'Carrie Diaries' costume designer Eric Daman talks dressing young Bradshaw
What did a teenage Carrie Bradshaw wear? You're about to find out. When "The Carrie Diaries" - a prequel to long-running HBO series "Sex and the City" - premieres Monday on The CW, the clothes will take center stage, as they did on "SATC." "Diaries" costume designer Eric Daman, also the man behind the looks on The CW's "Gossip Girl," gave amNewYork the scoop on the fab fashions a 16-year-old Bradshaw will be rocking.
How did you determine a young Carrie Bradshaw's style? Dressing a young Carrie Bradshaw was at first quite intimidating, but ultimately exhilarating. It was very important to keep in mind that she is a young high school student in Connecticut and still figuring out her style. And, of course, the era plays a huge role in the overall look. Conceptually, we hope to create an aspirational authentic look - not an overtly kitschy '80s look. Our young Carrie Bradshaw's style will be idiosyncratic but quieter than the Carrie we already know.
Where is Carrie in her style evolution at this point in her life? She is at an age where she is experimenting, learning and creating her individual, unique style. Keeping all of this in mind when conceiving her look, I wanted to give her a unique point of view, mixing colors and patterns as well as eras. Mixing obvious '80s-inspired items with pieces from her "mother's closet" that feel more '60s and '70s with contemporary flair. Think knee-high Chloe boots, high-waisted light-blue floral jeans and a pink polka-dot sweater.
Where did you look for inspiration? I refreshed my '80s fashion sense - having been a fashion-curious teen in the '80s was an added bonus - by re-watching all the John Hughes classics as well as a mix of quiet Connecticut-inspired hometown films like "Ordinary People," and, of course, getting out my high school yearbooks. NYC becomes an important part to her character and style as well, so I poured through Interview mags from the era as well as films like "Liquid Sky" and "Desperately Seeking Susan."
How did you use the fashions of "Sex and the City" as inspiration, and will viewers see any nods to Carrie's iconic fashions? I draw from it every day, trying to create buried treasures ... that hopefully will resonate with the audience as "aha!" moments, leading them to think \[things like\], "Aha! that's where the inspiration for the Carrie necklace came from." Young Carrie wears a signature '80s-style C necklace by Alex Woo.
How does this work differ from your job on "Gossip Girl," another fashion-centric teen show? The biggest similarity is the fact that I really wanted to give each character his or her own and very personalized style. As a costume designer, it is really key to help define a character through clothing. The biggest difference is that Carrie and her crew are Connecticut suburban teens of midlevel affluence and not uber-rich Upper East Siders running around scheming in the latest high fashions.
What aspect of '80s fashion can today's women wear? Neon is a great modern trend redux. I think the contemporary woman should use it in small doses rather then an overall statement, like a pair of shoes, a belt or handbag. I am crushing on crinolines as well. Give them a modern twirl pair under your favorite circle skirt to put some bounce in your step.