- Costume Designer Eric Daman Dishes About The Clothes Behind The Carrie Diaries

Obsessed is an understatement when it comes to us and Sex and the City—especially its lead character Carrie Bradshaw. So you can imagine how excited we are for the CW's new Sex and the City prequel (premiering tonight at 8pm), where we'll finally get Miss Bradshaw's backstory. Something else we're super psyched about? Teen Carrie's clothes, obvs. Our outfit intrigue led us straight to the source: The Carrie Diaries costume designer Eric Daman. We asked, he answered:

Cosmo: What are your go-to stores and brands to pull from for teen Carrie's wardrobe? And why?
Eric: The clothing came from a lot of my favorite haunts in NYC: Amarcord, Beacon's Closet, Ressurrection, Frock, and Screaming Mimi's for vintage. I also relied on fast fashion shops like Top Shop, H&M, and high end stores like Saks to give the look its contemporary "aspirational authenticity" we hoped to develop. has also played an important role in finding vintage one-of-a-kinds from brooches to scrunchies!

We know the show is taking place in the 1980's. What are your favorite 80's trends and what did you make sure to steer clear of?
Eric: I was totally obsessed (and still am) with Valley girls, as well as the yuppie handbook. I think the best trend of the 80's was the stylistic freedom and originality it called for—I hope the show and teen Carrie's unique style will inspire fans to have freedom and fun with fashion. And like any trend, head to toe is a no-no—especially when it comes to neon. I love the neon trend, but I think it's best worn these days as accents on a handbag, shoe, or belt.
Cosmo: Are there any trends that teen Carrie is going to wear that SATC Carrie wore, too?
Eric: I draw from SATC every day, trying to create "buried treasures," or as Amy B. Harris (creator/producer/writer) calls them "Easter eggs" that hopefully will resonate with the audience as "a-ha moments," leading them to think "That's where the inspiration for the Carrie necklace came from!" (Spoiler alert: Young Carrie wears a signature 80's style "C" necklace by Alex Woo.) It's an intentional process that hopefully is nuanced enough to feel fresh and new, but integral to who Carrie is stylistically.
Cosmo: What is your all-time favorite vintage find? 
Eric: The vintage Scasi fuchsia with black polka dot party dress—add a black crinoline from Theory and Carrie is ready for her first night out in Manhattan!
Cosmo: Is there a piece that you think all women can wear from a younger to an older age?
Eric: I think the signature Mark Cross bag is an instant classic (because it already is, Grace Kelly used to carry one!). It's sophisticated but doesn't scream "I am a designer bag!" Splatter some paint on it and you have a personalized DIY original.
Cosmo: Do you think the show will spark an 80's revival? And if so, what trends should we look out for in the coming months?
Fortunately there is a lot of 80s-inspired fashion trending right now, so keeping an aspirational authenticity to the look is a very realistic concept. However, a lot of 80's fashion wasn't the cutest or most flattering. But by keeping the shapes and fabrics contemporary and playing with colors and layering the looks, you'll end up with an outfit that feels very retro-modern and cool. Right now look for brightly colored, fitted blazers (with a slight shoulder pad), fair isle sweaters (fitted and not acrylic!), and lots of polka dots, hearts, and rainbow prints!
Cosmo: Other than SATC Carrie, did you pull inspiration from any movies, music, actresses for teen Carrie's wardrobe?
Eric: I refreshed my 80's fashion sense (having been a fashion curious teen in the 80's was an added bonus) by rewatching all of 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 of her character and style as well, so I poured through interview magazines from the era, as well as films like Liquid Sky, Slaves of New York, and Desperately Seeking Susan.
Cosmo: What were the biggest fashion lessons that you learned from Pat Fields while assisting her on SATC? And which ones are you applying to TheCarrie Diaries? Eric: The biggest lesson I learned was go big or go home. Pat and Sarah Jessica Parker both had such an amazing understanding of how color, print, and silhouette worked on the screen, and being around them and being a part of their creative process was magical (and mythical!). It was also important for me to apply the go big part for the NYC portion of her storyline, and then pull back to give her CT self a more subdued suburban feel. Cosmo: Last but not least, what was your favorite outfit that you dressed teen Carrie in? And why?
Eric: I love the silver sequin top shop dress paired with a vintage rainbow belt, crinoline, a lime leopard autumn cashmere cardigan, and neon orange Alice + Olivia pumps. It's one of the first moments where the viewers will see the teen Carrie and say, "A-ha, there's our Carrie!"

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