And Just Like That, Carrie Bradshaw is back! After more than ten years of not seeing this fascinating character, she is back with Miranda and Charlotte to update us on their personal and professional journey. We get to see their growth in the last years with social media and so many social justice matters, and of course with more exciting clothes.
The clothing selection of the spin-off is different from the clothes of Sex and the City. Now, we get to see a combination of classic and trendy fashion; we get to see clothes, jewelry, and fashion accessories by emerging designers from all around the world who got more visibility and an opportunity to be seen by a wider audience. This is a big deal and a huge improvement for the costume department that worked in the show because this leads a path towards a diverse, equitable, and inclusive way of consuming fashion where talents from different backgrounds, locations, and ages get visibility.
And it's also fascinating to see how the show's clothes tell stories. In Political Fashion, we study the messages behind the clothes of celebrities, politicians, and social movements throughout history. Today, we'll talk about some of the best looks that Carrie Bradshaw pulled off in And Just Like That, the history behind these looks, and the message she communicates to us through them.
The Huge Debate About Aging
There were many rumors and mixed opinions about how these characters would be represented after many years of absence. How would they age? How would they perceive age? Would they be wearing the same fun high fashion clothes as they did in the 90s, or are they done with fun clothes?
Those questions were answered in the show's first scene, where Carrie, Charlotte, and Miranda meet for lunch, and their clothes give us an idea of how fashion-forward these characters still are. Of course, these three personalities are completely different from each other, which makes them unique and fascinating. Each of them perceives aging differently and dresses differently.
Miranda has grey hair and a modest but colorful tie-dyed striped midi dress. Let's remember that throughout her career as a lawyer, she was facing constantly sexist challenges, like when one of her formal bosses put his hand in front of her mouth so that she stopped talking. After a series of these aggressions, Miranda quit her job and looked for a job where she felt valued and respected. So it made sense that Miranda questions the social stigmas of aging, questions the message of using red dye hair to cover the white hair, and ultimately challenges those stigmas y accepting her naturally white hair. (Actress Cynthia Nixon's hair is naturally blonde, but she dyed it to give this impression in her role as Miranda).
On the other hand, with her eternal vanity, Charlotte wears a girly rose detail shirt and an Alexander McQueen high-waisted white skirt. Almost as if ten years didn't pass! Charlotte's clothes and attitude talk about her attempts to cover aging by using the same clothes and a similar hairstyle to the one she used in her 30s and 40s.
As for Carrie, she is at the midpoint between accepting aging entirely like Miranda and covering exhaustively every hint of aging as Charlotte. Carrie's fashion choices are still exciting and, in many ways, goofy but still authentic to the character we all love. Carrie wears a floral jacket from Dries Van Noten, a linen jumpsuit, a vintage metal chain bag, a vintage hat, another bag, a pearl ring, and a pair of YSL sandals. For many people, it would be a cumbersome and messy outfit. For Carrie, it's just another morning in New York City. It is also a great evolution of the character. In the first seasons that aired in the '90s, this character often wore mini-skirts, crop tops, and transparent dresses with chiffon or lace. But we see a matured version of Carrie Bradshaw that is still exciting, risk-taking, and inspiring in the spin-off. So just by looking at the clothes of our three loved characters, we understand what they have been up to in the last decade and how are they perceiving themselves and the world that has evolved around them.
The Fairy Tale of the Blue Manolos
The blue Manolo Blahnik shoes became a symbol of Sex and The City ever since the scene where Carrie and Mr. Big finally decided to get married and spend their life together. The shoe was inspired by Cinderella's glass slippers and this overly romantic idea of a prince helping the princess get into the shoe when they "found love."
The blue Manolos made it to the spin-off, and they are still a meaningful symbol of the story that these characters were showing us. In The Writer's Room Podcast, the writers of the show comment on the intentions and ideas behind the scenes and the development of each character throughout the show. Carrie is still a fashion lover who greets her shoes with the iconic phrase "Hello lovers." But since the blue shoes represented the start of Carrie's and Mr. Big's marriage, they were also present in the scene where Mr. Big passed away. The scene where arguably, their relationship ended.
In a way, it gives a circular closure to a fairy tale where Carrie was the happiest with her husband, and she started a new chapter of her life when she found him having a heart attack. It is truly dramatic seeing these shoes getting wet in the shower and Carrie not even caring, as she saw her husband die.
Carrie's sleepwear collection is exceptional, admirable, and a huge conversation topic. We have seen her wearing anything from tighty whities to sophisticated silk tunics. The effort that goes into choosing sleepwear for Carrie is as important as the outfit for a night out. In fact, in the second film of Sex and the City, the costume department ended up using eight different sleepwear outfits for Carrie only! This means hundreds of fittings of several types of sleepwear to make the best decisions possible.
So the spin-off didn't disappoint in this important clothing selection task. In one of the first scenes of the first episode, "Hello, It's Me," we see the main character wearing a custom-made dress by Maskit. Maskit is a fashion house based in Tel Aviv, Israel, known for luxury clothing utilizing embroidery techniques from Hungarian, Yemenite, Bulgarian, Bedouin, Palestinian, Druze, Lebanese, and Jewish artisans (Maskit). This is a major moment of visibility for International Fashion designers, especially as this is one of the first scenes, and the fans were thirsty for inclusive high fashion.
A reinvented classic look
Just a casual outfit to get some coffee after the coffee machine stopped working. Carrie wakes up at her old apartment, still trying to figure out the sale of the apartment she had with Mr. Big. So this scene asked for a nostalgic outfit that would take us back to the 1990s when Carrie walked by the streets as a single lady having fun with the girls. In an interview, the show's director Michael Patrick King said this outfit "almost didn't happen." With so many clothes from the archive and contemporary clothes from new designers, the team had previously selected a colorful floral dress meant to spark joy during a moment of grief. Fortunately, the director called for a second thought on the look, and Jessica Parker thought of a tutu as a great way to bring back Carrie's fashion from Sex and the City. The skirt with Chanel shoes from the archive with the striped top is effortless, but at the same time as authentic as the fashion character we all love.
Everything old is new again. It is all about old-world glamour. Noelle Reed
Tutu skirts are a signature piece that makes Carrie Bradshaw a true pop culture icon. To make the look even more interesting, the fashion stylists of the show love curating looks with pieces of different price points, styles, and backgrounds. The tote bag is from the New York local business New York or Nowhere. It is 100" cotton canvas, and it is screen printed.
There are specific times when we do our best to look good. For some people, it is a job interview or a first date. For many others, it is a red carpet or a public event. For Carrie Bradshaw, it is the encounter with Mr. Big's ex after many years of not seeing her.
As the big fans recall, Carrie had an affair with Mr. Big when he married Natasha. Natasha found out about the affair as she ran into them in her apartment! Natasha fell from the stairs, broke one of her teeth, and ended her marriage with Mr. Big.
Buy less, choose well, make it last.
Now that we are aware of the tension of this situation, we understand that an empowering and sophisticated outfit was needed for this scene. Carrie wears a Carolina Herrera hot pink taffeta shirtdress styled with a vintage studded black leather belt she used in the first movie. The piece was specially adjusted for this scene. The collar gives a formality aspect to the outfit. The color is empowering and makes her stand out from the crowd. The belt is an edgy accessory that tides up the look to be a truly empowering and sophisticated look to see Mr. Big's ex. As you saw in the show, Natasha attempted to hide from Carrie, telling her assistant she was in Rome, but Natasha got to see Carrie from her window, pointing at her office from the street with this spectacular outfit.
The Versace Gown Is Back
This nostalgic statement piece was discovered by stylist Patricia Field when the sixth and final season of Sex and the City was in production. Writers, producers, and stylists knew that it didn't make sense for Carrie as the character to carry this enormous gown from New York to Paris. Still, it had a magical aspect that was perfect for the dramatic scene in Paris where she waited in this dress for her partner, Aleksandr Petrovsky, and he didn't make it for dinner.
During this episode in And Just Like That, Carrie goes over the clothes she wore in her 30s, 40s, and 50s; somehow, she saw her life in those racks, finding a way to organize it wherever possible. And although she was in a moment of grief and the temptation of getting rid of everything to start over, she reflected on those happy moments and those happy and beautiful dresses that she experienced along the way. Carrie decided to hold onto those moments and kept those dresses.
The Finale Dress
If we could describe the Finale in one word, it would be: change. The characters evolved throughout the season and faced challenges to start a new episode in their lives. Charlotte did her best to understand Rock's journey, questioning labels, gender, and traditions. Miranda let go of her marriage to start a new relationship, even if that meant letting go of professional opportunities. (It was particularly emotional when Miranda and Carrie talked about Miranda's decision of going to LA with Che, Miranda cared about Carrie's opinion, and although she was somehow judgemental, Carrie told her it was her life and she didn't need to be seeking for approval in such important decisions on her life).
And as for Carrie, it took her about a year to figure out what she would do with Mr. Big's ashes. She grieved, she wrote, she met new friends and started dating again, but the idea of scattering her partner's life in Paris needed a very dramatic, eloquent, somehow cheesy, and memorable dress.
Carrie encouraged Miranda to go to Los Angeles with Che despite the criticism. After all, there are some changes needed in life, and those happen personally and individually, regardless of mixed opinions. For Carrie, her clothing choices have always been very personal despite criticism. We have seen her wearing the most sophisticated looks and some non-sense looks that were curated specifically to be ridiculous. So, of course, it makes sense for Carrie to walk in a Valentino tangerine gown with purple gloves and evening gloves across "Carrie and Big's bridge" in Paris to scatter the ashes on the Seine.
The dress's color doesn't feel dramatic or romantic, so the scene is about Carrie's relationship with her clothes and closing a chapter with her significant other. It was an unpredictable dress from head to toe, and it has been illustrated, reposted, and reshared by fans from all over the world.
Unpredictable fashion choices tend to be memorable, positively or negatively, because, in the end, it depends on how people around you perceive them. For Carrie Bradshaw, the risk is worth it.
The show will come back for a second season, with more stories from these characters and more stories that the clothes they wear are telling us. From an empowering real state agent like Seema, a smart and fascinating professor Nya Wallace, and an almost non-realistic portrait of a documentarian, best dressed by Vogue, full-time mom Lisa Todd Wexley, there is potential for so many more stories to tell, and so much more Political Fashion to talk about.