When you’re a fish out of water, you have two choices: grow legs and assimilate, or be unapologetic and work that tail. Dr. Zoe Hart (Rachel Bilson) of “Hart of Dixie” on The CW, is a New York doctor who finds herself in the small town of Bluebell, Ala., and has wisely chosen the latter. And the show’s costume designer, Meredith Markworth-Pollack, doesn’t let us forget that Zoe is a New Yorker through and through, against a Bluebell backdrop that is pastels and florals ad nauseam.
“It’s very much a New York kind of chicness,” says Markworth-Pollack of Zoe’s black and gray palette. “From the beginning it was scripted that she had a very savvy sense of style so the outfits are not your typical doctor outfits – especially in Alabama.”
The style is structured and minimalist and incorporates patterns, stripes, fitted shapes and the occasional bold color.
“Zoe’s look is a mix of smart and sexy,” says Markworth-Pollack. “I feel that they both read strong and reflect her personality: a strong, loudmouthed doctor who tends to say the wrong thing at the wrong time and not conform with the norm.
“I think we are also trying to say to our younger viewers, ‘You can be whoever you want to be and not need to conform to fit in – stick to what you feel good in.’ That’s Zoe’s mentality. That’s the New York mentality.”
Driving that point home, you need look no further than Zoe’s favorite pieces.
“Her signature pieces are her shorts,” Markworth-Pollack says. “We love the shorts: leather shorts, silk shorts, high-waisted shorts. We like to pair something that is a bold statement with something smart.”
A few examples of Zoe’s smart and sexy look include this Jill Sander diamond print stretch knit miniskirt (found at the Neiman Marcus Last Call) with a Diane von Furstenberg yellow silk blouse featuring perfect strands of green and silver beading and a very sexy open back.
“That’s a date look for Zoe,” says Markworth-Pollack. “I love it because it is sexy without trying too hard. Yes, it’s showing her legs, but it’s a more conservative top.”
The shoes are Dries Van Noten ankle strap wedges with reflective heels, and the leather jacket is from Max Azria. The purse is from Valentino.
“We found this dress at Barneys,” says Markworth-Pollack. “That is our go-to for her now.” The dress is from Saloni of London. “I’m obsessed with her dresses. She mixes bold prints with form-fitting, structured cuts that are great for Zoe because they are the perfect balance of bold, sexy and strong.” The shoes are black canvas lace-up peep-toe sling-back wedges from Pierre Hardy.
These high-waisted bell-shaped shorts are silk with a lace trim from The Reformation. Her super cute multicolored button-down blouse (which she normally buttons up) is from Equipment (available at Nordstrom). Her handbag is just $50 from Zara.
From New York designer Yigal Azrouel, this super-fitted grey work dress is stretch poplin with black leather piping. The vest is actually built in and is nonremovable. The look says “You’re not in Kansas anymore.” Even though you might be in Bluebell, Ala.