From the moment I stepped out from my building that morning, there was a charge in the air – I should have known then. My doorman had just offered a cheery â€œgood morningâ€ to the smartly dressed woman ahead of me who was armed with a lipstick red 40 cm Hermes Birkin. From behind, her black linen suit was strikingly well cut, but it was signature red flash of the soles of her shoes that caught my eye. I had to admire her skill as she expertly navigated the crowded Wall Street sidewalks in her Louboutin Architek peeptoes with the 5 inch heel and the hidden platform. That should have tipped me off. Sex and the City was opening in New York City that day.
In the streets on my way to the subway and during my short ride to work, the usually well dressed commuters I see every day seemed particularly well put together that day. All week long, I had heard my fellow editors gossiping about the movie and what they had heard or read on the internet about it. The buzz had been building for a long time. I had received passes to several press screenings (although not the big premiere with SJP) and had passed them along to the more hardcore fans in the office. I opted instead to attend the noontime show on 42nd street with several of my fellow editors and writers, as well as our newly arrived summer interns. They were all abuzz when I got into the office.
We arrived at the theater almost a full hour early and the crowd outside the theater was as chic as any I’ve ever seen on the steps of Bryant Park during Fashion Week. Small groups of women dressed more for cocktails at a chic downtown watering hole than for a movie matinee – some with their very own Stanford Blatch in tow – waited patiently to get their tickets from will call as the board above flashed â€œSOLD OUTâ€ for every show until midnight on all five screens that were showing the movie. The parade of Manolo Blahniks, Jimmy Choos, and Christian Louboutins was almost as dizzying as the endless array of must-have-but-can’t-get â€œit bagsâ€. I recognized a few faces from Fashion Week, but for the most part, these were real (i.e., non-fashion industry) women who were every bit as stylish and sophisticated as the front row editors at the Dior resort show the week before.
It was all light hearted laughter as these beautifully dressed and literally â€œwell-heeledâ€ women ascended the escalators to the fourth floor, but once we reached the landing, it was pandemonium. I pride myself on never straying into the path of the army of women stampeding the shoe section of the Barney’s Warehouse Sale, but here I was caught completely off guard – and very nearly trampled to death. Once inside the theater, we were only slightly astounded to see women jumping over rows of seats, their stiletto heels landing on equally narrow armrests with the precision of an expert marksman. The very same women I had thought so coolly chic were clawing and climbing over each other for prime viewing real estate. One woman had pulled a roll of bright yellow caution tape out of her Louis Vuitton Damier Azur Speedy bag and was wrapping it around two rows of 10 seats each dead center in the theater. Only slightly less amazing was how calm, cool, and collected everyone was once they had settled into their seats – as if the frenzy had never occurred.
Don’t worry. I won’t spoil the plot of the film for you. Suffice it to say that the plot is sufficiently convoluted to warrant more costume changes than Marie Antoinette and her entire court had in an entire year. Carrie alone had 81 costume changes! Fans of the fashions of the TV series will not be disappointed. At one point, we’re even treated to a 20-year retrospective of Carrie’s closet.
My take on it is that this summer we’ll be seeing a return to truly feminine dressing: smart power suits, pretty poofy skirts, bare shoulders, and dangerously plunging necklines. Sex is definitely back in fashion and if we learn nothing else from the four main characters, we at least learn that being fashionable is about expressing your individuality and wearing what looks great on you. I’m looking forward to seeing lots of color, full skirts, and bright bold prints on the streets this summer.
I have to say that I have come full circle on this summer’s must-have gladiator sandal. When the trend first hit runways last fall, I thought it looked like wardrobe surplus from Troy or The 300. After seeing innumerable variations on the street since Memorial Day weekend, I’m now a covert. The high heeled and platform versions for summer are the natural next step from spring’s peep toe slingbacks. The Dior Extreme Gladiator that Carrie wears for most of the movie is, of course, the Holy Grail of gladiator sandals. Check the blogs and online forums and you’ll soon see that women all over the world have embarked on their very own Grail quests with all the dedication of Indiana Jones.
Whether you are as bold as Carrie or as conservative as Charlotte in your clothing choices, you can learn an important moral from this fashion fairy tale. Be confident in your fashion choices. You may be strong enough to carry off a flower bigger that your head on your shoulder or your may be more comfortable in a two-ply cashmere twin set with pearls. Either way, confidence is sexy!
The much awaited wedding scene does not disappoint. Carrie is resplendent in her Vivienne Westwood gown, gold gladiator sandals, and blue feathered headpiece. Her co-stars could very well have gone the tragic way of 27 Dresses, but instead we are treated 3 very different but equally beautiful Zac Posen gowns. In this scene, we see just how very different the other 3 women are from one another and how clothes help to tell a story. Charlotte is demurely feminine in her black gown, even when she minces along, slightly hobbled by her tight fantail skirt. Miranda is vigorously beautiful, striding confidently in her bright blue gown with the loose fitting skirt and Samantha exudes brazen sexuality in her fiery orange, low-cut gown with cascades of ruffles.
Whether you are the bride who is confident enough to wear a bird on your head or you are the maid of honor who quietly respects the bride’s bold choice, the answer is clear. Be brave, make bold choices, and support your friends. Strap on your gladiator sandals and remember that â€œfortune favors the boldâ€.
Love and Labels for You All!
Pictured, top to bottom:
Red Hermes Birkin Bag blogger.com
Christian Louboutin Architek Leather Slingbacks $730
Sex and The City Bridal Bridal Scene sexandthecitymovie.com
Extreme Dior Gladiator Platform
Carrie In Dior Gladiator Sandals