‘The Carrie Diaries’ Costume Designer Eric Daman Spills On Second Season

A still from The Carrie Diaries Season 1, Episode 1: “Win Some, Lose Some.”
Photo: The CW

In case you were unaware, The Carrie Diaries is back! We watched the preview, peeped the poster, and now, we’re ready for Carrie to be back in our lives for a second season! Obviously, the on-point ’80s fashion is critical to the show, Carrie’s character, and her future, adult self, which is why we’re so excited to share our interview with Eric Daman, The Carrie Diaries’ Costume Designer. Check out the full interview below, and if you want more Eric in your life (and, I mean, after reading this, how could you not?), you can follow him on Twitter (so many BTS photos!), or check out his website.

MTV STYLE: You worked with Patricia Field on Sex and The City for three seasons, how has that experience influenced how you dress teen Carrie on The Carrie Diaries?

Eric Daman: I draw from SATC every day, trying to create “buried treasures,” or as Amy B. Harris (creator/producer/writer), calls them, “Easter eggs,” that hopefully will resonate with the audience as a-ha moments, leading them to think, “A-ha! That’s where the inspiration for the Carrie necklace came from!” Like, Young Carrie wearing a signature ’80s style C necklace by Alex Woo. It is an intentional process that hopefully is nuanced enough to feel fresh and new, but integral to who Carrie is stylistically. I am elated and honored to have been asked to carry on and breathe new life into such an amazing fashion torch. Ultimately, I hope to do right and pay homage to the fashion icon we know and love as well.

A still from The Carrie Diaries Season 1, Episode 1: “Win Some, Lose Some.”
Photo: The CW

How do adult Carrie and Samantha’s styles influence how they dress as teens?

Their styles are so well-defined as is, it’s a delight to extract from the Carrie and Samantha we know and love and put them through a time machine and see what comes out. Carrie’s flair for unusual pairings, mixed with a daring dash of sexy really comes through this season. And, we get to discover that Samantha works her way up from a gritty kitty to couture cougar!

What’s it like creating a new look for a character who is already so well established, stylistically?

Dressing a young Carrie Bradshaw was, at first, quite intimidating but, ultimately, exhilarating. It was very important to keep in mind that she’s a young high school student in Connecticut and still figuring out her style. And, of course, the era plays a huge role in the overall look. Conceptually, we hope to create an aspirational authentic look, not an overtly kitschy ’80s look. Our young CB’s style will be idiosyncratic, but quieter than the Carrie we already know. She is at an age where she is experimenting, learning and creating her individual unique style. Keeping all of this in mind when conceiving her look, I wanted to give her a unique approach of mixing colors and patterns, as well as eras. For instance, mixing obvious ’80s inspired items with pieces from her “mother’s closet” that feel more ’60s and ’70s, with contemporary flair.

What’s something young Carrie Bradshaw wears that adult Carrie Bradshaw would never touch? Vice versa?

Nothing is off limits stylistically for Carrie Bradshaw. I think that is why she is so iconic: she can and will wear anything—from a dirndl dress at a picnic (SATC) to a Madonna-wanna-be hair accessory (The Carrie Diaries), but she will do it with panache and confidence, giving it her own signature spin. Carrie is a style risk-taker at any age! SATC Carrie would rock TCD Carrie’s pink polka dot school jeans and TCD Carrie would totally take on the crinoline as outerwear SATC Carrie is famous for!

In the preview for the new season, Carrie discusses her new haircut and attitude. How will each of these things change her style?

In season 2, after a summer in the city and having full access to the Interview fashion closet, Carrie’s style will bloom into a more editorial version that really harkens iconic Carrie-cum-fashionista. Her relationship with sexy Samantha will also influence her style as she begins to play with her own sexuality, donning bodycon dresses and sheer crop tops, and really owning her look.

A still from The Carrie Diaries Season 1, Episode 1: “Win Some, Lose Some.”
Photo: The CW

What’s the process like for picking out each outfit for Carrie?

Carrie has a lot of changes in each episode—averaging about 10. I usually break down the script and categorize by type of change, e.g., “Journaling look,” “Interview Office look,” or “School look.” Each is very different and has different needs. I try to keep her journaling looks inspired by what SATC Carrie would wear when journaling; not just PJs or sweats, but super-cute boy shorts and a sexy printed/embellished tank, for example.

For Interview Magazine we push the fashion “intern” envelope, wanting her look to feel very ’80s NYC and editorial, but also contemporary and aspirational: bodycon graffiti print dresses, sky high statement heels, and neon accessories.

In high school in CT, I try to keep her heels to cute kitten heights or fabulous flats (Ferragamo anyone???), you know, the usual teen girl high school look: printed Paige Jeans and Kenzo sweaters (she is a senior after all!).

Once I have a count on how many of each type of looks, I set out to shop, pull and put together 2-3 options for each that are all on stand-by for that episode’s fitting. I always need to have options! Plan A doesn’t always work out and a good designer always has plans B AND C in place.

For Samantha?

Funny enough, Samantha is naked A LOT, which presents a different challenge: how to keep her “appearing” naked without actually “being” naked. It is the CW, after all, not HBO!

For her fashion I get to shop and pull from everywhere! Anything goes. I can be filling a cart at an online stripper boutique for S&M gear and pulling Rodarte at Barneys in the same day. It’s a total treat and so much fun to style!

Where do you shop?

Everywhere. Literally. We scour uptown, downtown, Brooklyn and every inch of the internet! The go-to’s are: Saks, Topshop, Amarcord, Beacon’s Closet, Forever 21,, Nasty Gal, ShopBop, and Modcloth.

A still from The Carrie Diaries Season 1, Episode 1: “Win Some, Lose Some.”
Photo: The CW

Is anything on set custom-made?

Sadly, the nature and timing of serial TV doesn’t allow for as much custom-made as I wish, BUT almost every Carrie outfit is custom reconstructed for AnnaSophia Robb’s gorgeous and tiny little frame! Last season we did have time over the holiday break to have a pair of Manolos custom made for her in Italy: Her first pair of MBs. It was important that Carrie’s introduction to the iconic shoe brand be perfect and fit perfectly.

Does AnnaSophia Robb’s personal style come into play at all in Carrie’s look?

ASR came in wide-eyed with an open mind and an appetite for fashion. We have a great dialogue, and she pretty much defers to me to help her (stylistically) become Carrie Bradshaw. I wouldn’t say it was difficult, but initially a bit daunting and challenging to “pre” create this style icon. Once we got into the groove, it became very natural and inspired. I actually think Carrie’s style has informed ASR’s: it’s hard not to be influenced by a room full of delicious designer shoes, fabulous frocks, and amazing accessories!

What is your favorite part of dressing these characters?

The constant creative challenge to push forward each week and be an integral part of the character’s evolution through our wardrobe and style choices. Being interviewed for is pretty good too! ;)

A still from The Carrie Diaries Season 1, Episode 1: “Win Some, Lose Some.”
Photo: The CW

How do you think Carrie and Samantha’s styles will change in the near future, even within this season?

Being BFFs, it is a natural evolution that their style wears off on each other! Carrie’s skirts get shorter, tighter and opts for black and rich jewel tones that are definitely a change from her girly-girl pastels and cute flippy skirts. Samantha learns the value of high fashion, designer shoes, and panties!

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