â€œWomen dress for other women.â€ It is a phrase we’ve all heard time and time again, and nowhere was this axiom proven more accurate than at any movie theater in America last weekend, when the ‘Sex and the City’ movie premiered. Stilettos, luxe handbags, and even cocktail dresses were donned in order to go sit in a dark theater in some sort of sartorial tribute to the four heroines. While the previews rolled, I couldn’t help but wonder how the show has influenced the way we dress and even interact with each other?
â€œYou’re the Carrie! I’m the Charlotte! You’re the Miranda!â€ and we all have that friend who we think of as the Samantha of the group. The one who is the Charlotte usually favors a preppy look, the Miranda of any group is typically the most conservative dresser (also the one most likely to identify as a feminist, but I digress), the Samantha usually leans towards the more revealing or attention-getting outfits, and the Carrie, well, she might have real individual style or she might just love impractical shoes.
While I think of Sex and the City as being the cinematic equivalent of junk food, I do think it has had a huge impact on fashion – it made mixing eras and wearing vintage more mainstream, it spawned countless trends (big flower pins and nameplate necklaces, for instance) and it made Manolo Blahnik a household name synonymous with expensive footwear. In fact, it made shoe designers and labels in general up their game – you can find thoroughly fabulous heels at all price points now.
However, the characters’ clothes were generally the sort of fantasy wardrobes meant to appeal to other women more so than men; with the exception of the season one â€œnaked dressâ€ that Carrie wears in ad on the side of the bus the women dress solely to please themselves, or occasionally impress other women (Carrie again, looking for the perfect outfit to wear to the luncheon that Big’s wife Natasha was also supposed to attend).
I can’t help but wonder if this isn’t how most fashionable girls think when they get dressed – wouldn’t they prefer a compliment from their equally stylish girlfriends? Or an intimidatingly chic coworker? After all, it doesn’t usually take much to impress the average hetero dude – a little cleavage or a miniskirt does the trick. Our fellow women are a much tougher audience – and I think have to applaud Sex and the City for not only recognizing that reality, but making it a central part of the show and the ensuing film.
And despite the fact that is an utter clichÃ© (a fashion writer who loves high heels? Never!) I have to give Patricia Field a standing ovation for all the beautiful, beautiful eye candy shoes.
Charlotte, Carrie, Miranda and Samantha sexandthecitymovie.com
Fabulous heels for less:
Gold Metallic Nine West Jewellite $89
Black Boutique 9 ‘Rae’ Gladiator Sandal $129.95
Raspberry Chinese Laundry Attitide $70