It's fashion that will star in 'Sex and the City'
Barack Obama was joking when he said he was canceling all appearances the day "Sex and the City: The Movie" opens. But for Chicago fashionistas, the May 30 debut is no laughable matter.
Giggle-inducing, maybe. But laughable, definitely not.
Last June, three years after the HBO series ended and before the movie was confirmed, Chicagoan Kimberly Burt threw a "Sex and the City" party with two friends themed, "Oh, we are so not over it!"
So you can imagine the state Burt is in now—giddy over what she will wear May 30 when she serves on the host committee for a Girls Night Out screening of the movie, an invitation-only event produced by Chicago grande dames Brenda Sexton and Suzie Glickman, followed by a party at the 900 N. Michigan Ave. shops.
The fashion as much as the friendships, after all, made the "SATC" series exemplary.
"You could watch an entire episode of 'SATC' on mute simply because the costume design is so fanciful and rich and fun," said Burt, central-region marketing director for Dom Perignon and Moet & Chandon.
Like the Fendi baguette and Manolo Blahnik stilettos from the series, the film, with its 300 wardrobe ensembles in 135 minutes, is likely to fuel some infatuations. Famed "SATC" stylist Patricia Field and local fashion experts singled out a few key looks:
• Bold flowers—remember the floppy flower pin from the series?—are back and bigger than ever. There are cabbage-rose prints and, in a more literal nod to the series, a vintage white dress with a steroidal hibiscus at the shoulder, which Carrie pairs with gladiator sandals (a look only she can pull off).
• "Annie Hall" redux. In one scene, Carrie sports a menswear tie and vest over a striped shirt and high-waisted, wide-leg pants. But the shirt is pink and the tailoring is feminine, said Heidi Taylor and Jodi Immel, co-owners of the Guise/Chic boutique and salon in Lincoln Park, which is hosting an "SATC" party May 29. "We love that masculine/feminine thing, which is what Carrie's iconic for," Taylor said. This look will be huge going into fall, she said.
• Belts. Sarah Jessica Parker loved a pyramid-studded 2-inch black vintage belt so much, she nicknamed it "Roger." "I said, 'Sarah Jessica, you cannot wear this belt over every single dress,' " Field said.
• Gladiator sandals, which Carrie wears equally obsessively, even dyed and studded with Swarovski crystals for her Vivienne Westwood wedding gown. Hers are Dior. (Immel was wearing gladiators, too, last Saturday at her store.)
•Statement coats. From furry to floral, coats are a statement piece throughout the film.
•Anti-ageism. With all of the stars over 40— Kim Cattrall is 51—dressing your age is likely to get a face-lift. As Carrie, the 43-year-old Parker paired short hemlines with thigh-high socks, including a prep-school argyle.
Just not into thigh-high socks? Jonathan Goodman, assistant buyer for Elements, a personal and home accessories mecca on Wells Street, ticks off three more accessible looks:
"A large clutch, big statement jewelry and a wide belt will be what most women should have from this movie," he said.
And, ephemeral frocks aside, Burt said the series has one simple but enduring style influence that the movie will reinforce: "Dressing."
"Amidst the craze of the velvet track suit, 'SATC' drove the point home that it doesn't matter if you are doing casual brunch downtown or attending a gala uptown—you dress for the occasion," Burt said. "The girls dressed for everything, always paying attention to their surroundings and allowing their personalities to come to life through their ensembles.
"You would never see Carrie walk into Prada wearing a jewel-toned velvet track suit."
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