Although costume designers Molly Rogers and Danny Santiago worked on the original Sex and the City series and movies under Patricia Field, they couldn’t have prepared for the social media frenzy that followed when the first photos of the reboot series, And Just Like That, were released in July. Rogers says, “It was quite powerful to see how quickly [photos of the show] spread throughout the universe.” “As soon [a camper’s foot] touched the sidewalk, a paparazzi snapped it. It was online in less than five minutes.”
Photographers were not only watching every move of the cast on the set but also a new account, @justlikethatcloset, emerged just days after the first image was published. @justlikethatcloset, dedicated to identifying the fashion on the series, emerged on Instagram. The euphoria surrounding the show culminated in what Rogers calls .”Forever 21-gate,” when a photo of Sarah Jessica Parker, who reprised her role as Carrie Bradshaw, wearing a maxi dress that fans incorrectly ID’ed as Forever 21 blew up the internet. Rogers says, “The Internet brought the world closer.” Rogers says that the magnifying glass of the world got closer too. In an unprecedented move for costume designers, Rogers and Santiago decided to create their own Instagram account, @andjustlikethatcostumes, which documented the behind-the-scenes process of dressing the show’s characters. Rogers says, “We wanted an account, but we wanted it to be controlled by us.”
The series is now available on HBO Max. Rogers and Santiago created a new style for Parker’s lead characters. Cynthia Nixon and Kristin Davies joined Parker, now in their 50s. They also uncovered memorable bits from the original show’s run. Santiago says that even though they have passed away, they are still the same people they were.
Santiago and Rogers stayed true to Bradshaw’s love for eclecticism. Santiago wore a blue Norma Kamali gown with Aquazzura heels in one scene, and a Jean Paul Gaultier suit, which was menswear-inspired, in the next. The Fendi baguette, stolen in Season 3, was also included. The Manolo Blahnik blue “Hangisi”, Manolo Blahnik pumps that Mr. Big used for his proposal to her in the first Sex and the City movie. A pair of Miu Miu platform shoes from Season 6’s Wall Street opening sequence. A blue flower pin that she wore during her Bill Kelley days. It was a feather-like, bird-like fascinator that caused the most attention. “I knew that was going to wig everybody out,” says Rogers. Some even speculated that it was a nod to her almost-wedding outfit in the first SATC movie, and therefore a sign that Bradshaw and Mr. Big were divorcing.
Rogers was assisting Field in the creation of SATC back when she said that the pair used to wander New York City’s clubs to search for designers and inspiration. She says, “You’d see a child in a club wearing a fierce outfit and you’d be like, “Who are you?” “Those days are long gone.” Santiago and Rogers turned to Instagram to discover new designers to feature. Rogers’ most memorable was Rodney Patterson, a Bushwick milliner. Patterson made the straw hat Carrie wore at one time in the series. “You could send Rodney a head measurement and he would have it made in a hat for the next day in any color you wanted,” she says.
Rogers and Santiago both want to take the audience back in time to when they waited for new episodes every week and savored every costume. Santiago says, “We had an incredible time doing everything and loved the looks we created.” “I hope people will get it and not try to separate it.”
Rogers said that “Forever 21-gate” fans should wait until the show airs to understand why Carrie is wearing such a dress: “Then we can have a chat.”