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Costume designer Eric Daman on wrapping 'Gossip Girl' and opening 'The Carrie Diaries'

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Image Credit: Giovanni Rufino/The CW

The 2012 New York Television Festival kicked off with the world premiere of The Carrie Diaries, the CW’s Sex and the City flashback series about the coming of age of Carrie Bradshaw. You know, before all the Manolos and men.

Teenage Carrie (AnnaSophia Robb) won’t be wearing couture, but the character’s wardrobe will include a few signature pieces — a ‘C’ initial necklace, a scrunchie and the like — that will strike a chord with die-hard Sex fans.

Luckily, Carrie Diaries costume designer Eric Daman got his start assisting Patricia Field on the original Sex and the City and was also in charge of the wardrobe department on Gossip Girl, so Carrie’s style is in good hands.

We caught up with Daman to ask him about Carrie Bradshaw’s new, er, old look, wrapping up Gossip Girl, and whether we’ll be seeing ’80s Carrie Bradshaw wearing Serena van der Woodsen’s hand-me-downs.

EW: On Sex and the City, Carrie wore some memorable accessories. What are the younger Carrie’s signature pieces?
Eric Daman: She wears a ‘C’ necklace by Alex Woo throughout the whole show. [Executive Producer Amy Harris gifted lead actress AnnaSophia Robb with an 'A' version of the necklace]. I don’t want to give it all away, but there are things that are going to pop up where you’ll go ‘Oh that’s where the flower broach comes from’ or ‘that’s where the Manolos come from.’ There’s elements that you’re going to see that are a little more grown up and maybe come from her mom’s closet; things that she’s accumulating that will be 50’s and ‘60s vintage [added] into her ‘80s look that make sense for Carrie Bradshaw and show where she gets her sense of style. 

So many people know the stylish character from Sex and the City, what were the challenges of dressing the young Carrie Bradshaw? 
It is a balance. She has to be stylish, but she’s also got to be this quiet girl from Connecticut that’s 16 so she’s not going to be strutting into the high school halls in two different colored Manolos. It’s a dustier pastel look, but it’s a lot of mixed patterns. I think we were really trying to create the ‘Carrie-ness’ with these mixed patterns but through tonal elements so it’s not just in your face like ‘Oh she’s wearing a polka dot sweater and star jeans,’ it looks really cute. So it’s figuring out how we can mix prints and textures together that feel ‘80s, that feel Carrie Bradshaw, but also feel very Connecticut.

Tell us about the clothes you’ve used on the Carrie Diaries so far — any labels that were big in the ’80s?
We’ve done a lot of H&M, Top Shop and Marc Jacobs, those are the top three we’re really hitting right now. We also did a throwback outfit that’s one of my favorites so far. It’s a pink polka dot Scazzi dress that we found in L.A. and had to completely rebuild for AnnaSophia. We kept the same shape, because it’s a very special ‘80s shape, but she’s got this tiny, beautiful body so we had to reconstruct it. It’s a great moment of seeing her in New York City. For me it was a moment of, ‘Oh, that’s the Carrie Bradshaw that we already know!’ Then we go back to Connecticut and the dusty pastel floral jeans.

You’re also the costume designer on Gossip Girl. What will happen to all of the amazing clothes worn by Serena, Blair, Chuck and the rest of the gang when the show comes to an end?
[The wardrobe is] being logged out and sent to Warner Brothers studio. Some of it will be repurposed.

Does that mean we should keep our eye out for Gossip Girl hand-me-downs on The Carrie Diaries?
Maybe. I’m going back and forth with that one, like, ‘Do I want to use that iconic dress from Blair Waldorf here?’ I kind of do in some weird way, so we’ll see! I’m in the process of figuring that out in my head. It’s weird, I’m kind of attached like,  ‘Oh that’s my favorite Blair Waldorf dress but it would be really exciting to see on Carrie.’ There is a very big possibility that you’ll see iconic pieces appear in a very different way, a very Carrie way.

The Carries Diaries is set to premiere on the CW in January 2013.

Follow Nakisha on Twitter: @Nakisha.

Read more:
The CW casts its young Carrie Bradshaw — PHOTO
First look at ‘Sex and the City’ prequel’s Carrie Bradshaw — PHOTO
‘Gossip Girl': Why fashion blogs should issue spoiler alerts

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