Making an attempt on the brand new “Carrie Costume” for measurement, intercourse enchantment and luxury
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And just like that Costume designers Molly Rogers and Danny Santiago needed six samples of the blue Norma Kamali dress worn by Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) in the seventh episode of the hit HBO Max series. It’s the look she’s choosing for her first foray back into the dating world (don’t pretend you’re not wondering what she’d wear…), and it’s not a bad choice. It’s form fitting, great for layering and effortlessly sexy when teamed with a silver Max Mara blazer, Aquazzura heels with jewel straps and a snake effect metal Paco Rabanne clutch.
Wearing a “Carrie outfit” at any age exudes that distinctive brand of mystique that her character has become known for.
“She really knew how to work the dress in that alley. The picture of it with the golden light behind her – it’s a cover! It’s quintessential Carrie,” Rogers gushed to me over the phone. “It’s very editorial,” Santiago agreed during our conversation. And it is . . . until she surrenders everything. After a few too many drinks with her new love interest, Peter (played by Jon Tenney), it’s easy to see why the wardrobe team needed several extra rehearsals for filming. “OK, who has six of the same clothes after a pandemic?” Rogers laughed at the “stunt” they dressed Parker for in that scene. The media took notice of on-set paparazzi photos ahead of the show’s premiere, and overnight the striking blue number was seemingly dubbed the “new Carrie dress.” Since it retails at a relatively affordable $205 and also comes in a variety of colors (FYI: Rogers originally tried to get it pink for Carrie), I had to try it.
Renowned designer Norma Kamali explained that the Diana silhouette in question dates back to the ’70s and has since been updated with an integrated bodysuit for more form and function. She especially likes it on Parker because it moves on her body. “[Parker] shows again and again that it is possible to be fit at any age. She’s proving just that by wearing it, she’s timeless no matter her age,” Kamali told me, confirming that the reaction to her brand and everyone’s favorite Diana (also recently worn by Miley Cyrus) was on SNL) was great.
Kamali’s own favorite way of styling it is with flat sandals or heavy cleated boots. However, when she sent me one myself, I took a tip from Carrie and opted for sandals, especially as the dress fit me a bit long at 5’1″. Parker had the same problem.” The minute SJ tried it As it played in her dressing room between scenes, she said, ‘This is going to totally work, I just want it to be a little bit shorter.’ And that was it. When I saw it on her, I thought everyone will compare that to that tan t-shirt dress she wears on the street with sunglasses. It was so form fitting and you could really see her toned physique in it. I just knew people would make that correlation,” Rogers said, referring to the hot little Mini of Sex and the City Season two, episode 15 when Carrie goes on a date with Vaughn Wysel (Justin Theroux).
Credit: Moviestore/Shutterstock Above: Carrie Bradshaw wears her famous charcoal gray t-shirt dress Sex and the City season two.
While its form fitting quality might be a reason everyone is so excited about the design, I think there is something to be said for its versatility and comfort as well, having worn it myself. Thanks to the dress’s four-way stretch poly-lycra bodysuit, I was able to dance the night away at a wedding without worrying about adjusting the neckline, tearing an overly thin strap, or feeling restricted. The gathered sides create a flowy, elongating look for your figure, so even if you crop it like Carrie, it still goes seamlessly with a blazer – or, as Santiago prefers, the soft slouch jacket. “We used this look a lot for the show, which for us is like wearing a denim jacket. It’s something you throw over everything. It always looks great and elegant. But sometimes you need an extra layer when you’re in New York City, depending on where you’re going. You go outside and it’s a bit cooler,” he explained. I’ve tried it on with a number of my coats – from casual to smart, fitted to oversized – and loved it just as much.
While Kamali has varied the Diana over the years, experimenting with different heights, finishes and color combinations (some variations exclusive to certain retailers), it always comes with a budget-friendly tag and in sizes from XXS to XL. I’d argue that it now offers a dose of Carrie’s confidence, too, and Rogers agrees. “I feel like people reacted to that blue dress the same way they did to the custom Missoni in the closet scene as she slips back into heels. Because she shows off her body so much in those two silhouettes, people are really thinking to themselves, ‘Ooh, Carrie is going out,'” she said, buzzing with excitement. After all, wearing a “Carrie outfit” at any age exudes that distinctive kind of mystique that her character has become known for.Even after falling ill and suffering a wardrobe mishap in the dress, you can bet Carrie will get a second date.
Scroll ahead to shop the New Carrie, aka Diana by Norma Kamali, in some of my favorite colors.