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  • Writer's pictureAna Beatriz Reitz

And Just Like That, Fashion Is Obsessed With Carrie Bradshaw Again

But why now?

 


If you’ve been living under a rock, maybe you haven’t heard: Sex and The City arrived on Netflix on April 1st. It was enough to revive the legacy of the series — and, in particular, Carrie, Miranda, Samantha, and Charlotte’s unique styling palettes. While their looks have never gone out of style, per se (@everyoutfitinsatc, for instance, has long been loyal to the TV show and its sartorial legacy), new viewers, especially young people, have only just discovered the depths of the show’s closet. Current fashion trends are replete with the series’ iconic references — whether it's Miranda Hobbes (Cynthia Nixon) as the intellectual "office siren," Samantha Jones (Kim Cattrall) as the luxurious "mob wife," or Charlotte York (Kristin Davis) as the old money WASP.


But Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) defies all that — she’s eternal. Known for a host of insane behavior (such as having an affair with her then-married ex, “paper covers rock,” and a whole list of other narcissistic spectacles too long to list here), the sexpert is also one of the most fashionable characters of all time. 


Eccentric, sultry, whimsical, romantic, and dazzlingly versatile, Bradshaw’s style is so multifaceted that many trends have found their way to honor it, rather than the other way around. Think of ballerinacore, for instance — the first view one had of the fictional columnist was in a five-dollar tutu skirt, a pale tank top, and thin, strappy sandals, all plucked from a barre class or a showroom bin (take your pick). But from cowgirl style to the resurgence of Bradshaw’s beloved Fendi baguettes to Roberto Cavalli archivals (Bella Hadid takes the lead on that), everybody still wants to dress like Carrie Bradshaw. Zendaya, while promoting Challengers in London, notably graced a photocall with a two-piece look from Vivienne Westwood’s SS94 collection. The outfit, a striped waistcoat and matching miniskirt with a feathered bustle in the back, quickly set off fashionistas' blithe instincts. It was in S04E09 when Carrie Bradshaw wore a green satin Westwood skirt. Even stylist Law Roach shared a picture of the costume, suggesting that his inspiration was more than mere cheerful coincidence. With so many moodboards plastered with SJP’s face — and celebrities wearing similar items to what the fictional columnist once wore — we can't help but wonder if new looks are all just a tribute to Carrie Bradshaw. But why now rescue her style?


When the final episode of Sex and the City aired in 2004, it seemed that the show's iconic fashion was retiring, too, with the beginnings of a popular fashion consciousness that erred more minimalist and restrained. However, hope returned with the 2008 and 2010 in-universe films, in which Patricia Field retained her role as costume designer. Known for her iconic blend of midcult pieces with high-fashion items, Field built a television wardrobe that has since become an indelible part of fashion and pop culture history. Items such as the aforementioned Fendi baguette, the puffer-contra-overalls combo, and Manolo heels-as-engagement-rings have remained ingrained in our minds some 20 years later. 


However, the 2021 Max sequel series, And Just Like That, marked Field’s definitive departure from the franchise. The costumes of And Just Like That’s two seasons, which follow only Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte — and new characters in New York as 50-something glitterati — have been the subject of criticism from both fans and casual viewers alike. The creative team of Molly Rogers and Danny Santiago have had undeniable hits (we loved Carrie’s rubber gloves look, sorry) but blatant misses (...a cropped cardigan?) that don’t align with the original series’ styling ethos.


Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) wearing some truly baffling outfits in 𝘈𝘯𝘥 𝘑𝘶𝘴𝘵 𝘓𝘪𝘬𝘦 𝘛𝘩𝘢𝘵.

If it’s received such mixed reactions, why is Carrie Bradshaw's style experiencing a resurgence? It’s not wholly due to And Just Like That — at least, not for now. When Netflix announced the addition of Sex and the City to its vast catalog in January, everything was about to change. Hosting the show solely on HBO Max (now just Max) catered to a more cerebral, adult clientele, the ones who could afford — in both subscription fees and attention spans — to watch “highbrow” entertainment. Netflix, in all its popularity, opens its doors to the masses. As people (especially young people, some 20 years too late) find out about Aiden and Lexi Featherston and Big moving to Paris, more and more people want to imitate Bradshaw’s looks, Manolos and all. 


But the lives the core four girls lived — independently wealthy, career-focused, unencumbered by financial or cultural restraint — are totally implausible now. Consider Bradshaw, the freelance writer with an uncontrollable penchant for luxury items, monthly rent for her Manhattan walk-up, and open tabs for endless Cosmos. Call it method dressing, a form of manifestation, or whatever else you want: dressing like Carrie Bradshaw lets us get a little closer to that faraway reality. In this way, teens and adults alike are reviving the show's fashion — mainly Carrie Bradshaw's main character energy — and turning it mainstream again, all just to play pretend in a world that doesn’t exist anymore.


But now that the third season of And Just Like That is in the works, there’s room for a sea change. Actress Sarah Jessica Parker has been spotted on the streets of New York as the iconic character, wearing a Simone Rocha multi-pocket jacket and a sheer, gauzy corseted dress with roses at the bodice and hips from the SS24 collection. Enough to enchant fashionistas and fans of the show, another round of Carrie costumes are coming — and might be finally speaking more to what the rest of us already love, rather than telling us what we should. 🌀


 

Ana Reitz is a Brazilian fashion writer who breathes fashion. As a Latin American fashionista, she values a diverse and inclusive fashion landscape and aims to make a difference in the complex yet beautiful industry that surrounds her. She writes anything fashion-related for her own Substack For Fashion’s Sake.


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