I like to think that if my Gen X mother was an adult rather than a kid during the ‘70s she’d dress like Tina from the Starz series Minx. Played by Idara Victor, Tina has a style that is often associated with the Black working women of the ‘70s: bright pantsuits, gorgeous gowns for outings, and patterned wrap dresses à la Diane Von Furstenberg. Minx, which is costumed by Beth Morgan centers around the Vassar-educated Joyce (Ophelia Lovibond) who creates a radical pleasure publication for women through meeting Doug (Jake Johnson) of Bottom Dollar, a porn magazine conglomerate. Tina, who has been in both seasons of the show, was at one point the head of the international division of the spin-offs of the glossy—this important position came after Constance Papadopoulos’ (Elizabeth Perkins) take-over.
I first began paying attention to Tina’s style when she was still running Bottom Dollar alongside Doug and she wore a golden mesh dress. This piece was part of the outfit she wore to a country club pitch meeting attended by all the main characters-–her hair was coiffed perfectly too. This was a character-defining moment because she was previously introduced as a particularly stylish and essential part of the show’s storyline. As Doug’s go-to fixer in the first season, Victor’s Tina character wears a wrap dress in white and red that screams ‘70s; she wears this with a bright orange hard hat for a walk-through of a building Doug is manifesting they’ll own. In another moment, for a watch party at her home, she wears a floral jumpsuit in baby blue, white, and other hues. Both of these looks speak to how Tina’s character is often associated with bright hues rather than muted ones: this points to her charisma, her wit, and how outspoken she is.
Joyce’s outfits in season one could largely be described as stuffy, as that’s all she knows—and Tina is the polar opposite. Notions of power, as they pertain to womenswear, have exerted a significant influence on white women over the course of many decades. Joyce contributes to this influence through her incorporation of unshapely blouses and well-fitted suits. By season two, Joyce has done a 180 and is quite stylish.
However, it’s important to note that Tina’s costuming was always eclectic and wide-ranging from the introduction of Minx. Tina’s style cues, spanning from elegant floor-length gowns at film premieres to figure-hugging sweater dresses and everything in between, exude a sense of personal and original flair. For a Black woman in a show that rarely features Black characters, it’s noteworthy that Morgan intently used style as a way to showcase how Tina’s clothing gives her a boost of confidence in the workplace. This concept remains relevant for numerous women of color who operate in environments lacking diversity. I can personally attest to the boost in confidence I’ve experienced when well-dressed in spaces where Black and brown individuals are underrepresented.
What is most interesting about Tina’s wardrobing also speaks to the upward mobility of her career at Minx. In season two, her looks pivoted from mainly suiting to chic, “quiet luxury” looks. In one scene from the second season, she dons a brown blazer, a red top, and a midi skirt while embarking on a wilderness retreat with Joyce and Constance. Even while walking for miles, Tina is fashionable and her hair is pulled back rather than wispy and swirling around her face (she saves this for special occasions).
Moreover, Tina consistently exudes professionalism in her office attire, often seen in collared shirts and coordinated sets that include a dress paired with a short-sleeve jacket. In W, Morgan noted that all of her outfits have a “spin of individuality.” She added that she “can’t help but have her essence come through in all these beautiful patterns she picks and the amazing necklaces she wears.”
During the concluding episode of the latest season, at the Minx international party, shortly after assuming her new role overseeing all magazines, she graces the event in a resplendent golden gown. To me, gold undeniably suits Tina best. Having climbed the corporate ladder, she, along with Joyce and her colleagues, makes the resolute decision to part ways with Constance and resign from their positions. It feels perfect that in a moment where she was supposed to be at a glitzy party celebrating world domination instead, Tina chooses to go against the grain, all while looking absolutely stunning in her elegant floor-length gown, long lashes, a curly wig compared to her previous choices, and glamorous makeup. This concluding moment is pivotal, offering an opportunity to contemplate the sheer creative brilliance of Morgan’s costume choices for Tina.