It’s been 20-plus years since Sex and the City premiered on HBO, introducing a generation of premium cable subscribers to stylish sex columnist Carrie Bradshaw, and her three friends, Charlotte Goldenblatt (née York), Samantha Jones, and Miranda Hobbes.
The ensuing two decades have only served to solidify the show’s place in the pop culture pantheon—just ask designer Chelsea Fairless and writer-director Lauren Garroni, the L.A.-based duo behind @everyoutfitonsatc, an Instagram account that documents the series’ most iconic and most tragic fashion decisions. They’ve become authorities on the world of the show for the account’s 600k followers, and this week they release We Should All Be Mirandas, a satirical self-help book that plumbs a truth many fans have come around to as they’ve gotten older: Miranda, not Carrie, was the series’ true connecting character.
It all started with the Instagram account, which began as a joke between the two friends, but within a month had 100k followers.
“It was unexpected to say the least,” Fairless says. Garroni adds, “If we knew what it would become, we would have tried for a more interesting origin story, but that’s probably why it’s become what it’s become because we didn’t expect it to.”
The account first spawned merch, including a T-shirt reading “We Should All Be Mirandas,” a parody of Dior’s $800-plus “We Should All Be Feminists” shirt. Hobbes, cynical attorney and single mother, takes a minute to warm up to. While young women watch the show and envy Bradshaw’s job, closet, and romantic life, Hobbes is often viewed as the frumpy realist who wears pantsuits and eats cake out of the trashcan. But once you grow up a little, you realize how great she was.
“At the end of the day, Miranda went to Harvard, became a law partner before the age of 35, owns her own brownstone, has a full-time housekeeper, and in today’s world, that’s aspirational. If not that, I don’t know what is.”
“In starting this account, we realized we had grown into Mirandas,” Garroni says. “I mean, I’m sure the characteristics always existed or resided within us, but I think like many people, we wanted to be Carrie. We kind of emulated those behaviors in embarrassing ways. Our closets used to be filled with very regrettable H&M purchases. Chelsea and I both lived in New York and we went to college together for fashion school. There was a lot of walking on cobblestone streets in the dead of winter in high heels trying to emulate that lifestyle and never quite getting there and then starting the account and growing older, we were Mirandas and it caused us to look at why we didn’t want to identify with her and really looking at how at the end of the day, she’s someone who went to Harvard, became a law partner before the age of 35, owns her own brownstone, has a full-time housekeeper, and in today’s world, that’s aspirational. If not that, I don’t know what is.”
We Should All Be Mirandas pokes fun at the self-help books made popular in the ‘80s and ‘90s that tell women they can “have it all.”
“Which basically means a good marriage, a hot body, a good career, all of that stuff,” Fairless says, “so our book very much uses that kind of architecture and that was our inspiration point for We Should All Be Mirandas.”
The Miranda shirt led to a book, as well as a relationship with Cynthia Nixon, who played Hobbes on the show. When Nixon—who follows @everyoutfitonsatc—ran for New York governor in 2018, her team called Fairless and Garroni for help. The two hosted a fundraiser with her and designed merch for her campaign, and wrote and directed a campaign video for her. Kristin Davis, who plays Charlotte, and Sarah Jessica Parker, who plays Carrie, also follow the account. Considering the account occasionally pokes fun at the characters’ sartorial choices, Fairless and Garroni say they’re conscious of what they write.
“We always want to try to be respectful to the actresses on the show,” Fairless says. “That said, we also want this to be for the audience. We’re not afraid to say an outfit is crazy if it’s actually crazy and everyone perceives it to be that way. But also, it’s like sometimes we criticize the styling choices, but we would never criticize someone’s appearance, we have no criticism for the actresses of the show because they were so incredible.”
Fairless and Garroni fete We Should All Be Mirandas at a launch party on Oct. 24 at the Standard, Hollywood.
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