Style Secrets from the Set
Style Secrets from the Set
"It's so easy to dress all of them…"
After six seasons on the small screen and two movies, Co-Costume Designers Molly Rogers and Patricia Field know their girls backwards and forwards. "It's so easy to dress all of them-you're just standing in front of the racks and something jumps out at you, like, 'That's a fabulous color for Cynthia; that's so Charlotte,'" says Rogers. "amp#91;Evenamp#93; salespeople now are like, 'I've got a really cute skirt for Kristin.'"
Miranda: Bottega Veneta dress, vintage belt, Christian Louboutin pumps, Kara Ross clutch and Alexis Bittar bracelets.
Carrie: Halston Heritage dress, Christian Louboutin heels, Solange Azagury-Partridge necklace.
Samantha: Vintage Item dress, Patricia Field mules, VBH clutch.
Charlotte: Christian Dior suit and bag, Christian Louboutin pumps.
"We just couldn't justify wearing…"
For a scene set in Abu Dhabi (and shot in Morocco), the designers gave the characters a fantasy wardrobe with fantasy accessories: Charlotte wore a regal Chanel collar ("Pat liked the Cleopatra element on Kristin"), Samantha rocked snake earrings and Miranda sported a bib necklace. But what about Carrie? "We tried to have her wear a hat in the tent scene," says Rogers, "But it was white rabbit fur and we just couldn't justify wearing fur in the desert, so we just left it on the blanket as a prop."
Charlotte: Vintage Halston dress, Chanel collar, Rodrigo Otazu bracelet and Christian Louboutin shoes (on blanket).
Carrie: Vintage Halston dress, Stella McCartney tank, Reem Acra belt, Cocotay cuffs, Bea Valdes bag and Manolo Blahnik heels (both on blanket).
Samantha: Patricia Field for Keith Haring dress, Patricia Field mules, Wendy Brandes earrings.
Miranda: Mara Hoffman dress, Roberto Cavalli bracelet.
"It's like they're the Supremes…"
The biggest thrill for the designers was shooting the fashionable foursome away from Manhattan-and making them harmonize. "I think the whole idea of this trip was like a symphony or concerto with the other three and Carrie together," says Field. "It's like a girl group-it's like they're the Supremes!"
Miranda: Vintage jumpsuit, Samantha Wills earrings and Ralph Lauren shoes.
Carrie: Halston Heritage dress, Low Luv bracelet, vintage turban and Manolo Blahnik shoes.
Samantha: Ralph Lauren.
Charlotte: Vintage dress, Julien David scarf, Chanel belt, Miu Miu shoes, Patricia Underwood hat and Cartier bracelets.
"That was a real last-minute deal…"
An 11th-hour visit to underground designers, The Blonds, took this scene in a radical new direction. "That was a real last-minute deal," Rogers says of the looks. "Pat's original idea was to have them all in long dresses like a girl singing group." Instead, Samantha's studded dress and Carrie's jeans were hastily (and stunningly!) added to the mix.
Miranda: Vintage Halston dress, vintage belt.
Carrie: Chanel skirt over Closed jeans (customized with crystals by The Blonds), Stella McCartney blouse, vintage headpiece.
Samantha: The Blonds dress, vintage belt, Nicole Romano earrings and Le Vive ring.Charlotte: Vintage YSL dress, Blu by Betty Lou Moscot earrings and Jack Vartanian bracelet.
"We had the hat custom made…"
The inspiration for Samantha's headdress came straight from N.Y.C.'s Lower East Side. "In the '80s I remember Pat wearing this hat," Rogers said of the perforated headdress. "I was like, 'Pat, you just have to pick the color of leather' and we had the hat custom made." The topper was recreated by its original milliner. "At first we were loving it for Kristin, we were thinking a Cleopatra feel for her," she says, but it was the ultimately the fearless Kim Cattrall who rocked the hat. "It's very Lawrence of Arabia."
Samantha: American Apparel bathing suit, Jean Paul Gaultier dress, Ivana Sert shrug, Ralph Lauren bag and custom Horst NYC hat.
Charlotte: Alexander Wang tank, Zac Posen pants, Patricia Field robe and a Vivienne Westwood hat.
"We styled ourselves for four hours…"
The luxe looks on camel-bound Carrie and Miranda were inspired by a long-ago trip to Egypt taken by the two costume designers. "It's exciting to go together to a place," Rogers says. "When we went to Egypt, we styled ourselves for four hours for the camels. You get into romance of it."
Carrie: Dior bustier, Ralph Lauren trousers, Zara blouse, YSL shoes, Philip Treacy turban, Low Luv cuff and Hermes bag.
Miranda: Hermes shirtdress and cowboy hat, Missoni pants, Roberto Cavalli belt and Salvatore Ferragamo sandals.
"We toyed with lots of different…"
was the starting point for Carrie's first flashback outfit, along with Rogers' own '80s wardrobe. "All of us had plastic see-through bags," she says of working at Patricia Field's Lower East Side shop. "I got mine out of storage." But the biggest sticking point was the (flat!) shoes. "I'm sure it was extremely difficult for amp#91;SJPamp#93;," jokes Rogers. "We toyed with lots of different shoes, Doc Martens and things like that, but we thought it was classic Americana to be in a sneaker."
Carrie: Vintage sweatshirt, Jordache jeans, vintage luggage and Converse sneakers.
"We went with a Desperately…”
Deciding which kind of '80s lady Carrie was going to be was no easy task. "At the end of all Sarah Jessica's fittings we would take a minute and talk about flashbacks," says Rogers. "We went with a Desperately Seeking Susan look." The bulk of her outfit came from the Betsey Johnson archives. "Sarah Jessica added the pearls and rubber bracelets."
Carrie: Laura Ashley dress, Betsey Johnson corset, vintage Amy Barr shirt, Chantelle bra, Brian Atwood shoes and vintage jewelry.
"We went with a rocker look…"
Samantha's style was inspired by legendary music club, CBCG. "We went with a rocker look, punk rocker, in a way," recalls Rogers. "The idea just kind of came into the room." The outfit was a combination of vintage and accessories from Patricia Field's own store. "It took us a long time to find the right jean jacket."
Samantha: Levi's vest, Natasha shirt, Michi pants, Fantasy boots and House of Field clutch.
"Charlotte was a no-brainer…"
"She was the classic sorority sister," Rogers says of Charlotte and her preppie style. "Charlotte was a no-brainer-Add-a-Beads and all of that, Tretorn sneakers." Along with a pink-and-white getup, the character carried a hairbrush and a wooden-handled interchangeable bag.
Charlotte: Lilly Pulitzer sweater and skirt, Strenesse blouse, Tretorn shoes and vintage purse.
"We went straight to the thrift…"
Law student Miranda Hobbes got the full up-and-coming career girl treatment. "We wanted a suit with those shoulders and Reeboks and ankle socks," Rogers says. "It was a thrift store suit. We went straight to the thrift store in Queens. It was like, 'What suit do you want?' We probably got four bags of suits for $20."
Miranda: Vintage suit, Nordstrom blouse, Reebok shoes, vintage Barnes and Noble tote.
"She would go through the racks…"
Sarah Jessica Parker was very hands on when it came to putting together her character's unforgettable looks. "She would go through the racks and do Kiss or Kill," says Rogers, explaining, "Like it and it stays or you kindly kill it. She's a very fast edit. She can whittle down 20 racks in no time."
Carrie: Emilio Pucci dress, Zac Posen belt, Marc Walsh/Leslie Chin for Rodarte cuff and Chanel bag.
"It feels really right…"
"I believe that was our first day out," Rogers says of Carrie's already iconic outfit (as seen in the movie's posters!). "When I see her coming out of that building it feels really right." The duo added glittering accessories to a simple white jersey dress. "It's clean and sophisticated and that Solange necklace is the little twist."
Carrie: Halston Heritage dress, Christian Louboutin shoes, Mykita sunglasses, Solange Azagury-Partridge necklace and Chanel clutch.
"The sweatband was a crew gift…"
"Pat changed that outfit the day we were shooting it," Rogers says of Carrie's casual look. "She felt like it was a summer day and we haven't seen Carrie just kicking around town and not all dolled up and done." Along with stunning studded Brian Atwood pumps, Carrie sported a few more down-to-earth accessories. "The sweatband was a crew gift" from the producers ("I guess they knew we would be sweating") and the tote came from N.Y.C.'s Highline park.
Carrie: Closed jeans, Patricia Field shirt, Brian Atwood shoes and a Highline tote.
"It is just alive and on fire…"
The designers went all the way to Paris to find a new signature necklace for Carrie. "It is just alive and on fire with diamonds," Rogers says of the Chahan Minassian piece. "We thought that was incredible to get that on her, because the shamrock stands for luck." Not only did they swap out the silver chain for a gold one, but the duo used the necklace as a bracelet in another scene.
Carrie: Halston Heritage dress, Christian Louboutin shoes and bag, Jimmy Choo cuff and Chahan Minassian clover necklace.
"It was the first fancy dress that…"
For a scene set at Carrie's old apartment, her Dior newsprint dress made a comeback. "It was the first fancy dress that we ever bought her," says Rogers. "Pat loved that we could work that in again." And did Sarah Jessica Parker have any troubles slipping into the old favorite? "Oh, it was no problem for her to zip that baby up years later," the designer assures.
Carrie: Christian Dior dress, Christian Louboutin heels, Chahan Minassian necklace and Bea Valdes bag.
"They get to ditch their N.Y.C.…"
It may seem as though Carrie has worn it all, but the movie sequel allowed the designers to dress the characters in a whole new way. "They get to ditch their N.Y.C. duds," says Field. And wear the sort of flowing gowns that should never touch a dirty Manhattan sidewalk: "amp#91;Their lookamp#93; is Middle Eastern, but still with their glamorous edge to it."
Carrie: Halston dress and Rodrigo Otazu bracelet.
"Who doesn't like that shirt?"
The outfit Carrie wore while shopping in Abu Dhabi was the product of pure serendipity. During a fitting, Sarah Jessica Parker removed a Zac Posen ballgown to reveal a purple and gray crinoline. "She was like, 'Look at this!'," says Rogers, who paired it with a tee from the series. "Pat was really pleased to get the "J'Adore Dior" shirt in as kind of a wink and nod to the past-and who doesn't like that shirt?" The result? Magic. "For me, to have her standing in a souk in that kind of antebellum hoop skirt-that's very Sex and The City."
Carrie: Christian Dior T-shirt, Zac Posen shirt and underskirt, Manolo Blahnik sandals, Andrea Lieberman bracelet and vintage bag.
"We wanted to get the feeling of…"
Carrie's crisp white vacation outfit-and her straw hat!-were inspired by a more glamorous era of travel. "We wanted to get the feeling of an eager young girl embarking on a voyage and really putting on a show," says Rogers. "She has hats, sunglasses, gloves-the way you used to travel on airplanes."
Carrie: Ralph Lauren Collection dress and Albertus Swanepoel hat.
"Her body looked incredible…"
Samantha may be in her fifth decade, but she can still wear a peek-a-boo dress with the best of them. "That's an old vintage dress," says the costume designer. "Not a lot of frou frou." Naturally, her best accessory is all natural: "Her body looked incredible."
Samantha: Vintage Item dress, VBH clutch, Patricia Field shoes.
"New clothing just kept coming…"
An unusually long production schedule allowed the designers to consider an unprecedented amount of clothing. "New clothing just kept coming into the amp#91;wardrobeamp#93; room," says Rogers. "We would call in the world and fill that room up to the brim." The extra time permitted them to pull spectacular numbers from designer archives, like this beaded gown from Naeem Khan's Spring 2008 collection.
Samantha: Naeem Khan dress and Jimmy Choo clutch.
"For $150, you can't get a better…"
Throughout the movie, Samantha wore wooden-soled mules designed by Patricia Field. "Those Pollys are comfortable," says Rogers. "You can run for taxis in those things, no problem." The character wore them in gold, white and purple. "That shoe was really appropriate for Kim, kind of a knock-around high heel sandal. For $150, you can't get a better shoe."
Samantha: Marc Bouwer dress, Cache belt, Patricia Field shoes, Rodrigo Otazu earrings and Dannijo bracelet.
"That was a reject from Kim's…"
Miley Cyrus came on board to play herself caught at an event in the same dress as Samantha: "I know that it was extremely important to Pat that they both look good." The duplicate designs were Matthew Williamson dresses customized with crystals by The Blonds: "It was like a nude-colored bra top, we just added more bling to it." Samantha's stunning statement necklace was ordered from Noir, while Miley's choker? "Was a reject from Kim's flashback outfit."
Samantha: Matthew Williamson dress, David Samuel Menkes belt, Dolce Vita boots and Noir necklace.
Miley: Matthew Williamson dress, David Samuel Menkes belt and Dolce Vita boots.
"That one can carry a big earring..."
Few people can pull of statement jewelry like Kim Cattrall. "Kim just owns it-she can handle it," Rogers says of the whopping shoulder-dusters the actress wore in the movie. "That one can carry a big earring."
Samantha: Marc Bauer dress and vintage earrings.
"We had a jewelry room…"
The hoops and bracelet worn by Samantha came from a neatly organized array called in by the designers. "We had a jewelry room piled with cuffs and big, big jewelry," says Rogers. Along with a space dedicated to costume pieces, the production stocked an entire room of fine jewelry: "I have to say it was so much fun to prep the fitting rooms for the movie."
Samantha: Graeme Black sheath, Bill Blass belt, Adriana Castro bag and Noir jewelry.
"You don't want to see Kim in…"
Samantha lounges on a Middle Eastern chaise in a sweeping chartreuse robe. "It has a bridal train," says Rogers. "That takes me somewhere else. Pat does the fantasy of it all so well. You don't want to see Kim in a T-shirt and sweatpants."
Samantha: Jean Paul Gaultier robe, Patricia Field mules (on floor).
"She got away from the…"
Charlotte looked ultra-sexy in lingerie layered over a hot-pink blouse. "She let her hair down," Rogers says of the character. "She got away from the prim and proper for a little bit."
Charlotte: Vintage blouse, Carine Gilson corset, Azzedine Alaia skirt, Jacob amp Co. special order watch, Brian Atwood shoes and Jennifer Fisher necklace.
"Oscar is just a go-to person…"
Charlotte's number one designer? Oscar de la Renta. "Oscar is just a go-to person for Kristin's character," says Rogers. "She's a Park Avenue girl, a Manhattan girl and he just nails it for Charlotte." And as a big bonus for a mother of two: "They also have matching girl dresses."
Charlotte: Oscar de la Renta dress, Nancy Gonzalez tote.
"She has fabulous skin and hair…"
Even next to a baby with the skin of a, well, baby, Charlotte always looks flawless. "She has fabulous skin and hair, that one," says Rogers. The perfectionist character was appropriately baking in a cupcake-print apron.
Charlotte: L'Wren Scott blouse and Anthropologie apron.
"Kristin's character is the most…"
For Charlotte's arrival in the Middle East, the costume designers layered a red and white scarf over a vintage dress. "amp#91;Writer-Directoramp#93; Michael Patrick King was torturing us about how in public places in the Middle East you must cover your chest and arms. Kristin's character is the most prudent-you can see her wanting to throw a scarf over a sundress." But the resort setting made their jobs easier: "Fortunately, we didn't have to deal with covering them a lot."
Charlotte: Vintage dress, Julien David scarf, Chanel belt, Patricia Underwood hat and Cartier bracelets.
"We ran to Europe…"
The designers started their costume research in France. "We ran to Europe," says Rogers. "It was our first stop just to get our juices going." The pair borrowed brand-new pieces from the great couture houses like Christian Dior, who made Charlotte's hot-pink suit and handbag.
Charlotte: Christian Dior suit and bag, Kayrita watch, Van Cleef amp Arpels earrings and Christian Louboutin shoes.
"It was actually a belt on her…"
Charlotte's tribal-print dress was whimsically accessorized with a piece from Chanel: "it was actually a belt on her head."
Charlotte: Lanvin dress and Chanel belt (worn as headband).
"With her hair color, it's so easy…"
When clothing Miranda, the designers often started with bold hues that would accentuate her ginger locks. "With her hair color, it's so easy to dress her," says Rogers. They amped up the rich berry of Miranda's sheath with matching heels.
Miranda: RM by Roland Mouret dress.
"I still think of her in bold…"
Miranda transitioned from a corporate wardrobe into loose dresses in autumnal colors. "I still think of her in bold African stripes," Rogers says of the flattering new look. And why less suits? "When Pat's telling a story, the most important thing to her is where are the characters in their lives: like, how successful is Miranda?"
Miranda: Zero + Maria Cornejo dress, Reid amp Reid belt and Lanvin bag.
"She's ready for the adventure..."
When the girls headed to the desert, it was Miranda who gave the fashion advice. "She is the one who gives the girls the lowdown on dress codes in the Middle East-Miranda's done her travel research!" says Rogers. That's not to say that her wardrobe was merely utilitarian-with her rich brocades and oversize jewelry, she's "appropriately dressed but ready for the adventure!"
Miranda: Matthew Ames dress, Rachel Roy jacket and Jack Vartanian earrings.
"Our inspiration when dressing her…"
Classic movies were the starting point for Miranda's desert looks. "Our inspiration when dressing her was the iconic Katharine Hepburn in African Queen," says Rogers. "Fair skin protected by good hats, long skirts."
Miranda: Hermes dress, Elizabeth and James jacket, vintage hat and Pepito earrings.