Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Handbags in Sex and the City 2 (SATC 2)

I went to see SATC 2 last week, and to all of you fashionistas out there, here’s a revelation: True, hard-core handbag fans will find watching Sex and the City 2 pretty painful.

Now I’m not adding my opinion to the bandwagon of press reviews flying around the place and I’m not even saying that you might feel jealousy pangs knowing that the wardrobe for the movie reportedly cost $10 million!!! (Carrie alone has over 40 costume changes and SJP even gets to keep most of her outfits).

I don’t even think it’ll hurt too much to know that in these tough economic times (when most of us are pinchin’ the pennies rather than treating ourselves) that in one single outfit, during the karaoke scene, Carrie’s mix of Vintage Chanel and The Blonds cost a whopping $50,000!

Sex And The City 2 | SATC 2 | Movie | Fashion
SATC 2 Fashionistas From L-R, Miranda wears Vintage Halston, Carrie wears vintage Chanel over jeans by The Blonds, Samantha wears The Blonds & Charlotte wears vintage Yves Saint Laurent.
The real reason why real fashion-loving ladies will cringe whilst watching Sex and the City 2 is the live, on-screen death of the holy grail of handbags - the Hermès Birkin.

Keen SATC followers will remember episode 59 of series 4 where Samantha used the name of her client Lucy Liu just to get on the infinitely long waiting list for the, (and I quote - ahem): “It’s not a bag, it’s a f****ing Birkin!”

But, despite this piece of fashion sacrilege, the clothes continue to be the fifth character, just as in the TV series.

The reason why the outfits continue to receive such undivided attention is legendary stylist Patricia Field’s unique vision and green-monster-inducing personal collection. The heap of items that she has picked up over the years and miles appear regularly in the film.

Sex And The City 2 | SATC 2 | Movie | Fashion
SATC 2 Stylist Patricia Field.
Despite her vast experience of dressing Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte, Patricia Field faced a pretty new challenge in SATC2. Usually, any head accessories, like hats, parasols and head scarves are banned from filming because of the shadows and problems that they cause for the lighting and camera crew. But, the SATC sequel was mostly set in Abu Dhabi (despite being filmed in Morocco), where for cultural and religious reasons, it was necessary for the girls to have their head and shoulders covered.

This opened a whole new range of possibilities for the SATC 2 Stylist, who was able to bring in huge wide-brimmed hats, fascinators and vintage Chanel silk scarves and boasts “Lighting and camera just had to deal with it!”

Sex And The City 2 | SATC 2 | Movie | Fashion
SATC 2 Carrie wears Mykita Franz sunglasses, Solange Azugary-Partridge gemstone necklace, white Halston Heritage v-neck dress, Christian Leboutin heels and Gold Chanel clutch bag.
Another theme that runs through the movie is the repeated use of Halston Heritage pieces. The brand is used heavily, especially in the promotional photos. Yeah, we’re sure that the fact that Sarah Jessica Parker is employed as Halston’s chief creative officer is just a coincidence… (?!)

Sex And The City 2 | SATC 2 | Movie | Fashion
SATC 2 Carrie wears blue pleated dress by Halston Heritage, Jee Vice sunglasses, cerise pink bag and gold Mary-Janes by Christian Leboutin.
You’ll see a ton of big names in the film from Pucci to Gucci, but, lesser-known accessory designer Kara Ross won’t be able to believe her luck after, not only was one of her statement pieces featured in one of the defining images of the movie, but also, more of her work can be seen lining the shelves in the background.

Sex And The City 2 | SATC 2 | Movie | Fashion
SATC 2 Fashionistas From L-R, Miranda wears Bottega Veneta knee-length dress and Kara Ross Amo lizard clutch in honey, Samantha holds a VBH palm clutch worth $1,300 and Charlotte embraces the color-blocking trend with Christian Dior pink suit and leather bag.
One of my favorite parts of SATC 2 was the cute pun of Miranda wearing a pair of Tom Ford ‘Miranda’ sunglasses on the camel ride. These sunnies have been seen on a load of celebrities in the past 12 months, but to put them on their name-sake is a cheeky wink to the real fashion know-alls.

So…With all those clutches, totes, vintage luggage pieces, silk scarves and sun hats featured in the movie, I can tell you it’d be near-on impossible to analyze each and every one of ‘em.

But, from the laid-back, utilitarian chic of Carrie’s simple embroidered cotton tote by Shelley Steefee that she carries when taking a walk with Miranda, to Samantha’s VBH clutch that she teams with a stunning black body-con dress in the wedding gift-list scene (pictured above), it’s easy to say that if you want to copy any of the styles featured in the movie, you’ll need a budget as big as a Birkin!

Thanks so much for inviting me to be a guest blogger on the Chic Alert, Sally.

Pauline Goodman
Mamma Figlia