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How “Girls” is not the new “Sex and the City” when it comes to fashion

HBO’s new Sunday night “comedy” Girls, is centered on the lives of four twenty-somethings growing up against the backdrop of New York City (Brooklyn, to be more precise). Because it centers on exactly four girls within the New York metropolitan-area, it’s already drawn comparisons to the other HBO show along those premises: Sex and the City. One way this comparison fails is in the fashion. By trying to portray the painfully harsh reality of the new awkward stage in life, show creator/star Lena Dunham has kept the clothing frumpy and uninspired. Certainly, nothing along the lines of the Carrie Bradshaw wardrobe Sarah Jessica Parker had it in her contract to keep at the end of the show.

There is something to be said about the characters resembling the Sex and the City heroines. Here is a girl by girl recap of who is who, and how their wardrobes differ.

The Carrie:

The most obvious match-up there is. Hannah Horvath (Lena Dunham) is the center of this show. She is also a writer, just like Carrie. Albeit Carrie actually gets paid to write her sex column, while Hannah is compiling her memoirs, one essay at a time, for free. Which is maybe why all of her clothing looks like it comes from the Salvation Army.

2. The Samantha

Another pretty easy match-up. Jessa (Jemima Kirke) is the Samantha because she is sexually promiscuous. She has a track record of stealing people’s boyfriends and hooking up with complete strangers in bar bathrooms. She has the only somewhat inspiring wardrobe of the quartet, but while her bohemian clothing is trendy, it’s also depressing because she only seems to wear autumnal colors.

3. The Miranda

This is where it gets tough. While Marnie certainly has a lot of the type-A qualities of Charlotte, she has to be the Miranda of this show because she’s thus far, the only one with a paid job. I guess that makes her  a working woman. And even though she’s just as immature as the rest of them, her wardrobe ages her to about 30—in a not good way. There’s nothing fun about the way she dresses.

4. The Charlotte

Shoshanna is kind of in a category all her own, but she probably most represents Charlotte. She’s the most optimistic and naive of the bunch, and with every right—she’s only in college. But for a girl who actually loves Sex and the City (she has a poster hanging on the wall in the Nolita apartment she shares with Jessa), she certainly hasn’t taken her fashion cues from the show. She wears a bit too many bows and ballet flats for someone in their twenties.

Bad Girl Style

If there’s any character on TV who is the direct opposite of Zooey Deschanel’s puff-pastry Jess Day on New Girl, then it’s Krysten Ritter as Chloe in Don’t Trust The B—- in Apartment 23. The new show on ABC is about Midwesterner June who moves to New York City and shares an apartment with a seemingly nice person, Chloe (Ritter). However, Chloe ends up being borderline psychopathic: sleeping with June’s boyfriend and walking around the apartment naked—all in the first episode.

Logically Chloe’s wardrobe is a reflection of her character’s devil-may-care attitude. As a party girl, Chloe wears a lot of body-con dresses and leopard print. Her coats are embellished with metal studs and she wears a lot of leather. She pulls off this punk look by making it all look feminine.

Here are a few looks from the show that are easy to copy.

MINKPINK Gina Dress, NastyGal.com

Destroyed Union Jack Top, Forever 21

Dapple Your Luck Dress, ModCloth.com

A Real Mess

Last week I wrote about the fashion on NBC drama Smash. In my post, I omitted one large gaping fact about the show: how shitty Debra Messing’s wardrobe is. This omission was conscious. The clothing they put on Messing is basically what a high school art teacher would wear. Which means a lot of tribal print scarves, unflattering cardigans, and shawls. SHAWLS. Since my post was about all of the great things that Smash does with costume design, I felt like bringing up Messing’s outfits was counter-productive.

But thank god someone else has confronted this issue. Vulture assembled a slideshow of all of Messing’s fashion fails, so go and check it out.  Spoiler alert: there’s a bonus image of Jack Davenport.

A Tale of Two Marilyns

In one scene from recent film My Week With Marilyn, Marilyn Monroe (Michelle Williams) asks a question to her love interest, Colin Clark (Eddie Redmayne), as they are about to greet a gaggle of photographers.

“Should I be her?” she asks.

“Who?” Clark responds, confused.

“Marilyn,” she replies, like it’s not immediately obvious. Her choice is clear by the corresponding series of shushes, shimmies, and smiles.

This scene describes the new societal idea surrounding Monroe’s life. That she was torn between two personas, her actual self, born Norma Jeane Mortenson, and the character she made up to make it big in Hollywood, Marilyn.

New TV series Smash plays off of this idea as well. The show chronicles the challenges a group of Broadway artists encounter as they attempt to produce a musical about Monroe’s life. One of the most important aspects of the production is casting the right actress to play Monroe. At the beginning of the season they were torn between newcomer Karen Cartwright, and seasoned chorus girl Ivy Lyn. Karen resembled the more innocent Mortenson, while Ivy fits the more conventional curvaceous version of Monroe.

All of this is played out in the show’s costumes. Life imitates art as the two actresses try to get into the role of Marilyn. Karen, while still dressing to look the part of Monroe, usually looks more conservative, and not as overtly sexy as Ivy. Monroe has always been a style icon for women, but it’s interesting to see how the show is interpreting her look in two very different ways. Here’s a look at some of costumes the characters wear in the show—both those designed for the stage production, and their own personal Marilyn-influenced wardrobes.

Mad Women

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, then you know that Mad Men returns for it’s fifth season tonight More importantly though, it means more Mad Men fashion.

Season four ended in 1965. We’re not sure when the show will pick up again, but suffice to say it’s going to be the second half of the sixties. And that means we’re going to be seeing a fashion revolution first hand. No more dainty white gloves and voluminous floral skirts. We’re talking structured jackets and mini skirts.

Here’s a look back at the fashion from the previous seasons, donned by the most important lady characters on the show. You can already see change happening. We’ll have to tune in tonight at 9 p.m. to see how Joan, Betty, and Peggy are dressing for the changin’ times.

Season 1

Season 2

Season 3

Season 4

Fox-y Lady

The style of Fox’s “America Live” anchor Megyn Kelly profiled in the LA Times

Photo via activitypit.ning.com

As the Republican primary continues to charge onward into ambiguity, party members keep their eyes glued to the only non-liberal media elite outlet: Fox News. And that means a lot of attention is being paid to “America Live” host Megyn Kelly. So much so, that the Los Angeles Times just published an article specifically detailing the TV host’s on and off air style. While, the primary may be a mess, Kelly’s style is anything but. Excerpted below is six tips working women can take from Kelly on dressing professionally.

Reconsider the necessity of accesories:

Accessories, especially statement necklaces, are something she shuns both on and off camera. On TV, accessories can be distracting. Off the air, Kelly factors in the impracticality jewelry can pose while raising young kids…”I’m still getting spat up on,” she says. “And my son is whipping things across the room.”

Colors should be simple, but don’t be afraid to go bold:

Fashion stylist Gwen Marder, who has been dressing the on-air talent for 12 years, favors pops of solid, bright color, and there’s no shortage of it in Kelly’s wall of closets…”I really like our anchors to wear color because people react in such a visceral way to color,” Marder says. “It’s stimulating and pretty to look at on television.”

Heels, always:

Her footwear isn’t always visible on camera, but she contends that wearing a pair of heels makes a difference in her attitude and confidence, regardless of whether anyone can see them.

It’s ok to outfit repeat:

“It’s not taboo to wear the same thing twice in one season,” she says. “We don’t have enough of a wardrobe budget not to. We try and mix it up with different shoes and jackets.”

Keep flash in balance for a conservative look:

She wore a black Michael Kors dress during the South Carolina primary, adding that though dresses can be appropriate, she’s conscious not to wear anything too flashy.”If you’re wearing a pair of shoes that’s a little flashy, then it’s important not to be flashy up top and vice versa,” she says about her on-air outfit choices.

No one’s perfect, so just buy Spanx already:

As for any working woman expected to show up in a skirt or dress, foundation garments are not to be overlooked. “Don’t get me wrong, there’s a pair of Spanx under there,” Kelly says with a laugh. “I’m not a barbarian.”

Via Megyn Kelly’s classic fashion style — LA Times

Jaime King on “Hart of Dixie”


After The O.C., Rachel Bilson took a break from TV and became everyone’s favorite petite fashionista. (She even just started her own shoe shopping website, Shoemint.) So it was a great surprise when she returned to TV this fall on the CW series Hart of Dixie. Her character Zoe Hart, dresses more or less the same as Bilson in real life, with a metropolitan look consisting of a lot of shorts paired with heels. But her wardrobe palette of blacks and browns can be a little monotonous.

More interesting is the style worn by her character’s nemesis, Lemon Vreeland. Played by Jaime King, Lemon is the “quintessential” southern belle, wearing feminine skirts in frothy fabrics of pastel shades. While her style may not represent accurately that of the contemporary southern belle, it’s still fun to look at every week.

Here is a slideshow of some of the looks worn by King this season.

Called It

Remember when I mused the likelihood of an Edwardian undercurrent à la Downton Abbey at The Oscars a few weeks back? Well supporting actress nominee Bérénice Bejo opted for the look, donning one of my predictions from the Elie Saab Spring 2012 Couture line. Call it fashion telepathy.

Photo via Red Carpet Fashion Awards.

Glee Competition Uniforms Throughout the Seasons

The Glee team competed in Regionals for the third time this week. It was a strange episode to say the least, with one attempted suicide and the team singing “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” by Kelly Clarkson at the competition.

But do you know what else was off? The uniforms. For a show that can dress Kurt in $300 shirts, it can never seem to get these competition uniforms right. Perhaps the excuse is that they are trying to create a look that is realistic for a high school show choir team. Rebuttal: this is TV and the characters burst out into song in the middle of the hallway at school—designer dresses are o.k.

Here is a look at the Glee team’s competition uniforms from the past three seasons. You’ll find that they are all pretty much just versions of the same thing.

Copy Zooey Deschanel’s “Adorkable” Style

It’s hard to separate Zooey Deschanel from the character she plays on Fox’s new series New Girl—especially when it comes to style. Take Deschanel’s hosting gig this past week on Saturday Night Live. For her monologue she wore a lady-like red dress with a cutesy white heart pattern.

This is called being “adorkable”, or dressing like a 6-year-old girl (the show’s tag line is “Simply Adorkable”). As Deschanel’s character teaches elementary school, and lives with three male roommates, the ultra-girly look suits her. Outside of the show, it’s slightly less appropriate for a 32-year-old.

Still, the vintage-inspired silhouettes of the costumes are beautiful, unique, and look flattering on almost any body type.  Here are a few of Deschanel’s looks from the show that can be easily copied.

Cue the Compliments Dress, ModCloth.com

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