to Apollonia, Corleone’s beautiful and doomed wife from the Francis Ford Coppola classic.
HBO

Throughout the finale, Tania wears a floral dress identical to the one seen in an iconic scene from The Godfather, when Michael Corleone’s wife Apollonia (Simonetta Stefanelli) is killed by a car bomb intended for her husband. In Episode 3, viewers got a close-up look at the dress on a mannequin during Bert, Dominic, and Abby’s “The Godfather” tour.

After viewers discovered the similarities in last Sunday’s preview of the finale, many thought Tanya wouldn’t make it to another White Lotus.

“I was very surprised at the ability of Internet detectives to put things together,” Bufferd tells Page Six Style. “When Watch Evan Ross Katz’s tweet Tanya’s death dress was shown on the “Godfather” doll, I was very moved.

But Bufferd says the fashion moment of genius “almost didn’t happen,” as Coolidge’s character’s version of the look was accidentally returned from the collection.

Jennifer Coolidge White Lotus
The floral sundress accidentally returned to Rome.
HBO

“We were at the end of the show, and it was sent to Rome the night before by mistake! Someone had to get on a plane early in the morning and get it on camera,” she says.

“Just a mess in the model fashion department.”

Gen-Z getups polarizing for Portia

White lotus fashion
Portia’s Gen-Z costumes have been both loved and hated by fans.
Fabio Lovino/HBO

Personal assistant Portia (Haley Lu Richardson) has inspired many a meme for her enthusiastic embrace of mixed prints and patterns, with some fans loving the Gen-Z look and others wondering why they never matched. But some of those conflicting illustrations carry deeper meanings; For example, the Custo Barcelona printed face she wears in one scene was intended to echo the Testa di Moro head statues seen throughout the season.

“At first, I was a little surprised by the reaction on the internet to her costumes, but I’m glad that my and Hayley Lou’s work on her character has gotten so much attention,” says Bufferd.

Portia white lotus
Portia’s holiday outfits were full of experimental prints.

The fashion designer says Portia’s style is inspired by the Los Angeles “It” girls who “constantly mix clothes and styles” in “uniquely bold and creative” ways, citing influencers Ruby Bryant and Lou Rebecca as examples.

“Portia isn’t nearly as pretty or plump herself, and the idea was that she wouldn’t always succeed in her style,” Bufferd explains. “We loved putting her in different moods and styles according to her state of mind and circumstances, and making her ‘away’.”

Harper’s style Audrey Hepburn

Harper
Harper’s fashion, inspired by Audrey Hepburn, has evolved throughout the season.
Image courtesy of HBO

Audrey Hepburn has been the “style muse” for Harper (Aubrey Plaza) all season, with Bufferd drawing inspiration from the legendary screen star’s “Roman Holiday” and “classic ’50s chic look”.

Bufferd also explains that Harper’s appearances “evolve based on how confident you feel” from episode to episode.

“She arrives in a pristine white suit, very guarded and sharp… as she starts to loosen up, her costumes become more vibrant,” says the costume designer. “In fact, we had her mirror shaped as Daphne (Meghann Fahy) looking at the winery, and she actually wore one of Daphne’s dresses at Villa Noto—the white and blue printed Poupette St Barth dress.”

The finale saw Harper reconcile with her husband, Ethan (Will Sharpe) after the pair suspected each other of cheating, and her outfit speaks volumes.

“In the Last Supper scene, she’s wearing a very feminine, romantic dress—she looks languid, finally,” says Bufferd. “It’s my favorite look on her, and we styled her hair like Audrey Hepburn.”

Jack’s “Love Island” T-shirts

Jack Love Island
Bold jack buttons are inspired by the Love Island reality stars.

Jack’s (Leo Woodall) costumes are straight out of “Love Island,” including the colorful T-shirts and shorts that wouldn’t look out of place on the British reality show.

Bufferd even discussed posing the Essex boy in classic “Love Island” skinny jeans, she says, but he “mostly wears shorts” because “Leo has really muscular legs!”

Alabai socks

Albie in white socks
Albie always kept his white socks on, even during his love scenes.

Good guy Albie (Adam DiMarco) has divided viewers, some on social media Sneak through “good vibes” Others cheer his relationship with sex worker Lucia (Simona Tabasco).

In one particularly talked-about moment, Albie kept his white stockings on while having sex with an impostor, similar to the Flight of the Conchords song “Business Time.”

“We just decided Albie was the kind of little goofy guy who wouldn’t take his socks off before his love scene,” Bufferd jokes.

“It made sense and was a visual gag and lent a little grit to an otherwise intense scene.”


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