Every Friday, BULLETT’s introducing our favorite Instagram profiles and getting to know the people behind the posts.
Have you ever re-watched an episode of Sex and the City and had to cover your eyes as Carrie shopped for “ghetto gold,” or Samantha coped with her cancer diagnosis by appropriating Lil’ Kim’s look just for the night? Because we have. And @everyoutfitonSATC remembers and reinvigorates the fashion of a show that, in retrospect, is pretty problematic––and not that good––with commentary befitting of today’s woke standards. But they don’t just call out the show’s oversights––they also celebrate the looks we love for being so bad they’re good.
Behind the account are 29-year-old Lauren Garroni and 32-year-old Chelsea Fairless, who share both an obvious love for Sex and the City, and a ridiculously impressive knowledge of fashion from the early aughts. Without a definitive resource to turn to for the show’s truly iconic looks, they decided to make their own. And what we love about their posts is the bitchy reads they give every outfit with the kind of context only experts in SATC fashion could provide. Obviously, they hate on pretty much every heterosexual cowboy look Aidan lands on, and pay their respects to Samantha’s best-terrible post-sex outfits (see: the fuschia ostrich-trimmed robe from season 6 episode 5.) But their most important discoveries include the revelation that Charlotte is low-key the second sluttiest in the group, and Miranda would definitely be a lesbian if the show came out in 2017––though, we all already knew that.
With their nostalgic captions and throwbacks to episodes we completely forgot about (like the one where Carrie and Samantha take Ecstasy and smoke from a bong), every post brings us back to the days before iPhones, when It-girls still wore Manolos and people actually had to talk IRL. And while we all saw Miranda as a no-bullshit anti-fashionista when the show originally aired, @everyoutfitonSATC makes us realize Miranda was actually just predicting everything that’s popular now––ironic, oversized sportswear, normcore and androgynous Seattle mom looks.
Name: Chelsea Fairless & Lauren Garroni
Occupation: Designer & Director
The most cringeworthy SATC fashion moment: When Carrie and Aidan are both in matching tightie whities.
Why did you decide to make this Instagram?
L: Initially, we didn’t set out to have our commentary juxtapose the Sex and the City looks, but we both have this sarcastic, and genuine love of fashion. It shows through in the account because most of our fashion trivia knowledge comes from late ‘90s and early 2000s, and it’s a great repository for that.
What do you love about the show’s fashion?
C: Patricia Field, the costume designer, is incredible. The looks she put together for that show actually changed the way people dressed in terms of mixing thrift store clothes with designer clothes, which I don’t think you saw so much on television before Sex and the City.
L: There’s a ripped from the runway feeling that didn’t exist in television shows then, and still doesn’t exist now. I think it was predictive of where fashion was going, which is the rise of fast fashion copying from the runway, people mixing runway looks with street style.
What’s so special about the time the show is set in?
L: It did represent a perfect time that was not necessarily pre-technology, but Carrie was kept a luddite. Even though she wrote her articles on a computer, she didn’t get a cellphone until four or five seasons in, and didn’t have email until the fourth season. But if Carrie Bradshaw existed now she’d be an Instagram thot–– or at least an Instagram style icon.
Do you think the the show would’ve made as much of an impact now?
C: I think the show would be different because the times are different. They’d have to have at least one person of color in the group, or maybe make the Carrie character a person of color this time, and Miranda would 1,000% be a lesbian. But we do need another show like that now–– people would certainly be obsessed with it. I’m down for a millennial version.
L: A large reason the show was so successful was because of its unvarnished look at female sexuality that was very pro-female sex positive. And then you had Lena Dunham with Girls, which showed her version of unvarnished sex where everyone had terrible, awkward sex. Now, I think we’re in the cycle where people want a fun, sex-positive show. We thought it was racy watching it back then, but when you re-watch it you realize it’s actually very tame.
Why do you bring feminist and inclusive commentary into your posts?
C: Revisiting the show from a 2017 perspective, it’s a very different time now. So addressing some of the things that are problematic about the show is something people like. Because that’s what everyone thinks when they watch the show now.
L: I think it naturally evolved because of Chelsea’s and my background, and the way we speak to each other and relate to fashion. We have a deep knowledge of fashion history and also a sense of humor about it. One of the things that Sex and the City accomplished was fusing comedy with fashion. And I think now, fashion, comedy and meme culture have collapsed into each other.
Do you think Sex and the City paved the way for shows like Girls, that are sex positive and empowering for women ?
L: I think so. There wasn’t a show that touched on those things before Sex and the City. You saw similar dynamics, but they were shown in nighttime soap operas and played for their ridiculousness. As aspirational as Sex and the City was, I think the comedy helped ground it. I’ve never seen another show where a woman could have a great career, a great love life, and a love of clothing, that did not diminish who they were, their seriousness in their career or their life.
C: That was the most groundbreaking thing about the show––the fact that they were all career-women, successful, and unapologetic about their sexuality.
The show was progressive for the time, but the starring women still played stereotypical tropes of female characters––Samantha being the vixen, Charlotte being the prude, etc.
C: Sarah Jessica Parker has a theory that Miranda, Charlotte, and Samantha aren’t even real, they’re just facets of Carrie’s personality, and that makes sense. The supporting characters all represent facets of Carrie––the prude, the slut, the career woman. But it seems like the characters got more dynamic as the show went on. And I like the idea that Carrie’s schizophrenic, sitting at the diner alone talking to no one at brunch, like The Sixth Sense.
L: A lot of the writers came from network shows, where you had to boil people down into stereotypes. But what’s interesting in the show, behind Samantha, Charlotte has the most varied sexual experiences. She dressed in drag and fucked a guy which was really transgressive. There’s a scene where Miranda talks about wanting a guy to perform analingus on her, and everyone thinks it’s weird, but Charlotte basically reveals that her and Trey perform analingus on each other.
Which of you is the Carrie?
L: If one thing can come from this account, we hope that people no longer think of themselves as Carries, but rather as one character with another rising. I’m a Miranda with a Carrie rising. I’m very organized and type-A, but sometimes I’ll wear furry shoes. You have a character that you identify with but you’re a little bit of someone else.
C: I identify as a Samantha with a Miranda rising.
How do you think some of the looks in the show would have fared now that there’s a huge conversation surrounding cultural appropriation?
L: I don’t think it would be written the same way, so the style would be different.
Critiquing a show that’s been off the air for as long as it has, allows for a whole worldview on the series, and on the looks. Charlotte’s rabbit vibrator would have its own Twitter account if it aired today.
C: In terms of cultural appropriation, I think Carrie’s character was quintessentially New York. New York City is a melting pot, and I think her style was drawing influences from everywhere. So it makes sense in that capacity––though, not always in the best taste.
If one designer was going to make a Sex and the City-inspired line, who would be your dream pick?
Lauren: VETEMENTS. But non-joking, it would be Galliano for Margiela. A Carrie in her ‘50s hanging out on the Upper East Side collection.
Chelsea: I’d love to see a Miranda-inspired Balenciaga show. But all the models would have to wear the same red wig.