Are you as obsessed with Stranger Things as I am? Along with the rest of the world..! I felt like Season 4 was so good that it could stand on it’s own – even if you weren’t already familiar with the universe of Hawkins and the Upside Down. Besides the epic brilliance of Kate Bush and Metallica in those scenes, I got so swept up in all the 80s nostalgia – especially the character’s wardrobes. I need a puffer jacket like Hopper and Joyce wear in the soviet era Russian prison and, of course, a Hellfire Club tee.
That’s all thanks to the show’s costume designer Amy Parris, who put so much vintage detail and research into the characters wardrobe this season. I highly recommend watching this Netflix video and this GQ video, where she shares behind the scenes info about all the clothing choices. They use lots of original vintage items, as well as vintage inspired products from the archives of collaborators like Converse, Vans and Quicksilver.
When you’ve got plotlines venturing into otherworldly realms, it’s important for the clothes to stay authentic. “The characters have to go fight. They have to go battle. I think logistically about what’s in their closet, at the bottom of the floor.
Mine and my team’s eye is so trained to see ’80s clothing. We really do use real vintage pieces almost entirely for stock. You need to be head to toe authentic to the period, otherwise it’ll stand out, it’ll show. “
That Puffer Jacket
Amy is a great follow on Instagram where she shares a lot of insider details about all the characters clothes. Like the puffer jackets that Hopper and Joyce wear in Russia, which were custom made by Seattle based company Crescent Down Works:
I must admit I have been looking at vintage 80s puffer and ski jackets on Etsy after see them….
Pulling from Quiksilver’s Archives
When Parris began compiling looks for season four she knew that part of the show would be set in 80s California (in the fictional town of Lenora Hills). They collaborated with Quiksilver, a company deeply engrained in California’s surf culture since the late 60s, who pulled pieces from their own eighties archives and recreated era specific outfits for the characters.
“Quiksilver was an integral part of California fashion in the 1980s. The show is so true to the period that it only made sense to infuse Quiksilver archive pieces through the show this season. We worked meticulously to make sure the fit, fabric and feel of each garment was both true to the period and akin to the characters’ closets.” Parris was offered access to Quiksilver’s archive, where they have pieces from the exact period the show’s set in. Parris could pick which pieces Quiksilver would remake for the show, which pieces they’d use as inspiration for other pieces and which would make it into their collaborative collections for consumers, which release in conjunction with the season premiere. – Gear Patrol
You can buy Nancy’s denim jacket, the sweatshirt that Max wears and some of the pieces that Argyle and Mike wear in California – all from the Quicksilver Stranger Things colab. Including Surfer Boy Pizza!
Eddie & The Hellfire Club
“We knew we wanted it to look like the boys in the Hellfire club made the shirt, so we were really specific about the logo. We used research and images of young D&D Club players, so I knew a lot of them had white with black sleeves.
The vest is a vintage Levi’s trucker blanket-lined jacket. Somebody had cut the sleeves off, so it had the right amount of fray. There’s distressing on the collar. Everything about it was the perfect level of worn in, Eddie is probably a “had it forever” kind of guy. We gave him his Reebok sneakers with the tongues pulled out, because he would’ve done that in the ’80s. We gave him a chain on the leather of his jacket, like maybe the zipper broke, and he tried to close it. So we really focused on little details. “
The Colour Palette
“Knowing that we’d be in four different, huge locations, I wanted to definitely make sure the colour palette showed through the screen, so we made sure that the stock was specific for each location. We knew that Russia would be darker and scarier, so we made sure that those clothes really reflected that in the uniforms. Hawkins is still its classic dusty, rusty, but with saturated colours, so we made sure to really make it pop between each frame.”
“The Scantron shirt was a fabric that I found in Atlanta at a fabric store. Then it has these bubbles that I thought I could see Dustin sitting in class, getting bored, and filling that in. So we made the shirt, and my friend Trevor, who made the Hellfire logo, actually did the artwork on the shirt. It’s kind of Zelda type imagery, like video game stuff, so there’s a castle, and a Viking shooting arrows at an elf with a guy on a horse, and then it connects to the back, which has this fire-breathing dragon, and there’s a wizard down here, which is a lot like the Will wizard from season three.”
Steve & Robin
We knew that it was time for them to get out of Scoops Ahoy, so it was nice to give them a uniform that’s a uniform, but still could show their own clothes underneath. We felt the best way to do that was with a vest, so we took some creative licensing in making the vest, but it’s green and orange. I’m imagining they get to accessorise it the way they want – on Robin’s Family Video employee vest there’s a hawk pin that is a sly nod to Maya Hawke.
If you’re a real fan of the show I highly recommend watching those two behind the scenes videos with Amy Parris, there are s many fun details and easter eggs in the wardrobes, and it’s just a fun way to relive the show (besides re-watching Season 4, which I think I’m about to do!)
All images courtesy of Netflix.
Your own personal Hawkins
There are some fun colabs out there, if you wanted to get your hands on a piece of Hawkins inspired gear….