Costume designer of ‘And Just Like That...’ on the secrets behind the new season’s style

The styling team for the second run of the show is led by Molly Rogers who worked with Patricia Field through the ‘Sex and the City’ series and on both of its related movies, as well as ‘The Devil Wears Prada’

Carrie Bradshaw’s Vivienne Westwood wedding dress from ‘Sex and the City’ makes a reappearance in season two of ‘And Just Like That...’

The Sex and the City reboot And Just Like That... returned to the small screen this week, alongside all the fashion moments fans have spent 25 years obsessing about. (The first of six seasons of Sex and the City debuted in 1998, and the first season of And Just Like That… launched late in 2021.)

Season 2 of the sequel is set around a year after Big’s tragic, Peloton-related cardiac arrest, and while it doesn’t sizzle as the original series did, it’s a glossy, guilty escapist pleasure with gorgeous costumes. There’s no Succession-style quiet luxury here — Sarah Jessica Parker’s Carrie Bradshaw famously wore a bird on her head — Parker’s outfits this year are bold, memorable, and loud.

Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie Bradshaw in ‘And Just Like That...’ Photo by Craig Blankenhorn

Paparazzi stalk the show’s sets in New York; a shot of Parker with a JW Anderson bag sent the quirky $854 pigeon clutch viral. The original series featured an Emmy Award-winning costume design team helmed by Patricia Field. The current iteration is led by Molly Rogers and Danny Santiago; Rogers worked with Field through the Sex and the City series and both of its related movies, as well as in such other projects as the 2006 film, The Devil Wears Prada.

The new season brought Rogers and Santiago the big, fictional task of tackling fashion’s biggest night — the Met Gala, which itself has become the most important celebrity event of the year. Bloomberg Pursuits spoke with Rogers about creating gala looks, working with designers and the upcoming return of Kim Cattrall’s Samantha Jones, who declined to appear in Season 1.

I loved the costuming this season — and seeing things again, like Carrie’s Vivienne Westwood wedding dress. What are you most excited for viewers to see this season?

“I'm most excited for viewers to see something that they haven't already seen on the street.”

That hasn’t been leaked in paparazzi shots, you mean? How do you deal with that as a creative?

“I try my best to stay with blinders on because I think it would inhibit us in the fitting room, otherwise,” Rogers says. “If we really keep dialled into what people are saying after seeing it on the street, all the judgement would steal the joy from us. So we keep it light and fun and creative in the fitting room.”

Can you talk to me a little about the looks the characters get for the Met Gala? There’s an absolutely stunning red Valentino number, for one.

“We were fortunate enough to go shopping in Paris last July. We mostly did vintage shopping in Paris, and we knew about Episode 1. We knew we needed to keep our eyes out for Met Gala looks, and we knew that Carrie's look was scripted — the Vivienne Westwood wedding dress — so we didn't have to worry about her. So it was more about Lisa Todd Wexley’s (Nicole Ari Parker’s) red Valentino look.

Nicole Ari Parker crossing Park Avenue in the red Valentino look Photo by Craig Blankenhorn

We happened to go to Valentino’s couture show in Rome, and we saw it in another colour. We knew that Lisa Todd Wexley was going to walk across Park Avenue in the dress, so it was just a no-brainer to beg them to make it for us. And they made the train even longer so that it could wave in the wind like a flag. Seema’s (Sarita Choudhury’s) gold-hooded number was by Balmain.“

Was that crafted just for her as well?

“No, we found it in a store and called them and said, ‘We're going to use this.’ Balmain sent us the runway sample, which was tiny. So we were lucky to actually find it in a store!“

How about Charlotte’s Met Gala outfit?

“That was also scripted, because she was going with Harry and they were going to go as an equestrian couple. So we went into our own fantasy world, and Kristin Davis loved the idea. It's a little S&M-y for Charlotte. It was really fun. Danny went to a discount fabric place in New Jersey and found an amazing stripe fabric that reminded us of polo Jockey colours. We made the skirt from that. And of course, we called Stephen Jones for his famous Dior top hat.”

Everyone who has seen the trailer knows that Aidan’s back. What was it like working with John Corbett?

“I'm familiar with him from the original show. I find him very smart and funny. He’s used to being around the cast. There’s a scene where he goes to dinner with all of them, and he’s so easygoing.”

Sarah Jessica Parker and John Corbett are reunited in the new season of ‘And Just Like That...’ Photo by Craig Blankenhorn
Sarah Jessica Parker pictured in a floral dress by Christian Siriano

His outfit is very buttoned up when we see him. He’s wearing a lot of fabric. Is that deliberate?

“It wasn’t about that. It was really cold when we shot.”

What about the outfit Carrie wears when she meets him again?

“I saw that floral dress at Christian Siriano and brought it in for SJ [Sarah Jessica Parker], and she loved the pattern. It is a weird, beautiful colour at night. And we applied crystals to it by hand. Do you see that at all in the street light? I hope you did. Christian let us do that. We loved it.”

All of the major characters have a very defined style , but what about dressing the Gen-Z characters — Charlotte’s kids and Brady? Did you approach that differently?

“Yeah, it depends on the characters and what they’re going through. Rock (Alexa Swinton) is getting popular and going through some things and arguing a little bit with mom. Rock is pretty easy to bring in clothes for because the actress responds to things when you bring in clothes. And Lily (Cathy Ang) was going through a change this season, too. She was morphing and growing up. We call her Lily Eilish; she’s inspired by Billie Eilish. And Brady is just a college kid.”

From left: Cathy Ang, Kristin Davis, Alexa Swinton and Evan Handler in ‘And Just Like That...’ Photo by Craig Blankenhorn

There’s a fun subplot involving a fictional The RealReal designer resale website. Do you source from places like that? How do you mix vintage and runway when you’re buying?

“We're crazy vintage fans. So anywhere we can stick vintage in, we will see if we have a scene for it. We were just waiting in the costume department to see if we were gonna use a real company or a fictitious one in that episode.

Carrie, of course, gets distracted at the store by the shoes. She has her pigeon purse!“

I have to ask: There was news that Kim Cattrall is coming back this season. Were you involved in dressing her, creating her costumes?

“I did not. I didn't dress her. You know, she and [former costume designer] Pat are very good friends. I'm really good friends with Pat, and I think that it all worked out. I've got my fingers crossed that it all worked out and that people like it.”

And Just Like That… is exclusively available now on Sky Comedy and streaming service NOW