White Lotus Season 2 Equals the Critically Acclaimed First Season in Many Ways: Mike White on Percent of Bewitched An incisive account of one, this time basking on a beach in Sicily rather than Hawaii; a tour de force by a talented newcomer from the series; and the triumphant return of Jennifer Coolidge’s deranged heiress Tanya funnier and more tragic at any time; and the impeccable costumes that ensure we know who all these characters are before they even say a word.
The latter is the work of Alex Bovaird, costume Andrea Arnold’s American Honey rough and ready-made ensemble and Jordan Peele’s Nope the designer behind the Easter-egg-filled look), who also dressed the likes of Coolidge, Connie Britton and Sydney Sweeney in gowns, earl bracelets and Satire sweatshirts, outfitted for the first performance of the satirical play.
This time, in the majestic setting of the San Domenico Palace Hotel in Taormina, she was tasked with elevating the glamorous – in a sense, absurd – Its newest residents: Portia (Haley Lu Richardson), Tanya’s indecisive Gen Z assistant; Jack (Leo Woodall), a charming Essex boy who catches her eye; ), a Stanford graduate who also struggles with his relationship; Lucia and Mia (Simona Tabasco and Beatrice Grannò), two sex workers employed by the latter’s father (Michael Imperioli); Len (Theo James), his goofy wife Daphne (Megan Faye), his entrepreneur friend Ethan (Will Sharp) and his wife, hard-hearted lawyer Harper (Aubrey Plaza). As they bed-hop and bar-hop, their lives become more and more intertwined, and their lies – some more complex than others – are slowly unmasked.
As the show continues on Sky Atlantic and now, Bovaird breaks down their looks one by one – and reveals the details to look out for that can give us clues about their fate.
In the second season, the story moves from Maui to Taormina. How has this changed the way you design clothes?
This season we’ve had an uptick in how people dress up and show off. There’s a level of artistic license, but we thought about people putting on costumes and going on vacation and imagining who they would be. Since the story is set in Sicily, we also wanted to inject a little Italian flair into everyone’s wardrobe. There are lots of Italian designers, colors inspired by the blues, yellows and oranges of the Sicilian landscape, and lots of fruity prints. There was this Fellini-esque surrealism too, with some weird prints and this colorful, dreamy, psychedelic aspect of clothing.
One of the strangest characters is still Jennifer Coolidge’s Tanya. What would you like her to wear for this new setting?
I think she fantasizes that she is Brigitte Bardot in Italy, so when she packs – or when she, you know, asks her personal shopper to help her When shopping for some dresses for Italy – she bought a whole Dolce & Gabbana. She also wears a lot of floral prints, she has a Valentino purse, and she’s always rocking high heels. She dresses up, head to toe, and tries really hard to show off her assets because she’s worried that her husband [Jon Gries’ Greg] might not be who he says he is, or really like her. In Hawaii, her look was more slouchy.