“Sex and the City” brought so many things to the table through it’s fabulous characters. The world of dating, sex and marriage, trendy restaurants and clubs, the complication and joys of friendship, health issues and 4 women making it on their own. One of the best things about this show was the fashion. No one would personify this more than Carrie Bradshaw who had one of the most outstanding wardrobes on television. She possesses quirky, eccentric and always marvelous sense of expressing her style. Her fashion sense worked in ways people never imagined. Welcome to Movie Bad Girl of the Week Television Edition: The Ladies of Sex and the City where this week and next we will examine Carrie Bradshaw. This week is all about the look. Next week we look at her relationships with men and the hunt for true love. Now I present to you, Carrie Bradshaw, Fashion Icon.
She had the look and she had style and class. Sometimes it was over the top and other times it was downright elegant. From her hair to her shoes Carrie Bradshaw set the trends in fashion for a generation. Patrica Field the costume designer for the show is a genius and Sarah Jessica Parker pulled it off from the very first second the pilot episode “Sex and the City” aired. In the credits we saw her walking down the streets of Manhattan wearing a leotard and tutu. And this my friends was only the beginning.
Although in the credits of the show we see Carrie with her signature curly blonde locks it would not be so in the pilot episode. In this episode she actually has shoulder length curly brown hair, her natural color. We would see her with her blonde curls, hair pulled back in a ponytail or up in a chic bun. She would wear her hair smooth and straight at times and would cut it much shorter in one season. We watched her with solid blonde and solid brown, we would see her with two-tone hair. We would even get to see her with one hairdo that was a modern feathered style. Carries hairstyles were more versatile than those of her friends. Carrie liked to have fun with her hair along with her fashion. And face it. Our hair can make or break an outfit. Here are a few of the hairstyles Carrie sported.
Carrie adores designer clothes. “Vogue” magazine is her bible and one day she will even end up writing for the publication. She is the girl that loves mixing a vintage Halston dress with a modern jacket by Versace and wearing it with a pair of Balenciaga shoes. Some of her outfits can cost more than 6 months of her rent. She has so many styles from fun and flirty to sheer sophistication to what can sometimes only be called totally eccentric. The fact is she has a look for every occasion and every mood. She can be dressed down or to the nines. Sometimes her attitude is like mine. Life is a stage and our clothes are our costumes. She plays with fashion in fun ways. When she is dating a politician she dresses in a manner that she feels is how she should look so she reflects the man in a positive light. Another time on a trip to the country she dons overalls. She goes to church intending to meet Big’s mother and for this journey she dresses in a striped dress with a wide brim hat and is wearing gloves trying to look like a proper church-going lady. We see her in frilly and colorful outfits and we see her svelte figure in dresses and gowns that hug her body like a second skin. Her real passion is shoes. It is her fetish and her addiction. She will spend seven hundred dollars on a pair of Manolo Blahnik pumps even if it cuts into her rent and/or food money because she gets such joy from shoes. She sees a pair of Manolo’s and exclaims “Oh my God! Do you know what these are? Manolo Blahnik Mary Janes! I thought these were an urban shoe myth!” another shoe quote: “I have this little substance abuse problem…expensive footwear.” This lady loves to dress and can she ever. Now you know an outfit is never complete without the right…
Most popular will always be the simple necklace she wore that bore her name Carrie. She has worn hats and scarves, in the second movie she even dons a turban while they are in Abu Dahbi. She likes the use of jewelry from her signature necklace to layered beads to a simple strand of pearls and dangling earrings. My favorite accessory where the flowers she wore on her outfits. They started out small and as the show progressed the flowers kept growing in size and took on a life of their own and ended up as immense (take a look at the photo of the white and gold dress) …and in reality women were actually copying this style so their flowers grew right along with Carrie’s. She also always had a wonderful handbag to complete her look. Let’s peek in at some of this fashionista’s stellar looks!
Carrie in the world of fashion.
On the show Carrie has taken part in 3 photo shoots and one fashion show. Three of these went terribly awry. She does a photo shoot for advertisement for her column. She is given what Charlotte refers to as her “naked dress.” The shoot goes fine. Carrie and friends gather on the street corner with champagne to celebrate as the bus displaying her image goes by. To her mortification someone has spray painted a large penis on the ad aimed at her mouth. Another time she poses for New York Magazine and the photo they select of her not only makes the cover but is horrific enough to send anyone into therapy. She looks like a meth addict. The photo shoot for her book “Sex and the City” is okay and the fashion show is classic. She starts out with a floral dress which is stunning on her. Dolce & Gabbana decide to switch her to a blue sequined dress instead which she adores. She arrives at the fashion show (a mix of models and real New Yorkers) to find out that she will have to model something else because the designer before them in the show is featuring a similar dress. She is told she will be modeling a pair of jeweled panties. This sends her into a tizzy and she says she cannot do it. They tell her she will be able to wear a jacket with it. She is not happy but she agrees. Carrie told them she could walk in really high heels so they oblige her. Carrie is being followed by her model idol Heidi Klum who she meets just before they go on. Carrie walks out looking stunning with beautiful make-up, big hair, a fabulous outfit and her stiletto heels. She begins down the runway, loses balance and face plants. Stanford exclaims “Oh my God! She’s fashion roadkill!” Carrie picks herself up and Heidi gives her a high-five as she passes her on the runway. Carrie now standing walks the runway like a true model.
What can we learn from Carrie Bradshaw?
This one is so simple. Fashion is fun! Look good and feel great. You have your own style so express it. It doesn’t matter if you are a fan of Ann Taylor or thrift stores. You don’t have to spend 6 months rent or your food money like Carrie does. You can find equally captivating, flirty and sexy looks that are just as good for a lot less money. One of my favorite things to do is shop in vintage, consignment and thrift stores to see what treasures I can find. Then you mix that with new pieces from Banana Republic, Cache, Loft, Lane Bryant or Target for that matter. Your shoes don’t have to cost a fortune either. As much as I would love Jimmy Choo or Christian Louboutin footwear the fact is I have a budget that says my shoes will come from Payless Shoe Source or online from shoedazzle.com. Put together with the right outfit a pair of shoes can be stunning whether they cost 600 dollars or 26.99 on clearance. Get yourself some fun costume jewelry and a few simple, yet refined pieces and some scarves or hats. Add a couple of distinctive purses and at least one exquisite purse. Now get some jazzy and some subdued make-up colors ( I prefer earth tones for myself although I have devilishly delightful colors which I do use) and BOOM! You are ready to go. Now try different things with you hair. Your hair worn loose on your shoulder or in a french twist can actually give the same outfit two different feels and looks. Try a hat or a scarf or a Carrie Bradshaw flower. Your options are endless. Let your style and imagination take you to new looks that are totally and uniquely you.
The other lesson is: Carrie’s forays into the fashion world are not perfect. That makes her as real as any one of us. I have had disasters in my day and I am sure I will again. Like Carrie falling on the runway, you pick yourself up and keep going. Those little moments are not who we are and do not define us. They are little seconds that make for funny I was embarrassed stories.
Next week will be our final week with these ladies as we look at the men in Carrie’s life and hear some of her words of wisdom. Until then have a great week and Embrace Your Inner Fashionista because showing your style is so much damn fun!