'The Carrie Diaries' Carrie Bradshaw's teen style: 'She has her own thing going on'

The right stylist can make most people look good, but a select few, such as Carrie Bradshaw, are born fabulous.

Before she slipped into a tutu that she knew would work as day wear -- if you know how to work it -- she was a teenager with an innate sense of style. Carrie always had panache, as evidenced in The CW's "The Carrie Diaries," airing Mondays.

"The overall theme is she is in the '80s and coming of age," Eric Daman, the show's costume designer, tells Zap2it. "It wasn't all about Manolos. It was about finding the balance between Connecticut Carrie and growing and learning about fashion as she gets closer and closer to New York."

After her mom died, Carrie sought closeness to her through her clothes.

"Her mom's closet is like a Pandora's box, a Narnia of fashion," Daman says. "She mixes it up and may be a little eccentric. She has a point of view and self-expression, and she is an independent woman, even at 17. She is not ascribing to ideology of '80s fashion. She has her own thing going on."

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This vintage red Arnold Scaasi dress is important because it marks "Carrie's first night out," Daman says. "I wanted that to be one of those Carrie Bradshaw moments of first night on the town and be the Carrie Bradshaw we know from 'Sex and the City.' "

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Another vintage dress that works perfectly is the confetti sparkle dress Daman found in a Warner Bros. Studio costume shop. He pairs it with an H&M cropped apple-green jean jacket. "It's a flash forward to who Carrie is becoming," Daman says. "You don't want to see her in a pink sweater."

Admittedly, Carrie is not every other teenager, who uses baby-sitting money to buy a dress at the mall for the winter dance. For this, Daman had a one-of-a-kind Georges Chakra flown in from Beirut. "We were trying to keep it contemporary but have an '80s look, making it look authentic and keeping it aspirational," he says. "It's important for people to feel, 'I love what she is wearing,' and go out to H&M."

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"This is one of the first images we see of her on the pilot," Daman says. "It should be that first, 'Aha! There's Carrie Bradshaw!' That is the Carrie Bradshaw we really wanted. The dress is from Topshop. I added the crinoline and rainbow belt with plastic hearts. The sweater is cashmere. Carrie always liked layering. It is almost a Hawaiian green leopard [print]. It felt very '80s to me. The neon orange pumps keep the colors different, and the pumps are contemporary but feel very '80s."

Ultimately, Daman hopes Carrie's fashion choices inspire burgeoning fashionistas to have "a sense of individuality," he says, allowing them to think, " 'Oh, I can wear this. I don't have to ascribe to everyday fashion. I can be my own person.' I think the '80s were really about that, and people had a lot more sense of expression."
Photo/Video credit: The CW
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