Recently, I started to wonder about the enduring inspirational power behind Carrie Bradshaw's fashion. The looks created by Patricia Field for Sarah Jessica Parker's character are literally still being discussed somewhere in fashion almost daily. That's a lot of staying power for a medium that moves at light speed. Carrie is kind of like the modern era's Holly Golightly: you might not want to actually be her, but hot dang, you want to dress like her - at least in some part of her wardrobe. So many of her looks seem fashion forward, even by today's standards - making her about a decade ahead of her time. The tulle skirt is practically synonymous with Carrie, with every know fashion blogger referencing her when they wear one. She made Manolo Blahnik a household name. With all of that, it's interesting that, while her aesthetic can be succinctly described - urban, quirky, chic - its difficult to box it into a single, or even several, genres. Carrie could do Parisian sophistication, uptown New York, downtown New York, artsy, princess-y, minimalist, sometimes downright silly. The variety of her influences may account for the perennial influence of her style. But I think that's only part of it. Even more than breadth of styles and variety, Carrie's sense of playfulness and true-to-self-ness comes through. As a character, she looooved (LOVED!) fashion and she had FUN with it. She was never afraid to experiment and nearly always included something off-beat, like the note you hear in a song that sounds wrong at first but eventually becomes the reason you love it and can't stop singing it. She was never afraid to mix odd elements (I mean, really - who wears a tank top with a tulle skirt anyway? But, then again, it works!), or pair designer pieces with economical ones (a philosophy espoused by Anna Wintour when she first took over Editor-in-Chiefship of Vogue). She tried menswear, but also wore ultra feminine pieces (the Paris Versace dress!). Her wardrobe felt real, like something collected over time by a lover of fashion, with a specific sense of things that appealed to her. Through it all runs a core of something that's easy to forget about fashion: with all the trends, with all the marathons to find the right piece, with all the periodic re-vamping that needs to take place, style is supposed to be personal and fun. It's not supposed to feel like taking a test everyday. It's supposed to be something that makes you smile. And Carrie's style did. Even her most sophisticated looks contained that one funky, over-the-top or off-kilter element, be it her standout shoes, a contrasting-genre belt or an over-the-top flower, that makes think "Huh?" at first and makes you remember it afterward, whether you grow to love it or hate it. That consistent "off" element was the heart and soul of the wrong that makes it right. It was the common thread that tied all of her varied genres together. And it was fun :). That playful, life-is-a-runway creativity more than anything else, is what continues to make her style so inspirational, and such an important reminder not to allow ennui to take over, to keep evolving, keep experimenting, keep being silly or daring or whatever adjective(s) suits you. Don't make a home in the ruts. Do things that feel like you, but aren't expected. Keep playing, keep dabbling and keep fashion fun.
Brie (Hi!) More re: me under About. I'm the moving spirit behind this little life-meets- fashion fairy tale world.