Fashion has always sought inspiration from pop culture so it is not surprising that what we watch has an impact on the way we dress. But there was one TV show in particular that changed the relationship between TV and fashion forever; Sex and the City. Since then many small screen hits have spilled over into our closets, so here is a nod to the show that started a love affair between the small screen and the fashion world and the shows that have since followed in its ever chic footsteps.
Sex and the City
It’s easy looking back to forget what a breakthrough show Sex and the City really was; a show lead by four female leads, who were strong, independent, smart and sexy had not been seen before. Add to that the killer fashion and honest approach to sex and the life of a single girl and it was ground breaking in many ways. It was also one of the first TV shows where fashion was not only celebrated but was also integral to the story. The amazingly talented Patricia Field lead the charge giving each of the characters their distinct look and allowing them to play with fashion. Suddenly fashion wasn’t just for teenage girls; women in their thirties don’t just forget about fashion, and finally they had an outlet. Field pushed the boundaries with Carrie’s wardrobe and soon the fashion world was clamouring to be featured in the show. The show obliged and women everywhere began tuning in, not just for the characters but for wardrobe inspiration from the fashion fearless foursome.
Where would Gossip Girl be without fashion? The ‘mean girls’ storylines were really just a backdrop to the parade of catwalk looks that the characters wore each season. Blair Waldorf was almost solely responsible for the return of headbands and no episode was complete without Serena sashaying around New York with glossy hair and a designer bag in the crook of her arm. With an almost exclusively designer wardrobe to play with the fashion from the show was, for the vast majority of us, out of reach, but deep in the heart of a recession, Gossip Girl gave us a glossy escape and whole lot of fashion daydreaming.
After the gloss of Gossip Girl it was time to go retro. The hit series Mad Men, set in the sixties and the ruthless world of advertising came complete with women who embraced their womanly shape and were on the verge of stepping out of the shadows. Christina Hendricks became the poster girl for women with curves. Her perfect hour glass figure was celebrated with sharp pencil skirts, nipped in waists and sassy blouses. Her look provided inspiration for working women everywhere.
This Scandi drama was a surprise hit both on the small screen and in the world of fashion. It paved the way for Scandinavian TV and somehow made knitwear cool again. The show focuses on Detective Chief Inspector Sarah Lund but the world of fashion focused on her jumpers. Despite the dark nature of the show the jumpers would not have looked out of place around the Christmas lunch table and sparked a million copy cats.Girls
Girls may seem like an unlikely candidate for a list celebrating TV fashion hits, given how polarising in the world of fashion the show’s creator, Lena Dunham, has turned out to be. But it’s for that exact reason that it does deserve a place. Like or loath the show, Dunham certainly uses it to push issues like body image, nudity and what women should and shouldn’t do to the forefront. Her character is not the stick thin, 6′ model type that normally fronts a show. But she does what she likes and she wears what she likes both on and off the screen. She might not fit the world of fashion but if her star continues to rise fashion might just move to fit around her.
Sex and the City brought us many things; Manolo Blahniks, girlfriends, Mr Big, cosmopolitans, but most importantly it taught us about a woman’s right to shoes. What better lesson than that?