The Cruel Summer Cast Talks Thrifting, 90s Grunge and Kate Wallis’ Blue Furry Handbag


Freeform’s newest psychological thriller Cruel summer, produced by Jessica Biel, was filmed in Dallas, TX and set for three consecutive years in the 1990s. The cast of Olivia Holt (Kate Wallis), Chiara Aurelia (Jeanette Turner), Harley Quinn Smith (Mallory Higgins) and Allius Barnes (Vince Fuller) is full of talent and all actors share a deep understanding of who their characters are. They worked with costume designer Taneia Lednicky (who also assisted) Friday night lights(as we talk about the high school storylines) to convey their personal developments from 1993-1995. The way these four children deal with these stressful, turbulent years is so evident from what they wear – and the objects they leave dusting off.

We spoke to Taneia, along with all four of the stars on the show, about collaborating on the outfitting and discovering designer pieces that perfectly match their characters’ style. Not only did we find out where Kate Wallis’ blue fur bag came from (you know this one!), We were delighted to discover that most of Mallory and Vince’s clothes were frugal and Chiara couldn’t stop herself from using Jeanette Turner’s Steve Madden Wedges to buy IRL.

Taneia traces this group love with 90s fashion to a symbiotic cast and crew relationship. “They were generous in helping create the looks each year and spending time considering the details that ran us through each year. We’d look at reference photos together. Sometimes they would send me ideas of things they’d seen online. They kept me true to their characters! “” She said. Find out beforehand how well everyone was tuned to the outfit details you may have overlooked.


Melinda Martin