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People can't figure out if they're into her outfits, or not Square Toe Sandals
The White Lotus has had us all GRIPPED. But maybe more gripping than the whodunnit mystery of it all, plus our obsession with Jennifer Coolidge, is 20-something lost soul Portia (Hayley Lu Richardson) and her bold outfits on the show. According to Twitter anyway, it's divided fans in a big way. It seems we can't figure out if they're good or bad. Or if, actually, her style speaks to us as equally lost people grappling with lewks and self-representation on a daily basis.
It's no secret that Y2K fashion is huge. Especially for our Gen Z pals (and this nostalgic millennial). We're open to low-rise jeans again. Baguette bags are the It-bag. We love halternecks, pleated skirts and corsets as much as the next gal. Celebs like Dua Lipa and Bella Hadid have been dressing like Lizzie McGuire for a while now, and people have a hunch this is also Portia's summer style muse for her chaotic Sicilian work trip.
Portia’s White Lotus outfits pic.twitter.com/JISyhjU6xp
Portia… honey… you have gone full Lizzie McGuire. #WhiteLotus pic.twitter.com/bAUigG3f1F
Maybe with a little Ashley Tisdale circa High School Musical thrown in?
Every outfit Portia wears on The White Lotus gives off this energy: pic.twitter.com/RpN6sqIZoS
But something about Portia's maximalist styling, clashing prints and 'ugly' sandals has caused an online discourse. It definitely has an air of an excited pre-teen getting to choose their own aesthetic in Tammy Girl. Or a micro-trend fanatic obsessed with the clothes advertised on Instagram and the Depop explore page.
Is the bright knit bolero and zebra print bikini that she wears to the beach bar haphazard or ingenious? Do we actually love the bold prints paired with chunky trainers or the swan-printed sweater vest and chunky Crap eyewear sunglasses?
The costume designer, Alex Boviard, confirmed in a recent interview with British Vogue, that Portia's erratic aesthetic is intentional and says a lot about her character's state of mind, "[she's] completely lost, and we wanted her wardrobe to reflect that. She’s a loveable hot mess, both in herself and the way she dresses – a mini Tanya, in some ways".
When, in last week's episode, Jennifer Coolidge's Tanya asked if Portia had any cute outfits for their impromptu boat trip to Palermo, she wasn't convinced by her 'yes' answer - and neither was Twitter.
And what was the weird arm sweater thingy she wore over that bikini top?? pic.twitter.com/PmCWgHfjiR
i was about to join in with everyone watching white lotus slagging off portia’s outfits but then i came to the stark realisation that i pretty much dress exactly the same pic.twitter.com/gyplfMTCMO
We had to admit, though, Portia's fashion sense is fun - and verrrry familiar - albeit with a lack of harmony and direction. We've been there. We've bought into those trends whilst figuring out our own personal style; the beaded phone charms, the bright crochet, the psychedelic swirl prints and, of course, those space buns.
Portia is definitely jaded, seeking more adventure from life by wanting to escape mega screen time stats and the trappings of social media, whilst her influencer-inspired choice of brands say otherwise, wearing Aries, House of Sunny and Stussy.
portia gave us one cute outfit, now she’s back to dressing like a polly pocket doll who lost half her luggage 😭 #WhiteLotus
Some of that early 2000's stuff is pretty cute, like this: pic.twitter.com/VFszy1O99Q
The point is, "she doesn’t fully hit the mark," Boviard explains. "She really tries, and some of her outfits are cute, but some of them are… naff?".
Jelly Sandals Portia when she picks out her outfits everyday #WhiteLotus pic.twitter.com/a4yJyqZvbq