The finale of PLL is upon us. The show has made us laugh, cry and practically jump out of our seats, but when A and the girls are gone, what will we remember most? The clothes! Yep, seven seasons full of swoon-worthy style. But Aria, Spencer, Hanna and Emily’s killer outfits are no accident. We chatted with the show’s costume designer, Cameron Dale, to get the scoop on their signature looks.
Justine Magazine: Throughout the history of the show, what is your all-time favorite look for each character: Aria, Spencer, Hanna and Emily, and why?
Cameron Dale: My all-time favorite looks (that I designed) are in the series finale! I am sworn to secrecy so you will have to watch to find out. There are so many great fashion moments in the finale—it was thrilling to read the script and dive in.
JM: Is there one look from any one of the shows that stands out as a favorite? Or a look that was the most fun to create?
CD: It was equally fun to create all of the girls’ five-years-forward looks and put my stamp on the show. Their professional looks were particularly fun because I could play around with dressier clothes that expressed what they had been up to the last five years. Hanna, for example, works in fashion in NYC, so I was able to really play with color and trends.
JM: How have the characters’ styles evolved?
CD: Aria’s transition into adulthood was the most drastic. Aria left behind the angsty spiked belts and jewelry for a more refined, professional look. Lucy and I didn’t want to lose Aria’s playfulness though, so we kept her teenage fashion spirit alive by mixing prints and experimenting with fun footwear.
JM: If each character had a real-life celebrity style icon, who would it be?
CD: Great question! I think Aria would relate to Carrie Bradshaw. Is a fictional character cheating? Carrie effortlessly mixed pattern, wasn’t afraid to experiment, and had the best shoe closet ever. Spencer is an old soul and would relate to Katherine Hepburn’s iconic style. After all, Katherine Hepburn made trousers fashionable and Spencer loves a great pant. Emily doesn’t have a style icon! Fashion is more utilitarian and an afterthought for her. She has more important things to worry about…namely Uber A! Hanna, like Spencer, would also look to the past for inspiration. Marilyn Monroe is Hanna’s fashion spirit animal. Hanna will always choose to be sexy over cute, like Marilyn.
JM: If you could use one word to describe each character’s personal style what would it be?
CD: Aria: Playful; Emily: Sporty; Hanna: Trendy; Spencer: Classic
JM: Which of the characters’ styles is most like your own?
CD: A mix between Emily and Aria; as a costume designer I work long hours and I’m on my feet all day, so I could never last in Aria’s heels. I love a great pair of jeans and boots (hello, Emily!) and pair them with a fun blouse and jewelry (channeling Aria).