Quirky, hilarious and excruciatingly awkward at times, Sex Education is a Netflix original TV series after my own heart. Eric (played by Ncuti Gatwa), protagonist Otis’ (Asa Butterfield) best friend, is by far my favourite character and is truly a style icon in his own right.
From the first episode the audience become entranced by Eric’s style. Bold, brash and an explosion of colour, his choice in clothing reflects his infectious, lively and entirely lovable personality. Many of the characters wear a mixture of modern and 80s/90s dress, with rolled up jeans, bomber jackets and high-top trainers galore.
Compared with the shy and reserved Otis, Eric’s character loves to embrace loud, clashing patterns and prints. His style is casual, yet effortlessly put-together, polished and sleek. Despite being set in the UK, the show is Americanised in many ways, with the lack of school uniform allowing the characters to express themselves through fashion in experimental and inventive ways. Eric clearly takes care of his appearance, slaying numerous drag looks and owning orange as his key colour.
As well as being a fun and playful reflection of his characterisation, Eric’s style has a pertinent message about embracing his true self as a young, black, gay man. After entering some conflict with his family and violence from the outside world, half-way through the series Eric retreats into a state of loneliness and ditches the colour for a monochrome style. Towards the end of Sex Education he manages to regain his confidence and bravely states ‘this is me’ to his father. The whole series has some incredibly significant and topical themes for young people, particularly surrounding identity, friendship, sexuality and breaking the taboos surrounding sex. Style is just one of the ways that the series comments upon the importance of accepting who you are.
With a second season on the way, there promises to be a whole host of more statement fashion pieces from Eric, and I for one am very excited to see his character develop even further.
Featured image courtsey of Sam Taylor, Netflix via IMDB (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7767422/mediaviewer/rm2265478400).