Each Cullen has their own style that expertly communicates their vampire personanetflix // summit entertainment

Like many of our generation, a significant part of my high school life centred around the beauty and intricacies of the characters in the Twilight Saga. (In fact, this is quite a bit of an understatement for the obsession that dominated my teenage years when my best friend and I went so far as to name our hair bobbles after our favourite characters).

Crucially, the style and aesthetic of these characters was surely a decisive factor for teenagers growing up all over the world when choosing where to pledge their loyalties: Team Edward or Jacob? Alice, Rosalie or Bella? The Volturi or the Cullens? With the original film being re-released in cinemas to celebrate a decade since the film first graced our screens, it's high time to take a look back on the style of a film that definitely had a role in shaping our generation.

It's undeniable that the style of the human characters (especially, I regret, Bella) is rather unassuming. The boy/girl next-door vibes works in contradistinction to the more lavish style of the vampires - unashamedly extravagant, the Cullen's clothes are reflective of their wildly differing personalities.

The style of the Twilight Saga characters reveals their unique personalities, insecurities and passions enormously

Yet this should not lead us to fall into the trap of thinking that the human characters are boring, one-dimensional alternatives to their vampire counterparts - they are, in fact, quite the opposite of this. Their generic ‘jean and sweatshirt’ kind of style speaks volumes about that teenage insecurity of being different from the rest of their school mates. The blur of this shared style allows small differences between the human characters to stand out.

Take Jessica, whose personality is notoriously gossipy and attention seeking, but who beneath this has a good soul and is deeply insecure. Her quirks come across in her slightly more colourful clothing, which brighten up the greys, blacks and browns of the rest of the school year. Her style finally comes to the fore in the finale of the first film at the student prom, mirroring her character development and the (limited) overcoming of her jealousy of protagonist Bella.  Jessica's development is expressed through the wearing of a low-cut pink dress.

White also hints at their good nature: ‘vegetarian’ vampires

Fashion is also used to reflect the roles of other characters throughout the film. Angela has a more minimal vibe, with her pale glasses and pulled back hair reflecting her sincerity. Alternately, young Jacob displays his laid-back, easy going nature with long, loose locks - the loss of which in later films symbolises his character growth.

The protagonist Bella Swan's style has more depth than a first glance might suggest. Her preferred colour, brown, blends well with rainy Forks and indicates her warmth and modesty. The faded second hand Chevy truck she drives stands out from other students’ smarter vehicles, suggesting a grounded quality and a uniqueness that reflects the attention she draws from the immortal characters in the film. The human clothes are archetypal of that moody American teenage vibe that was the rage for so long.

The vampires' style is ultimately the most exciting, though. Each Cullen has their own style that expertly communicates their vampire persona, as well as demonstrating who they might have been in their past human life. For those vampires who possess special gifts - style is used by the costume designers of the film to suggest at these unique abilities.

The style of the Twilight Saga characters reveals their unique personalities, insecurities and passionsnetflix // summit entertainment

This becomes apparent the moment the Cullens walk into the cafeteria in an iconic scene of the first movie. Each wears one item of white – a visual signifier indicating to Bella (and the audience) their cool, superior status in the school. White also hints at their good nature: ‘vegetarian’ vampires who abstain from human blood, unlike other vampire clans such as the Volturi or the trio of James, Victoria and Laurent – all of whom wear darker colours. Clothes become a way to denote subtle messages to the audience; they aren't simply there for the aesthetic value.

The vampires also celebrate their differences: most notably Alice's pixie-cut hair, and Rosalie with her vivid red prom dress in the finale of the first film. Bella's transformation from human to vampire in the final film is most revealing of the journey of self-confidence Bella undergoes, suggesting she fully becomes herself in vampire form. Bella blossoms into vampirism, reflected by her choice of clothes that her human self would have instinctively shied away from. She dons a black leather jacket and a skin-tight loud-blue dress which mark a striking change from of her sense of style to that in the first movie where she opted for a discreet, navy-blue prom dress.


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The style of the Twilight Saga characters reveals their unique personalities, insecurities and passions enormously – and this is why when naming our hair bobbles, my best friend and I made sure to identify each character with their most appropriate colour: red for Rosalie, purple for Alice, brown for Bella. It’s amazing what we read about people and characters from their individual style. This shows the magic of film making and characterisation, especially in capturing the minds of young people. The art of the stylist in film is clearly indicative of how much the way we dress says about our character. In the same way we read into a character from the way they present ourselves, outside of the world of cinema, we have the power to reveal and hide elements of our own character. That is a true superpower.