(CNN) – Since HBO Max published the first promotional image of the series “Sex and the City” in early July, fans and fashion obsessives have analyzed the outfits of the returning characters, without Kim Cattrall’s Samantha.
Is Carrie the same old style lover? What’s the consensus on Miranda’s silver gray hair? And doesn’t Charlotte look very Charlotte in her blouse, pencil skirt and Lady Dior micro bag?
The buzz around the photo, and all the images that have been released since then, is a testament to the cultural significance of the original series. Aired on HBO from 1998 to 2004, “Sex and the City” (SATC) radically changed the debate about female sexuality, friendship, and modern femininity (although, two decades later, some critics have suggested that not everything aged well). Most importantly, the series redefined the role that fashion could play in a television series, and influenced the way we dress.
“The show was the first to name designers and brands on a regular basis,” Cameron Silver, a fashion stylist and vintage fashion expert, said in a telephone interview. “It taught a generation about designer fashion and had a tremendous impact on our understanding of style. Many viewers learned how to say the name. Manolo blahnik watching the series “.
Over the years, Carrie’s tulle skirt, the combination of fisherman hat and sweatshirt Miranda’s, Samantha’s crop tops and Charlotte’s preppy dresses have been etched in our collective consciousness. The four best friends chose clothes that were eclectic, expensive and that went beyond the limits, and inspired some of the most notable fashion statements of the last two decades, such as the so-called “naked dress”, exposed bra straps, and sweatpants with heels.
But without SATC costume designer Patricia Field at the helm, will her successors, Molly Rogers and Danny Santiago, be able to emulate the fantasy wardrobe that defined the original series?
Here are five takeaways from what we’ve seen so far.
A missed opportunity for dress nonconformity?
The outfits revealed so far offer a mix of styles. There are hits: Carolina Herrera’s voluminous polka dot skirt from Carrie, Emilia Wickstead’s shirt dress from Charlotte, and Gerard Darel’s matching silk blouse and skirt.
But there are also flaws. Despite the fact that all of the costumes appear to be well put together (in what is certainly a relatively small sample of costumes), none are truly groundbreaking, something the original show did consistently. Kim Cattrall’s absence also makes us speculate what Samantha’s take on sexy 60s dress (she was older than the other characters) might have added to the series.
“Everything is very refined and polished,” Rebecca Weinberg, who worked with Field as a costume designer on the original series, said in a telephone interview. “There are not many surprises.”
Styling can also offer a vision of haute couture that is more costume-like than what today’s public is keen to see (think about how the complete styling of Field for “Emily in Paris” failed to captivate). In 2021, one can’t help but wonder if a fifty-year-old Carrie would still be wearing Manolos and chunky Mary Janes shoes at a time when, arguably, stilettos are not especially in fashion.
What made the fashion impact of ‘Sex and the City’ so compelling and lasting was the way the show mixed high-end things with cheap, second-hand finds, “Weinberg explained.” It created that perfect mix. high and low that has become so common in street style and fashion in general. It reflected the way we dress in real life, but in a more elevated way. “
But for now, the relaunch’s style doesn’t quite reflect that combination of high and low, Weinberg said.
“There are a lot of big names, but I still don’t see a lot of smaller, sustainable or indie brands, which is what Carrie would have embraced,” he added. “I think it’s a missed opportunity.”
Old gems and vintage pieces shine
The most curious fans have already seen nods to some of the most recognized pieces of the original.
In one of the new photos, Sarah Jessica Parker is carrying a purse Fendi Purple Sequin Baguette, a cult favorite among Carrie Bradshaw’s iconic costume canon. In another, it looks the same Manolo blahniks blue satin that she wore to her courthouse wedding to Mr. Big (Chris Noth). There’s also the oversized Chanel rose brooch that first appeared in season three, following her second breakup with Big, and a pink bird-shaped headpiece that makes a clear nod to the feathered headdress she wore for (no ) marry him in the 2008 film SATC.
And, as in the original series, vintage still reigns supreme. In one of the snapshots, Charlotte is wearing a ruffled organza top from Givenchy’s Fall / Winter 1996 collection and a classic black Chanel bag. Elsewhere, Miranda wears a vintage Bottega Veneta tote bag in white.
“It makes sense for the characters to wear vintage clothing, because it was something they did the first time,” says Silver. “As their style has evolved and they have aged, it is natural that today they have more pre-loved pieces in their closets.”
“Also, vintage has become more prevalent in stylish women’s wardrobes, at any age, especially after the pandemic,” she continued. “As these are women at the forefront of fashion, the fact that they adopt the retro style was to be expected.”
Vintage clothing may also allude to concern for the environment, according to Victoria Bazalinchuk, the 23-year-old Ukrainian teacher and aspiring stylist behind @justlikethatcloset, an Instagram account that identifies all the garments of the reboot.
“I see it more as a tribute to a sustainable trend that has been around for quite a few years,” he wrote in an email. “And I love this intention.”
It remains to be seen if that means that we will also see designers committed to the environment, such as Stella McCartney or Gabriela Hearst, for example. But despite the dominance of fast fashion since SATC wrapped up, we’re unlikely to see any of that here (though fans momentarily lost their minds when @justlikethatcloset wrongly credited one of Carrie’s dresses to Forever 21 before another SATC fashion account, @everyoutfitonsatc, later clarified that it was a second-hand find).
The outfits are all over Instagram
We don’t know if Carrie is now a huge fan of social media, or if Miranda regularly checks her Twitter (although we like to think that Samantha would have been pretty great on Instagram). But one thing is for sure: her outfits already have a huge following on the internet.
Bazalinchuk’s Instagram account has amassed nearly 80,000 followers in just one month, and the items listed are often sold out in a matter of hours.
“When I saw that SATC was rebooting, I knew immediately that we all needed this account,” Bazalinchuk said. “I know the rush around SATC fashion, and how we all had to wait to find out what the girls were wearing (in the original series). So this time I didn’t want that to happen, because by the time the series airs, the most of the clothes will be out of stock. “
As soon as a set falls on the Internet, Bazalinchuk starts looking for it for his followers. Some brands have even contacted her, while other fans have also helped identify difficult items. But does this extensive documentation hurt the show’s fashion appeal? Silver thinks so. “There is a chance that by the time the show airs, we are already tired of the ensembles,” he says.
Weinberg agrees. “The idea of having all the wardrobe available on Instagram even before the series has been released is definitely a sign of how times have changed. It’s cool, but it also doesn’t leave much room for that sense of anticipation that we used to have: the surprise of what a suit could represent in a certain context, or for a certain plot line “.
Have “it” bags been replaced by … handbags?
Carrie may not have gone for Veja and Converse sneakers, but she seems to have switched from designer bags to handbags.
Parker has been seen on set carrying two different varieties of handbags, both bearing the logo of the public radio station WNYC, which she has worn with multiple outfits. It’s unclear if she was in character or not, though according to Page Six, Carrie is rumored to have a new career as a podcaster, which would explain her new accessory. But the change definitely has fans wondering if Gucci Birkins and belted bags will make appearances (although the vintage Fendi Baguette suggests Carrie might just be mixing).
Is the fashion-obsessed ex-columnist being realistic? Are you accepting that you don’t have enough accessories? Is it an ecological decision? Or, in a more calculated move, are you signaling your identity as a supporter of public radio and a member of the New York intelligentsia?
Men seem to wear the same suit
From Big to Steve Brady (David Eigenberg), SATC sometimes struggled with male character development. Men generally served as narrative devices for women’s stories, perhaps intentionally, and their style was often two-dimensional as well.
The relaunch may not be an exception, which could be why every man on the series appears to be wearing a Paul Smith suit, according to Bazalinchuk’s @justlikethatcloset account.
Steve he wears a gray one next to Miranda. Carrie’s gay best friend, Stanford Blatch (Willie Garson), He wears a royal blue suit. Anthony Marentino (Mario Cantone) wears a black version of the same style. And although Harry Goldenblatt (Evan Handler) wears a Hugo Boss two-piece, the silhouette is almost the same.
“It’s like men are a side occurrence, again, which is definitely surprising,” Silver said. “One of the things that has really changed since this show started is that men’s fashion has much more prominence and is much more creative. I would have expected something a little different. Or at least a greater range of resources in terms of brands.” .
Another missed opportunity, then, or perhaps another stylistic decision to keep the focus on the show’s true style icons.
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