“Good evening, idiot hookers,” snaps Chanel Oberlin, the perfectly blond and symmetrical queen bee of the Kappa Kappa Tau sorority in this season’s hit TV comedy-horror series, Scream Queens. She addresses a mix of misfits that includes a deaf girl, a “predatory lesbian” and a pledge with a neck brace played by Lea Michele (Glee). The university’s Dean forces the sorority to admit these so-called undesirables in an effort to curb the sisterhood’s history of mean girling … and a few suspicious deaths.
Chanel (Emma Roberts) is pretty, rich, vain and hopelessly entitled. She rules the campus with a well-manicured fist and has Kazi — whom she refers to as “her Asian” — on retainer to take tests on her behalf. She names her best friends and minions after herself: Chanels No. Two, Three and Five (Chanel No. Four died).
The Chanels are the latest addition to Hollywood’s stylish she-devil hall of fame. Viewers love to hate cliques like The Heathers (Heathers), The Flawless Four (Jawbreaker) and The Plastics (Mean Girls). All the Chanels are impeccably dressed, decked out in various shades of pastel, layers of fur and feathers, tweed jackets and couture garments. The sorority’s house includes a two-level walk-in closet, which is restocked each season by Chanel’s godfather, Karl Lagerfeld.
The show’s costume designer Lou Eyrich has been interviewed by just about every publication with a passing interest in fashion – Vogue included. There are entire Instagram accounts dedicated to documenting Scream Queens’ fashion while showcasing cheaper alternatives and where to buy them.
Scream Queens, along with many of these female-centric films, are hailed as feminist, but why do these films and television series lean so heavily on the age-old idea that attractive, fashionable women are inherently vapid, vain and dumb.