By Daniel Ogas, Larisa May, and Shiva Zokaei
It is no secret that horror films are an asset to popular culture. Time and time again, these thrilling stories take us into a world that no other form of media can. But there is no franchise that seems to have done it as well, and iconic, as the Scream franchise has. The first film was released in 1996, with numerous installments following over the years. The franchise has resonated with generations of moviegoers. Unlike other franchise films, Scream has grown with its audiences and evolved with our ever-changing world.
One of the biggest evolutions that comes with time is fashion. Through the characters of Gale Weathers and Kirby Reed, the installments of Scream have captured fashion evolution over the last two decades, while using such evolution to provide a deep sense of character development for two of the most iconic characters in horror movie history.
Everyone’s favorite broadcaster, Gale Weathers has been through many phases throughout her evolution. Played by Courtney Cox, Gale Weathers has expressed her desire to explore stylistic choices in her costume when it came to the character. In the first of the Scream series, she dawned non-blended highlights paired with a professional trench coat and upscale pantsuit, her look was the epitome of a TV journalist in the 90s.
She went on to then cut her hair and style it as bob at chin-length and dyed it red. She then chopped blunt disarrayed bangs for her third appearance in the Scream franchise in Scream 3 where she let her hair grow out and also dyed it black.
From Scream 3 to Scream 4, Gale becomes further represented by classical pantsuits reminiscent of assertive lawyer-type women. She often wears professional skirts with her tops, giving off a feminine approach to her professional life. Over Scream 5 and Scream 6, Gale became trendier with fashion choices and wore outfits more similar to her closest younger generation than to her closest older generation.
Kirby Reed, portrayed by Hayden Panettiere is the protagonist in Scream 4. Her survival in the movie was confirmed in Scream (2022), and she is set to reappear in the latest installment of the franchise. Kirby’s character in the films is reflected through her costumes and style choices.
Kirby is known for her love of horror movies and outwardly cool personality. Her character expresses this through several distinct style choices. The color palette of most of her outfits relies on darker, cool-toned hues. In most shots, Kirby is seen wearing a jacket or outer layer of some kind. In her first scene in Scream 4, she can be seen wearing a black leather jacket, which is mirrored in her reappearance in the Scream VI trailer. The layering trend continues throughout her appearances in Scream 4, where she’s seen wearing a gray blazer later in the film.
The cool, neutral-leaning color palette complements the style of the movie while still highlighting her character’s personality. Since Kirby has a love for horror movies and seems to gravitate toward the darker side of things, the colors blend well with her disposition.
Her outfits, while on trend in the 2011 movie, continue to be relevant today. Blazers have been brought to the forefront of the fashion scene again in 2023, and leather jackets remain a staple piece in many closets. Neutral and cool tones are making a comeback this year as well, after dopamine dressing and its high visibility color palette took center stage in 2022.
Since Scream VI is set to take place in New York City in 2023, many fashion-minded fans have been speculating about the style choices that will be made in the film. Based on Kirby’s outfit in the Scream VI trailer it seems that her sense of style hasn’t changed much since the 2011 Woodsboro murders. However, the use of accessories, such as the chain link necklace, elevates the outfit from its previous renditions.
Scream VI hits theaters on March 10, 2023.
Some photos courtesy of Paramount.