Saturday, May 10, 2008

Princess Bride....with a twist.

I think it can safely be said that every gay man and straight women in the world is waiting with breath that is bated for Sex and the City: The Movie. I know I personally have been waiting at least four years since the show ended, and since the media is run by the gays (in a perfect world, at least) even the mere notion of a film was sure to incite hysteria. Living up to my little theory, it quickly became evident that the buzz surrounding this movie was indescribable when back in October, as soon as they began filming on the streets of Manhattan, paparazzi photos of Carrie in a big white wedding dress began circulating the net, confirming the long-speculated plot point of a marriage between Carrie and Big. Of course I will get to that little problem at a later date, but for now, let us concentrate on the matter at hand: the dress. Now, the public reaction has been less than favorable towards it (For example: not everyone thought it to be proper for Carrie, even Costume Designer Patricia Field (

I'm sure everyone has their little opinions on her ensemble, but I'm here to give mine. 

I think it's fabulous. And apropos. 

Before we get into it within the context of the film, let's talk about the dress itself:

It's a creation of the Queen of Punk herself, Vivienne Westwood, from her Fall 2007 Collection. Here it is on the runway:

This fabulous wedding gown is from the Vivienne Westwood Gold Label AW 0708 collection ‘Wake up, Cave Girl!’ which features silhouettes with exaggerated darts, nipped in waists and pointy sculptural busts. These main elements are combined in the gown with its extremely small waist combined with generous amounts of silk. The top is based on a corset made of a gold backed ivory silk satin duchess, which gives the gown a warm, champagne nuance. The underskirt is made of ivory silk Radzimir taffeta. The pattern system of pointy darts is applied on all parts of the dress. The veil is champagne colour silk tulle, extremely light and fine.

The wedding dress is made to order at:
Vivienne Westwood Couture and Bridal
6, Davies Street 
London W1K 3DN

Tel: +44 (0) 20 6293757

-description from 

After trying to choose from a whole slew of other gowns, including designs from Christian LaCroix, Carolina Herrera, and one ugly battle with a certain Zac Posen gown (which ended up as Charlotte's bridesmaid dress), the final decision came to this Westwood concoction as Carrie's official Wedding gown. 

The scale may seem absurd, but it's what expected of this character: Carrie wears couture-like outfits to go out for drinks (case and point: the mille feuille gown in "An American Girl in Paris, part une"), so why would she wear anything less on her wedding day? Typically, it's the only event in a woman's life where she would even attempt to wear something custom-made and high fashion, so considering Carrie does this on a regular basis, it of course needs to be bigger, just to make it special. The size of the tiered dress is also representative of the movie itself: Pat herself said that everything's "bigger", and you can tell; Carrie's iconic flower is bigger; Samantha's shoulders are bigger; even Carrie's beau is Big (okay, lame joke, but nevertheless). So, for probably the most important costume in the movie, it needs to be the biggest, just to compete with the other elements in the film. 


There's also the issue of the "princess dress". Some have commented that Carrie is a modern New York woman, not a princess, and this gown is the quintessential princess bride dress. is and it isn't. Sure, it looks like the quintessential princess dress, but it's deigned by the woman who is decidedly not a princess-y designer: Vivienne Westwood. We're talking about a woman who silkscreens bare breasts on t-shirts, writes "I [heart] Crap" on purses, ran a fetish-themed boutique named "Sex" and went knickerless when she was knighted. The dress itself is tongue-in-cheek. There's a certain wit to it that rules it out as being another cookie-cutter dress; it's more like a reaction to all of the trite gowns that you find in cheap bridal shops.  The bust is what really brings it to another level; the intricate darts and fine, cat-eye peaks give it a slight edge. Sure, they make her tits looks weird, but who cares? The structure of the dress is what matters. There's also the matter of the color. No, it's not odd for a wedding dress to be rendered in ivory or some other off-white color, but that slight divergence from pure white is analogous to rendering it in black (from my point of view, at least); it's a slap in the face to the notion that "white" is the ideal color for bridalwear. 

And let us address the dead pheasant stapled to the side of her face: 


It's her something blue. Deal with it. 


Kanani said...

I think if the movie is slightly tongue-in-cheek (or other places) and since it's understood that everything in Carrie's life is overwhelmingly larger than life, then of course, this dress makes perfect sense within the context of this movie!

Frankly, whether or not it's intended, the photos of SJP made me laugh. She was in for the gig, and that blue feather --well, it was a great jab at every feathered hat worn by a royal that was ten times worse. Look for something like it at the next inbred royal wedding!

.kate said...

so ive been tuning in for a while.

your blog is a delight.

and I agree with you on most everything S&TC and SJP's dress does not fall far from the tree.

my only criticism of the series and (probably) the movie is that these fabulous women find and fall in love with each other. SJP gives her whole love yourself monologue in the last episode, and there you have it.


Is that really what S&TC was about?

I feel as though it should have had some open-ended relationships for some of the characters. Because live (especially in NYC) is not a fucking fairytale.

I hope the movie is a little more cynical and realistic. Like the earlier episodes, before all the airbrush and botox.

As far as the dress goes. If I agreed that Carrie of all girls should get married, she would HAVE to wear a dress of that magnitude.


If it were to have been any other way I would have loved her in some ridiculous little dress with some lacy bra poking through or something a little more boho, before she went all Dior.

Just my thoughts, which don't count for much in the fashion industy.

S&TC, I guess I am a little more well versed.