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Column: How Costume Designers Changed a Generation

The Serial Shopper

Influencers are all around us, and before Instagram, costume designers shaped the way women lined their closets.

Since the beginning, the balance between fashion and film has been a delicate one. Over the years, as film and television evolved, so has the tastes of the modern woman. In the gray in-between, before “gramming” your OOTD became an everyday occurrence, and polaroids died, many women went to television and movies to gain inspiration for their style.

In the gray in-between, before “gramming” your OOTD became an everyday occurrence, and polaroids died, many women went to television and movies to gain inspiration for their style.

Three costume designers changed the game when it came to how women dressed. The first being Deborah Everton. Deborah was the costume designer behind one of the 90’s biggest cult teen classics, ‘The Craft.’ The movie that epitomized DGAF, girl gang witchy goodness, was a turning point in fashion that showed gothic style as not only edgy but also desirable. Although Nancy, played by

Although Nancy, played by Fairuza Balk was considerably scary, one cannot deny the clothing she and her coven donned became a staple in the fashion of women across the globe. For me, the styles that Everton chose for the movie gave a positive reinforcement of dark, edgy style, that was transformative at the time.

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Twenty years later, we are looking at an evolved version of this confident look complete with chokers, rosaries, and bold dark lips.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, the movie ‘Clueless’ gave a whole new look at how trends can shape an entire era. Costume designer Mona May took us into Cher Horowitz’s Beverly Hills world, and nothing was ever the same. Bright colors, platform heels, matching two piece outfits, and being all around extra fabulous became a thing of the norm when this movie hit theaters.clueless2

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At the end of the 90’s one of the most influential shows to hit the fashion world debuted 19 years ago today, HBO‘s ‘Sex and The City.’   The iconic costume designer Patricia Field, used the characters of four friends navigating life in New York City, to transport the world into the sometimes questionable, always edgy, eclectic style of Carrie Bradshaw and friends.

We saw Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte, and Miranda evolve and feel out their emotions, and their identities freely through fashion.

We watched them go from this….

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To this…

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The most adventurous and iconic of the group, Carrie Bradshaw, always kept us guessing.

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Before Eric Daman gave the world Blair Waldorf and Serena Van der Woodsen’s ‘Gossip Girl‘ style, Patricia Field, Mona May, and Deborah Everton taught a generation of women that clothing is not only an expression of who you are but,  an expression of your confidence.

The women behind the style of these fictional characters were fearless in their pursuit of evolving with the characters in a way that was organic, daring and inspiring. Since we have transcended into a world where social media style influence has become the status quo, we must remember that even the new school learned their iconic style from someone. These women are the original influencers.

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