Sunday, October 7, 2007

Sex and the It Dress

Okay, I spoke a little too soon. Last week while I was reviewing Zac Posen's latest runway show, I predicted that this dress would be very hotly contested-for by celebrity stylists, and that we would soon see it on a bevy of stars and starlets as they shimmied their ways down various red carpets.

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Turns out that may not be the case, because it's already spoken for:

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Here's Cynthia Nixon supposedly shooting a scene from Carrie's wedding in the "Sex and the City" movie recently. (More on the "supposedly" in a bit.)

So. Now that this dress has gotten pretty heavy play over the internets due to these leaked photos, it may not be in such hot demand for awards season. But what you can put money on is that it's going to be copied and produced tout de suite by A.B.S. and and other assorted designer rip-off manufacturers and be in the stores and on the interwebs in plenty of time for the winter formal season. And, ya know, it is a great dress, so who can blame them? Cynthia Nixon looks wonderful -- further proof that we porcelain princesses can take vivid color.

This one worn by Kim Cattrall is also sure to "inspire" lots of "homages."

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It's also from Posen's Fall 2008 show, and again, a beautiful gown.

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This next one, however, brings me to the "supposed" part of my commentary. Here's Kristin Davis in her "bridesmaid" dress from the wedding.

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(Is that a cell phone strapped to her ankle? How hilarious.)

This one is also Posen, channeling Morticia Addams, from his Fall 2007 collection.

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(Sing it with me now: "They're creepy and they're kooky...")

Now. At the risk of going all Fangirl here... if you watched SATC you know that Charlotte, the character Kristin Davis played, was always and forever an excruciatingly proper, well-mannered, genteel paragon of East Coast WASP-dom. There is no way in hell Charlotte would ever in a million years have donned this Gothstravaganza (which -- dear lord, have you seen the rear view??? Ooooooh, Ms. Davis got suckered on this one...) to be a bridesmaid to her dearest friend. Nor would the ever-chic, cutting-edge, uber-Fashionista Carrie crawl up into this amusement park ride of a dress

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to wear when she got married. There has been much ranting & raving on the Interwebs about how awful Parker looks in this dress, and I agree. It doesn't fit her, and it's three times the size of the woman wearing it -- Sarah Jessica Parker is this big (imagine me holding up my pinkie finger and squinting at it here). Pat Fields (the costumer designer for SATC) took good damn care of this woman for six seasons of the show -- you may not always have loved the actual clothes that Carrie wore, but they by-god fit her, and she always looked like a million bucks, even during a season spent hiding Parker's actual (and unacknowledged in the show) pregnancy. There are a lot of rumors flying around that say these photos (and some others of Davis in a pregnancy prosthetic) are from dream sequences. I'll buy that. Again, no waaaaaay is this Carrie's wedding -- she is not that girl.

(I must insert here, though, that the only point that gives me pause in this is the feather. Lots of folks are hating this feather. Gotta say, I don't so much hate it. I actually rather like it. That's probably because wedding attire in general bores the petticoats off me, and so I love anything that pushes the envelope a bit. But the feather... well, Carrie is that girl, and it's the one thing that might cause me to second-guess my own theory.)

But that's not the point here. The point is to pat myself on the back for recognizing yet another It Dress when I see it, and that blue dress is one. Why is it an It Dress? Well, first off, it's pretty and sexy in equal measure -- partly fluttery, partly foxy. It's a flattering shape -- sweetheart necklines are good on almost everyone, and while the bodice is extremely fitted and the seaming and detailing make for a nicely defined waist, there is a lot of ease over the hips which will hide a multitude of sins. (Cynthia Nixon is a beautiful woman who is decidedly pear-shaped, and she looks positively willowy in in this dress.) The color is gorgeous -- almost no one doesn't respond to or look good in that wonderful saturated blue. The shape is classic and unthreatening, with just enough detailing to make it special.

Now, when various manufacturers rip it off, it's going to lose some of its specialness: the flounce around the bottom will just be ruffles, as opposed to that fascinating flurry of rectangular bits assembled around the bottom of the original. (Go back up & take a look at it. It reads like a ruffle but it's much more than that.) The detailing & the seaming of the bodice and shoulder straps will be simplified, probably just top-stitching instead of the intricately pieced pattern of the original. And the fabric will be poly chiffon, instead of silk, which moves as only silk can. This is, of course, a terrible shame, and part of the reason Congress and a lot of designers and others in the fashion industry are working hard for more comprehensive copyright and anti-piracy legislation. But still, it will be a nice dress that a lot of women would look really great in.

And, I predict, a lot of them will.

Photos:,, Wire Image

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Princess Poochie said...

Samatha is looking great in the red either and SJP look horrendous. Whyyyyy???

I do like the blue dress but the rest... I'm just not feeling it.

P.S. I'm loving the feather too
P.P.S I think that is her microphone strapped to her ankle.

Sian said...

Well aren't there rumours one of them dies? Maybe that's why she's in black.

I want that red dress...

Alexandra said...

I have to admit I love the black dress. Maybe not appropriate for a wedding, or maybe I have goth-like tastes, but I really, really like it.

...and I am sooo looking forward to the movie. Initially, I tried to stay away from the pictures, and the spilers, and the theories, but my curiosity got the best of me.

amisare waswerebeen said...

I DO hope that wedding dress was part of a nightmare, er, dream sequence.

I am starting a new blog, BookWise and Loving It. I hope you will check it out.

r sorrell said...

The wedding dress kind of reminds me of a cupcake.
Meanwhile... I love that blue. I've got my eye on a Nicole Miller cocktail dress in exactly that color right now.