Interviews

@everyoutfitonSATC – Revisiting the Fashion and (Often Basic) Sexuality of Carrie and Co.

December 13, 2016
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Are you a Carrie, or a Miranda with a Carrie rising? The must-follow Instagram @everyoutfitonSATC  can help you figure it out. This new(ish) account is cataloguing every outfit from SATC, from the soft butch of early seasons Miranda, to Carrie’s continual label-whorishness, to Samantha’s #pantsuitfeminism, in a way that will make you LOL IRL, while also learning about fashion history.

The account is run by Chelsea Fairless, a designer at Female Trouble, and writer/director Lauren Garroni of the film company the Breathless. The two translate their vast knowledge of fashion in an accessible and witty way, often decoding a particular Carrie look by calling her the “female Sisqo,” and making frequent use of the hashtag #ImWithHerOutfit. Their account has only been up for a handful of months, but they already have over a quarter of a million followers—including Sarah Jessica Parker herself, swoon—and their own line of fabulous SATC related merch.

I want to convey my deepest gratitude to @everyoutfitonSATC for adding a moment of pure joy to our daily lives at a time when we globally really need a LOL. Below is the (very important) conversation I had with them about looking like a fashion victim, Carrie’s surprisingly basic sexuality, why people are reluctant to identify as a Miranda :)

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KARLEY: Recently, I was talking with this 50-year-old man who works in TV, and he was like, “Someone could probably just re-make Sex and the City because women in their 20s haven’t seen it.” And I was like “No, you don’t understand, every woman who’s old enough to own a computer knows every line of Sex and the City.” There hasn’t been something to replace our cultural girl obsession with the show, which I think is a big reason why, two decades later, people are so obsessed with your Instagram.

CHELSEA: Yeah, every time someone tries a “realistic” version of Sex and the City, like Girls or something, it’s not comparable in any capacity. It’s funny looking back at Sex and the City now and thinking, “Oh my god, they’re all so basic,” you know? Their sexuality is basic.

KARLEY: True. Carrie’s sexuality is weirdly the most basic, like when she won’t date the bisexual guy. It’s like hello, bisexual men are the best in bed because they know how annoying dicks can be so they are more conscientious with their own dick.

LAUREN: Obviously Samantha is the most sexually woke, and she should probably be the one with the sex column, but after her, Charlotte has a very awakened sense of sexuality, surprisingly. Like that episode where she admits she performs anilingus on Trey.

KARLEY: I re-watched the whole show recently, actually kind of twice… and I realized that Carrie looks like shit 90% of the time.

CHELSEA: I think looking like shit is kind of superior to looking boring though, right? Like at least there’s something noteworthy happening. I’ve always been of the school of thought that it’s better to have your own style – as misguided as it may be. It’s also strange to see which outfits age well and which have aged poorly.

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KARLEY: And what’s the consensus?

CHELSEA: In retrospect I think Samantha is the best dressed. She has the most consistent sense of style. I like that it’s very 80s and that they always put her in monochromatic looks, and that she always has these elaborate accessories—power suits and all of that.

KARLEY: While re-re-re-watching I definitely took some style motivation screen grabs, and 90% of the time it was Samantha. One of my favorite outfits from the entire show is when she fucks the fireman and she wears a blue leopard print dress which I assume is D&G, and a blue fur coat. I definitely get a lot of slutspiration from Sam.

CHELSEA: We’re also super into Miranda’s early season, androgynous menswear looks. But when Carrie’s outfits are good, they’re amazing, because Patricia Field is such a prolific and inventive stylist. Part of Patricia Field’s legacy as a stylist was creating that high-low look that is now popular—a new Gucci purse with something from Zara—which is very Carrie, and why Carrie’s style endures.

KARLEY: Word, true.

CHELSEA: I’m now realizing Carrie would straight up wear shit from Zara if she was around today. But I think Patricia Field’s styling kind of fucked me up personally because, when you don’t have that much money and you’re assembling your closet with a combination of shit from Zara, shit from vintage stores, and stuff that you stole from your mom or your grandma—Patricia Field gives you the impression that you can buy all this random shit from different eras and sources and prices points and just throw it together, and have these fabulous Carrie outfits. So I shopped like that for a long time, and then I realized, wait, getting dressed is a nightmare. You need clothes that fucking match. I ended up with this weird closet of crazy shit that was all great individually, but I just looked like a fashion victim.

CHELSEA: So Patricia Field triggered you, is what you’re saying?

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LAUREN: A logical conclusion of Carrie’s style would be that she would end up looking like Helena Bonham Carter as she got older. It was confusing what they did with Miranda because I think initially when the show started they were positioning her as the pragmatic working woman character, and then as fashion played an increasingly prominent role in the show they kind of had to up the ante on her in a way that felt a little unnatural.

CHELSEA: By the time they got to the movies you’re like, Miranda would never wear this shit! This shit’s crazy. Puffer jackets—that to me is Miranda at her truest. That’s the essence of Miranda.

KARLEY: Do you think that was one stylistic flaw? Like, why only present fashion through the lens of hyper femininity, and not do the chic androgynous high-fashion thing? Miranda should have been wearing women’s YSL suits or something.

CHELSEA: I totally agree. I mean, Patricia Field is a lesbian, so she clearly has an understanding of what that style is. Miranda did have some good later series looks, we’re just partial to her OG pantsuits.

KARLEY: So you’re now selling some amazing merch. Why is your website called Miranda Solidarity?

CHELSEA: You know how there’s all those shirts that say “I’m a Carrie”? Everyone identifies as a character, but people are reluctant to identify as Miranda. We’re trying to push Miranda as an enlightened and powerful identity. Like yeah, I’m eating cake out of the garbage, but I have a law degree from Harvard, fuck you. She has a fucking full-time housekeeper. I mean Miranda is goals, really. So it’s sort of about coming out of the closet as a Miranda.

LAUREN: Chelsea has this thing where you’re one character with another rising. I’m a Miranda with a Carrie rising, and Chelsea is a Samantha with a Miranda rising.

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CHELSEA: Karley, how many people come up to you and are like “You’re like Carrie Bradshaw”?

KARLEY: A ton. And every time the person thinks they’re genuinely the first to make the comparison. They’re like, “I don’t know if you’re gonna find this offensive, but do people ever say that what you do is like Carrie Bradshaw?” And I’m like yeah, 45 times a day. It’s funny that people think I’m going be offended, as if it’s trivializing it or something, when really it’s my ultimate goal.

CHELSEA: Have you read Candace Bushnell’s Sex and the City original columns from the mid 90s in the Observer?

KARLEY: OMG yes, they are so amazing. They’re actually a lot darker than the show. If you watch the pilot episode of Sex and the City, Carrie has more of a jaded, “I don’t give a fuck” attitude, and you can tell that that Carrie is based on Candace Bushnell. Then after the pilot episode they were like “the central female characters are not likeable enough,” and starting in literally episode two they change her.

LAUREN: Right. And I think the show became focused on love and the pursuit of love, which is sort of the antithesis of “Sex and the City” the column. There was an interview with [SATC writer] Michael Patrick King when the show ended and he said: “We always knew Carrie would end up with Big, we just had to make enough story until that moment happened.”

CHELSEA: I’d rather Carrie just be single at the end of the series, personally. We just really did not need to see them living together in their poorly decorated apartment in the second film, which I mostly blocked out.

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KARLEY: What makes @everyoutfitonsatc so amazing is that it’s rooted in what is clearly a vast knowledge of fashion, but also it’s really funny and accessible. What are your backgrounds?

LAUREN: Chelsea and I met at Parsons School of Design, at what Chelsea likes to call a “hippy” program I would call it a “burner” major, where you make your own curriculum. We both wanted to work in magazines and be editors, but bonded over our mutual love of film, all things camp, fashion history, and obviously being sarcastic. Ironically, I don’t think we ever spoke about Sex and the City.

KARLEY: I wish all fashion commentary could be as entertaining at your Instagram.

LAUREN: Chelsea’s hit upon our voice, which is Cathy Horyn meets Dlisted. I think that most people have a love-hate relationship with fashion—we certainly do. The unfortunate part of something like “Fashion Police” is that those commentators don’t actually have an understanding of fashion.

CHELSEA:  Yeah, so Giuliana Rancic will talk about Bjork as if Bjork was trying to dress like Sofia Vergara, but somehow fucked up along the way and ended up on the red carpet laying eggs in a swan dress.

 

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(Literally, preach. Fuck you, Parisian it-girls!)

LAUREN: What do you think is the tie between fashion and sex?

KARLEY:  Well, sex is obviously used to sell clothing, and fashion is sexy, but the worlds are very different. I think what Candace Bushnell was talking about, and what SATC looks at, is the sex life of a certain type of person in a creative class or an intellectual class—a class of people who are stylish and go to art and fashion parties in New York. So that’s different to sex culture. There’s really almost no crossover between the type of people who go to Fashion Week parties in New York and those who go to sex parties. At most of the sex parties I’ve been to, everyone looks like they came straight from Burning Man—they’re cut and have a nice tan, but the style is a bit of a tragedy. Every man has a ponytail.

CHELSEA: If you ever write a TV pilot, this scene needs to be in it—some Eyes Wide Shut shit, with people in crazy masks, burning sage before an orgy in a basement under some supermarket somewhere in Staten Island…

Interview and intro by Karley Sciortino. Interview edited by Sophia Larigakis.

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