“Sex and the City” is back, and we can’t help but wonder… no, not if Carrie and Mr. Big stay together or what happened to Samantha — but if Carrie’s still, after all these years, sporting her signature nameplate necklace.
Costume designers Molly Rogers and Danny Santiago remained tight-lipped about whether Carrie (played by Sarah Jessica Parker) would revive some of her most notable looks in “And Just Like That…,” a 10-episode sequel to the original “SATC” series debuting Thursday on HBO Max. But they admitted that they did pluck a few old favorites from Parker’s archive, which the star said contains “every single solitary thing” she wore on the iconic show.
“We had a little catalog in the back of our heads [of items] fans would probably love to see again, like the Roger Belt,” Rogers told The Post, referring to the studded cincher Carrie wore in the first movie that she also rocks in the reboot. “It was really fun to find special [moments] to showcase those archive pieces, but we tried to use them very carefully and really give them ‘a moment.’”
Rogers worked with the legendary costume designer Patricia Field during the show’s original run, from 1998 to 2004, with Santiago joining their team for the movies that came later. That gave the pair an intimacy with the three main characters and stars Parker, Cynthia Nixon and Kristin Davis, allowing for a kind of creative spontaneity when it came to the costumes.
“We didn’t limit ourselves to just working with high-end designers,” Santiago said. “We worked with unknown designers, we worked with vintage, we worked with craftsmen — we brought in elements from all over … It really made [the dressing room] such an open space to do anything you want really and to come up with creativity with no limitation.”
That meant plenty of surprises, too: Miranda in clogs! Carrie with a canvas tote bag! “We wanted to move forward [with the characters’ styles],” she said. “The show has a different name, and it’s a different time, post-COVID.” Santiago added: “A lot of things have happened in their lives, and they’ve evolved.” Here’s a sneak peek at the leading ladies’ looks, then and now.
The first time Carrie Bradshaw (Parker) appeared on-screen in 1998, she sported a $5 tutu, tank top and strappy sandals. That iconoclasm hasn’t faded 25 years later.
“Carrie is still mixing high and low: that’s her DNA,” said Rogers. “She’s an explorer and experimenter.”
That experimental style has gotten more exuberant in the past 25 years, with Carrie trading in Season 1’s slinky slip dresses worn with furs and stilettos for a more magpie look, complete with jaunty hats, rich textiles and multiple purses worn at once.
Take the character’s first appearance in the show: in a vintage beige Claude Montana jumpsuit, floral Dries Van Noten jacket, feathered straw aviator hat and two crossbody purses worn one on top of the other.
“It’s something [the character has] done in the past,” Santiago said when asked about the “double bags.” He and Rogers had pulled a vintage chain-metal Paco Rabanne purse for the outfit during the fitting when Parker spotted a little turquoise bag with a turtle closure. “We weren’t intending for anyone to wear it — it was something we were maybe going to use the strap for — but we grabbed it and we liked the combination of it [with the more high-end Rabanne],” he said.
That spontaneity led to several other key outfits in the new series, such as a widely papped striped sweater worn with a full ballerina skirt — the crinoline of a vintage ballgown that the two designers took apart — which echoed not only Carrie’s famed tutu from the opening credits, but also the green tulle underskirt she wore in the last episode of the original series, when she got back together with Big. And then there is a pretty silk ensemble worn with an oversized white jacket and the blue floral brooch that Carrie donned frequently in Season 3.
“It all happened really organically in the fitting room,” Rogers said of those little “nods” to the original series. “You would have a slouchy jacket, and it would just kind of happen that that would be like a nice moment for a flower there.”
The flame-haired feminist has come a long way from her early butch power suits to the pretty paisley-print dresses and chandelier earrings she sports in the movies, as she went from corporate Manhattan lawyer to Brooklyn mom working for a scrappier firm. Yet when actress Cynthia Nixon showed up to her fittings with a sleek silver ‘do, it opened a whole new approach to the character’s style.
“You know, when you go to silver hair, you are sure of yourself,” Rogers said. “You’re confident, you’re not hiding your true hair color and you’re going with the flow and feeling good. So, I think in work and in your personal life, you might dress a little more relaxed and not so suited.”
That means chunky clogs, softer suit jackets in bright colors and graphic print dresses from indie designers like Dries Van Noten and Altuzarra — as well as a floaty caftan from South Korean brand H’s Cabinet, picked up at Park Slope boutique Min-k.
With Miranda, it was more about bringing her look up to date with hip, new designers. “We had such a bigger outreach [with this new show], because of the Internet and Instagram that we were able to discover new designers and people that we really were excited to work with and incorporate into [the girls’] styles.”
Charlotte York Goldenblatt
In the original series, Charlotte (played by Kristin Davis) had one of the most dramatic character arcs, experiencing divorce, a religious conversion, a miscarriage and adoption — before getting pregnant in the first movie. Yet the former art gallerist turned Upper East Side mommy stayed true to her blue-blood fashion tastes, sticking with sweet sweater sets, prissy polka-dot prints and Burberry checks throughout “SATC’s” six seasons.
“Charlotte has stayed the same in her style outlook,” said Rogers of the character’s consistency. “She’s still in the Upper East Side, she has a family and she dresses in that lane.”
The two designers managed to subtly tweak her wardrobe, however, making it even more luxurious, as befitting her pampered existence, with even fuller midi-length skirts, puff-sleeved blouses and floral dresses festooned with ruffles and pussy bows, as well as a mini Burberry bag for her dog’s poop — a detail that seemed to channel the whimsy of Rogers’ mentor, Patricia Field, who gave Rogers a bit of advice before she took charge of the costumes for the show.
“She said to try to keep the whimsy and the fun of it,” Rogers said. “And don’t get too serious, that everything would be great.”