The great fashion comeback: 'And Just Like That...'
In partnership with HBO Max, we talk to costume designers Molly Rogers and Danny Santiago on continuing Patricia Field's style legacy in the Max Original series
Tuesday 15 February 2022 By Abigail Hirsch Directed by Brecht Vanthof Photography direction by Ilja Maran Sound Mix by Jared Payzant
The highly anticipated remake of Sex And The City is out, and the fashion is back to play. Described as a ‘moving fashion magazine’ by original costume designer Patricia Field, the show cast iconic trends throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s. Now, more than 20 years later, the style torch has passed to Molly Rogers and Danny Santiago for HBO Max’s And Just Like That…
While Carrie, Miranda and Charlotte’s style DNAs are set in stone, Rogers and Santiago were given a blank canvas of four new cast members to develop identities for. With an emphasis on small businesses, repurposed vintage, and mixing high and low, the costume designer duo aimed to modernise the wardrobes while playing homage to the original show.
Here, the two costume designers join us at Soho Warehouse to go behind the scenes of the show. Watch the video to hear more from them.
How did you two get paired to design the costumes for And Just Like That…?
Molly Rogers: ‘That’s a short story. I was a costume designer on Sex And The City with Patricia Field; I have a legacy with the brand. Danny and I worked on numerous movies together, so we speak the same language. It was seamless to join the reunion.’
How did it feel to step into the shoes of Patricia Field?
MR: ‘We were up for the challenge; we knew all the girls. Danny and I had Pat’s blessing; we didn’t feel any pressure.’
Danny Santiago: ‘With experience working with Pat under our belts, we were eager to bring the new characters to life.’
How has the fashion in the new series evolved from the original show?
MR: ‘The characters have strong DNA; Carrie is Carrie, you’re not going to reinvent the wheel, but we strived to modernise each character.
‘It’s a different shopping world than it was after the second movie. You can now meet a small handbag designer in South Africa, where previously we didn’t have that accessibility.’
DS: ‘You now have access to bring light to new designers.’
From a fashion perspective, can you talk about how a mix of high and low has always been the DNA of the show?
MR: ‘The mix of fashion is the largest strand of DNA of the fashion department on this show. We draw inspiration from nightclubs, the street; we’re all into vintage. Pat always said that the show is a moving fashion magazine. We showed people they can wear an uptown label with a vintage pair of shoes.’
DS: ‘You would never see an exact runway look on the show.’
How much influence do the actors have on wardrobe decisions?
MR: ‘Collaboration in the fitting room is of utmost importance. For shopping, you don’t collaborate; you bring in what the script calls for. People have opinions about clothes and what looks good on their bodies. It’s a team effort in the fitting room to come up with looks the actors feel confident in.
‘You pitch your outfits to talent, but the girls have opinions and it’s never a battle. It’s always productive and fun.’
Tell us about developing costume identities for the new cast members.
MR: ‘Nicole Ari Parker is dreamy to dress; she can handle it all. For Sara Ramírez, we focused on a strong silhouette for the podcaster look. We landed on a bomber jacket; it’s an American staple.’
DS: ‘With Karen Pittman we did a lot of research. We leaned into the Brooklyn professor identity and brought in some smaller Brooklyn labels.’
MR: ‘For Sarita Choudhury, Michael Patrick King, the director, relayed that she would have a chocolate-coloured Mercedes and a driver. Everything’s caramel; monochromatic with metallic tones. We were inspired by Bianca Jagger, very 1970s. The Studio 54 slinky silhouette worked well on her.
‘Each new character could handle it all; they’re all New Yorkers.’
How did sustainability factor into your wardrobe decisions for the show?
MR: ‘We made conscious shopping decisions to improve in the sustainability space. How could we support small businesses, because we had lost so many in the pandemic? Designers were like-minded as well. We consciously looked at brands that were upcycling and aimed to minimise waste.
DS: ‘Vintage and consignment was important to us. We often repurposed, too, taking a sleeve off or adding a different hem or collar. We gave old pieces new life.’