Thursday, January 8, 2009

Blame Sex and the City

As was the case with a lot of women who experienced their early twenties during the early Noughties, Sex and the City (SATC) was one of my favorite programs. Out of the four characters, we could all relate to at least one of them on some level. And those clothes, those wonderful clothes. Costume designer Pat Field realized how important dress was to the development of these characters. Remember how Miranda dressed during the first season as opposed to the later seasons? She and Charlotte, for a time, dressed in a near-stereotypical manner. The former clad in sterile all-black, and the latter in wasp waist enhancing dresses with a bow or ruffle planted somewhere.

Many of us were heavily influenced by the SATC philosophy of having fun with personal style. I was no stranger to the oversized flower corsage on my coat lapel during early 2001. And Carrie Bradshaw helped to usher in the vintage craze. Very few people indulged in used clothing before she made it acceptable. If they did, they were either high-end collectors of Courrèges and Rabanne or grungy types who had a steady rotation of flannel.

However, some have taken their personal style too far. Whatever your aesthetic is, it's imperative to edit. Thankfully, we're in the middle of winter and people are desperately trying to make it to the inside of their destination. There's basically a sea puffy black coats, black gloves, and black tams. It's during the summer where things really get egregious. There's a profusion of over-styled young women roaming the streets in shorts and stilettos. Their idea of juxtaposing different prints, styles, textures and labeling ends up looking like a hot-messed mish mash of madness. These girls fail to realize that the styles they're emulating are from television—a hyper-reality. The styles were meant to entertain and inspire, not be taken literally.

This February marks five years since our quartet of friends bid us adieu. The film that premiered this past summer brought with it a few more validated trends: belted waist, graphic print dresses, and statement jewelry. These have been lasting sartorial movements amongst those in the know, but SATC validates the styles to a global audience. While there have been some major guffaws on the street level, the show did teach a lot of us to take risks and push our fashion limits. The Style Therapy message is to figure out your own style organically. What works for YOUR figure, coloring, lifestyle; etc. Just because it looks cute on Carrie doesn't mean it works for the rest of us.

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