September means the end of summer and with that comes exciting fall events. In New York and for the fashion-minded, September means the arrival of the fabulous Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. In the world of entertainment, September means the beginning of Fall television seasons, meaning the return of your favorite shows and the introduction of fresh programming. In honor of both Fashion Week and Fall TV, here is a list of the ultimate, most fashionable and fabulously styled shows in (recent) television history.
Sex and the City
Any talk of fashion in television programming must begin with Sex and the City. If Carrie, Samantha, Miranda, Charlotte, and NYC were the 5 main “characters” in the show, then the clothes, shoes, and accessories were the 6th, 7th, and 8th. Carrie’s love affair with Manolo Blahnik shoes was as integral to the show as her love affair with Mr. Big. Patricia Field, the show’s genius stylist, had viewers dying to see what our most stylish “friends” would dare to wear on the New York City streets. Field’s mix of vintage finds, designer brands, and couture made for the best television fashion feast one can imagine. Carrie’s eclectric, high fashion high meets flea market low, anything-goes designs, Miranda’s stylish professional attire alternated with boho chic, Samantha’s flashy, sexy, PR power-player wardrobe, and Charlotte’s Park Avenue Princess style had us coveting their wardrobes and glued to the television screen week after week. We felt what Carrie felt when she looked into a store front and whispered “Hello, lover” to a stunning pair of Manolo’s. Forever the most stylish show in television history.
Another show as famous for its fashion choices as its story lines, Gossip Girl’s designer threads and New York City style thrilled viewers throughout the show’s six seasons. The show’s characters, like Sex and the City’s, had money, and money to burn at that, and the wardrobe concept was that there wasn’t an outfit or accessory these characters couldn’t afford. The show’s stylist Eric Daman chose the biggest names in fashion to dress his stars and viewers will forever thank him for his incredible eye. Go-to designers included the high-fashion likes of Balenciaga, Jenny Packham, Oscar de la Renta, and Christian Dior. Anything one could buy at Barney’s, one could find dressed on Gossip Girl’s stars. Blair’s impeccable Upper East Side sophisticated, preppy, fashion-forward looks and Serena’s polished high fashion and free spirit flair mixed with perfect hair, makeup, and accessories were television eye candy to the max. The men in the show looked amazing too. Chuck’s perfectly tailored suits were a styling lesson for every wanna-a-be Manhattan businessman. The secondary characters always looked impeccably put together as well. With the show’s many black-tie affairs, viewers were able to see gorgeous day-time styles mixed with incredible evening looks, filled with gorgeous gowns and tuxedos. It’s no surprise that stylist Daman was discovered and worked under Patricia Field for three seasons on Sex and the City! Daman told the NY Post in 2012, “”Patricia was about pushing the boundaries and expanding the character through clothing. She and Sarah Jessica Parker were two great mentors. It was like Costumes 101 with the best teachers in the world.” You want to lose an hour of your life? Scan through GG styles on the internet.
Summering in the Hamptons is the epitome of elegance and chic. Revenge stars characters who embody the Upper Crust one percent who summer in the Hamptons in only the sleekest fashions. Stylist Jill Ohanneson turns to Saks Fifth Avenue to find the majority of wardrobe choices due to its wide range of brands, in order to develop a base closet at the beginning of each season in which she picks and chooses items to develop different outfits throughout filming. Ohanneson states in a styling special featured as an extra on the Revenge Season 2 DVD that she is always on the hunt for “interesting, impactful pieces.” Designers featured on the show include Jason Wu, Theyskens Theory, Helmet Lang, Dior, Christian Louboutin, but also the likes of Forever 21 and Anthropologie. Ohanneson tries to incorporate the show’s biggest fashionista Ashley Davenport’s outfits with color, embellishments around the neckline, and more separates and more of a “little edge” than other character’s. Sweet Charlotte’s clothes contain feminine shapes and girlie florals, while lead character Emily dresses in more neutral, polished looks in order to perfectly blend in in her surroundings. She always looks drop-dead gorgeous, with her clothes fitting perfectly on her stunning shape. The way she always looks so beautiful and well-styled help the viewer to easily believe how she can so masterfully manipulate and charm those around her. The times when Emily’s clothes help her stand out is during fancy affairs, in which her black tie gowns are jaw-dropping, always locking in whoever she needs falling in love with her to do so. Many key scenes take place during these sorts of Hamptons chi-chi affairs, so the audience can always expect to enjoy the thrill of seeing the show’s stars in gorgeous evening attire. The gentleman, like on Gossip Girl, wear perfectly fitted suits and preppy, polished looks for the more casual scheming situations.
The “Gladiators” making up Olivia Pope’s crisis management team are always in tip-top style while fixing their client’s problems. Harrison’s trademark suspenders and crisp suits, Abby’s refined sweaters, and Quinn’s impeccable business skirts and button down tops are always on point. But when you think of Scandal style, all one really thinks of is Olivia Pope’s killer white-based wardrobe. Dressed almost always in head-to-toe shades of white, cream, blush, and beige, Ms. Pope is the definition of cool, calm, collected confidence. Silky blouses, tailored pants, and luxurious coats dominate the closet of the White House communications director-turned crisis management specialist. Olivia has key pieces that she repeats, including a gorgeous white Prada purse, a Movado watch, and Gaspar gloves. Those gloves with her 3/4 sleeve coat? To die for. And her chunky sweaters when she’s relaxing at home? Most of us would kill to look that good lounging on the couch. Her power suits would have any woman dying for a dressed up day job. When asked about Scandal style in this month’s Glamour, Kerry Washington says that it was her and costume designer Lyn Paolo’s joint idea to have Olivia dress in all white. But it was Washington’s idea for Olivia to always wear pants, as opposed to skirts, because she “wears the pants” in her office, with her clients, and in her romantic relationships. That might not be true for all of us but we would love to look half as polished as Olivia on any given day.
No matter what your favorite shows are, the wardrobe and styling choices help the stars to completely inhabit their characters. And the shows with the most beautiful, fashionable styling choices? For many of us in the audience, this only multiples the pleasure we get watching. To all: Happy fall premieres and TV watching, happy fall shopping and dressing, and happy drooling and lustful desiring over your favorite on-screen looks!