The 'brutal' Wardrobe Is an Ode to Bitchy Teen Dramas

The 'brutal' Wardrobe Is an Ode to Bitchy Teen Dramas

The Y2K nostalgia thing was already well underway before Olivia Rodrigo exploded on the scene, but it's thanks to adopters like her that its resurgence continues to dominate pop culture and TikTok feeds alike.

And if her sour era is any indication, we might just be in it for the long haul. The music video for "brutal," which debuted today, is a testament to Rodrigo's ongoing fascination with alt-rock, vintage fashion and early 2000s memorabilia. (How many teen starlets today would wear Betsey Johnson and archive Roberto Cavalli in the same film?)

Petra Collins, who directed the film, enlisted New York and LA-based stylist and consultant Ron Hartleben to pull looks for the supporting cast (Rodrigo worked with Chenelle and Chloe Delgadillo for her outfits). Their wardrobes, which included everything from Capezio ballerina tutus to an archive Thierry Mugler runway look pulled from Gabriel Held Vintage, served to complement the music video's punk rock edge. Extras included Salem Mitchell, Collins' sister and the actor Lukas Gage (in a cherry red wool Paul Smith suit).

"Petra wanted it to be like a really angsty Y2K kind of vibe, like early 2000s movies," Hartleben tells PAPER, "but with a little twist to not make it so first degree. We really talked a lot about teen movies, like Jawbreaker, Mean Girls, the classics that have turned popular again in this new Gen Z era. And those were all the foundation of the styling in terms of the extras and the just the overall vibe."

Hartleben, who's worked with Collins before on numerous projects, adds that the two of them grew up watching these "bitchy teenage dramas" which made the process a lot of fun without being too referential. Several bright young designers from Marshall Columbia to Saint Sintra to Juliet Johnstone all got involved, as did jewelry from Brooke Callahan and Ian Charms.

Indeed, not only did Hartleben get to indulge in his love for teen dramas, but he even made a small cameo himself towards the end of the film in the traffic scene. "It was a really demanding role but I got there!!" he wrote on Instagram. "Thank you @petrafcollins for the role of a lifetime."

Screen shots via YouTube/ @ronnie_hart Instagram