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#overdressed4life

The ladies of Sex and The City (1997-2003).

Yesterday ODFL featured a quote by Vogue columnist, Raven Smith in which he commented that he was less than impressed with Carrie Bradshaw’s fashion choices in And Just Like that, the HBO Max Sex and The City reboot. (Since the series started shooting around NYC in early July, Instagram has been flooded with images of Carrie, Miranda, and Charlotte in their new garb.)

Today I’m throwing in my two cents.

I have to say I agree with Mr. Smith. As far as we can tell, there’s not much spice to Carrie’s wardrobe in the reboot, although, I did think that Ms. Field, the previous costume designer for S&TC, sometimes went too far making Carrie look pretty raunchy in sheer, short, tight dresses or just plan ridiculous – big green bird as fascinator??? But still we all loved Carrie’s sense of fashion adventure. (I liked the earlier episodes best when Carrie mixed it up with interesting vintage pieces.)

Molly Rogers, the reboot costume designer, has a thing for boho; she’s got Carrie in a long 70s looking print dress and Miranda also sporting long flowy dresses with wedge shoes. (Has Miranda retired from her high-power lawyer job?) Not only is boho not really their style, the look just isn’t that interesting and it’s had its own reboot countless times. But Carrie is also sporting some fabulous platform heels, a la 1940s style. As for Charlotte, it appears that she has gone Carmen Miranda in loud color prints, off-the-shoulder blouses paired with tight skirts. What happened to her taste for preppy-chic? That’s a look that translates well for older women, which, ahem, she is and they are.

(I mentioned in yesterday’s post that Kim Cattrall is not returning as Samantha Jones.)

Mr. Big (Chris Noth) is back in his usual corporate suits. Stanford (Willie Garson) is also joining the gang and looking spiffy in bright colors. Aidan (John Corbett) returns as well but I haven’t seen any shots of him; I look forward to finding out if it’s going be the original pudgy, long-haired Aidan of Season Three or more the slimmed down short-hair Season Four version.

There’s no word yet when the new HBO Max series will air, but we do know there are 10 half hour episodes planned for the first season.

To see some of the costumes for And Just Like That check out andjustlikethatcloset on Instagram.

The problem is there’s no Carrie in Carrie’s Looks. There’s lots of well-meaning, inoffensive ensembles, form-flattering moments, vaguely interesting shapes. There are pieces from Carrie’s original wardrobe—the baguette, the belt, the second proposal Manolos—but there’s none of the oddness, none of the archness. We can see the clothes but we can’t hear Carrie’s commentary, Carrie’s voice. I just see hanging fabric with no flavor; it feels like a light pencil drawing of an original Carrie print.

Raven Smith – Vogue columnist.

This quote is from Mr. Smith’s column on vogue.com.

Mr. Smith is speaking about the costumes for the character Carrie Bradshaw (played by Sarah Jessica Parker) in the Sex and the City HBO Max reboot, And Just Like That.

Carrie’s Fashion Adventure in Sex and The City, season six. (She wore this on the flight from NYC to Pairs.)

As soon as shooting for the reboot started in NYC in early July, social media was abuzz with quickly captured images of Carrie, Miranda (Cynthia Nixon), Charlotte (Kristin Davis) et al. on set. There was also carefully crafted PR by the production company including an official photo and a trailer. It had already been announced that Kim Cattrall as Samantha Jones would not be returning, nor would the original series (and the two films) costume designer, Patricia Field.

Ms. Field is busy making Lilly Collins look quirky in the Netflix series Emily in Paris, so she recommended her assistant Molly Rogers, who evidently worked closely with Ms. Field on the Sex and the City series and she was the main costumer on the Fox series, Star.

There we have the backstory. As for the quote, please tune in tomorrow for my two cents.

Betye Saar, Harper’s Bazaar.

It seemed like the rule without it being a rule, starting with my sister and me when we were teenagers, that if you want something new to wear, then you had to make it. And I think that theme carried into our adult lives. Even if you find something, then you still take up a hem or add something to make it your own.

Betye Saar, American artist.

This quote is from a conversation with Ms. Saar and her three daughters in Harper’s Bazaar, May 2021.

Ms. Saar has been creating art since the early 1960s and she’s known for prints, collages, and installations that often include found objects.

Making your own clothes is very rewarding. First of all, it’s creative. Also, when you have taken the time and energy to make something you are much more invested in it. There’s no instant gratification, but instead a sense of accomplishment. The best part is that whatever you have created, it’s one of a kind.

I’m also a big fan of changing a new item in some small or big way to make it yours. I do that by changing buttons and I often add a brooch to hats as well as handbags. I also change things for practical reasons, such as taking up the hem on a dress or adding patch pockets to a cardigan sweater. (Who can stand a sweater without pockets?)

One of two waterfalls at the National 9/11 Memorial.

I was living in Greenwich Village, in an apartment with a terrace that faced directly onto the Twin Towers. As I was on the phone, I saw the first plane go into the first tower. I immediately thought I’d witnessed an unimaginable accident. I was still on the phone, trying to comprehend what had happened, when the second plane went into the second tower. In that moment, I knew this was no accident but an act of terrorism. My phone went dead, and I dropped to my knees watching the aftermath.

Michael Kors, American fashion designer.

This quote is from Harper’s Bazaar, September 2021.

Tuesday, September 11, 2001was the fifth day of New York Fashion Week.

The National 9/11 Memorial Waterfall. In the distance behind the trees, is the Memorial Museum.

When I was in NYC in 2019 I visited the National 9/11 Memorial. Located at the rebuilt World Trade Center the memorial is in the center of a seven building complex, which includes the 9/11 Museum. Walking around we heard only the splashing sound of the two waterfalls built exactly where the Twin Towers once stood.

A somber place, meant for respect and reflection, it feels a world away from the hectic streets of the city.

Engraved in bronze along the edge of the waterfalls are the names of all the 9/11 victims and the six victims killed in the 1993 bombing; a total of 2983.

Among the seven buildings is the tallest building in America, One World Trade Center, AKA “Freedom Tower.” In 2014 Conde Nast, the publishers of Vogue magazine, relocated here from Times Square. I pulled out my phone to take a photo and was quickly admonished by a security guard.

No photos allowed.

Anxiety still abounds.

We then wandered into the Oculus, where, in complete contrast, we found the hustle-bustle of a food court and shops galore.

It took a moment for me to adjust.

Photo by Lisa on Pexels.com

Happy Labor Day!

Whatever you’re doing today, ODFL hopes you’re doing it in style.

My dog loves clothes. This sounds like parental projection, I know, like a mother who insists her toddler loves to be in pageants. I do love putting clothes on Clovis. But the level of enthusiasm Clovis shows for raiment cannot solely be explained by my own myopic insistence that he wear things. He truly loves clothes. During a visit to Palm Springs a few years ago, I found a man selling dog coats at a street fair. A faux fur coat in two tones caught my eye: earthy gray with a blond fur collar. It looked like a chinchilla pea coat Kanye West might wear. And with Velcro tabs for easy on and off. Very Clovis.

Taylor M. Polites – American novelist.

This quote is from an essay included in the book Knitting Yarns: Writers on Knitting, (Wiley). In this collection of essays edited by Ann Hood, writers share their experiences with and love for the craft of knitting. In his essay, Mr. Polites goes on to discuss how he learned to knit to make sweaters for his dog, Clovis.

In general I believe that putting any kind of clothing on a dog or cat or any other animal is cruel. I know for sure cats would hate it, but perhaps a dog might not mind, since they live to please their owners. But actually LIKE to don a coat, a sweater, a Halloween costume? I have my doubts.

Isabella Rossellini in Harper’s Bazaar, May 2021.

I always say that, to me, beauty is an expression of elegance. And elegance is an expression of a thought.

Isabella Rossellini – Italian-American actress and model.

May our inner elegance shine through!

Afrofuturism: a movement in literature, music, art, etc., featuring futuristic or science fiction themes which incorporate elements of black history and culture.

What I missed most during Pandemic 2020 were museum visits. For me, museums are spaces where I can quietly learn something new, become inspired, and see the world from a different perspective.

The Oakland Museum of California offers all that and more with their reopening exhibit Mothership: Voyage Into Afrofuturism, on now through February 27, 2022.

Co-curated by OMCA Curator Rhonda Pagnozzi and Consulting Curator Essence Harden, Mothership explores various artists’ imaginings of the past, present, and future through an Afrofuturism lens.

Harden says, “As a strategy, Afrofuturism fosters an infinite course of actions.
Mothership offers not the whole but certainly an evocative and sincere gesture within the
multidimensional world that Afrofuturism dares to create.”

Mothership takes viewers on a journey into the many aspects of Afrofuturism and asks us to consider black lives as they were, are, and will be in the future. Organized into four sections – Dawn, Rebirth, Sonic Freedom, Earthseed – the exhibit mixes art, music, video, film, photographs, and literature featuring over 50 artists whose work has tapped into Afrofuturism. Science fiction author Octavia Butler, jazz musician Sun Ra, and artist Chelle Barbour are just a few of the renowned artists included.

You for Me, collage by Chelle Barbour.

Walking around the four sections, surrounded by otherworldly music (playlist by DJ Spooky) and images, is a total emersion in Afrofuturism. Earthseed, perhaps my favorite section, takes a look at “mundane” lives of black people through photographs, portraits, videos and something particularly touching – home movies of the Bean family. Filmed by Ernest Bean, a Pullman Porter, these images document an average black family in the 1930s and 1940s Oakland doing every day things such a gardening and dancing.

Exhibit wall quote: Mundane Afrofuturism honors ordinary vestiges of the past, rejoices in the pleasures that
can be found in the now, and cultivates Black spaces that foster well being. The Mundane
Afrofuturist Manifesto, 2013 by artist Martine Syms, was an important moment in Afrofuturist
thought. Underscoring ordinary, everyday Black life, Syms posed the question: Why do Black
people have to be superhuman to experience a safe and just human existence
?

Another display of artifacts that spoke to me was handwritten notes by author Octavia Butler. As a writer myself I was drawn to the lists and affirmations carefully printed, sometimes in colored ink. The mundane yet powerful actions of a writer, who wasn’t thinking at the time that notes to herself might speak to a writer in the future.

Octavia Butler’s notes. From the Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens.

Mothership: Voyage Into Afrofuturism is an original, thought-provoking exhibit that travels beyond the museum walls inside the minds of viewers as they continue to ponder what they’ve seen and experienced. Don’t miss it!

Please note that in light of the current pandemic, things are a bit different: The museum is open Friday-Sunday. Tickets are timed and purchasing in advance is recommended. Masks are required and distancing is encouraged. Click here for more information on how OMCA is working to keep us all safe.

One more thing – check out the museum’s new café, Town Fare, offering fresh vegetable-friendly food by Oakland chef, Tanya Holland. Grab something healthy and delicious and head outside to the lovely museum gardens.

Dora Milaje costume designed by Ruth E. Carter. Black Panther movie, 2018. Part of Mothership: Voyage into Afrofuturism exhibition at the Oakland Museum of California.

Afrofuturism was the closest we came to following a model that was out there already … I rooted myself in fashion and a lot of times, fashion in its simplicity, can have a forward feel to it.

Ruth E. Carter, American costume designer.

This quote is from a Q&A Ms. Carter did with Forbes magazine in 2018.

Having costumed over 40 films, including Malcom X and Amistad, Ms. Carter has been nominated three times for an Academy Award. In 2019 she was the first African American to win for her work on the Marvel blockbuster film, Black Panther.

Return to ODFL tomorrow for my coverage of the current Oakland Museum of California exhibition, Mothership: Voyage into Afrofuturism.

Image curtesy of Shadelands Ranch Museum.

ODFL locals, are you looking for a summer excursion? Want to stay close to home? The Shadelands Ranch Museum in Walnut Creek has just the thing – Summer Market & Barn Sale on Sunday, August 15, 9-4. It’s an outside market selling handcrafted items, and vintage and antique treasures. There will also be food and informational vendors. As a fundraiser, the museum will sell donated vintage/antique items. The house will be open for tours – one of the last opportunities to view the Fashions Through the Years exhibit.

Grab your best summer hat and stop by the Shadelands Ranch Museum, 2660 Ygnacio Valley Road, Walnut Creek.