At the end of my post about Lady Gaga’s British Vogue cover story last week, I wondered who would cover American Vogue, if it wasn’t Gaga, who is American, in the December issue. Would it be someone major? We found out yesterday – it’s Sarah Jessica Parker:
This a great shot. The shot favours the gown, which is Dolce & Gabbana – and it’s not that it wasn’t already official months ago as I wrote about back in the summer, but now D&G isn’t just officially back, they’re back on top. Anna Wintour making this decision, for this cover, for one of their pieces to be showcased this way, worn by Sarah Jessica Parker ahead of the released of the highly anticipated series And Just Like That, this is a major win for the fashion house after a few years of controversy. And that, in and of itself, is controversial, because there are many who believe that D&G has only changed performatively. But with so many allies in the industry and so many celebrities – like SJP and JLo and more – choosing D&G for their big moments, they’re obviously not worried about the criticism.
As for SJP and Vogue, well, this makes sense. Carrie Bradshaw was a fashion icon of her time and she is trying to become a fashion icon of this time. Fashion was a main character on Sex and the City and fashion will return as a main character in And Just Like That. SJP and Carrie are New York City, as American as it gets. It’s an understandable choice for the December issue, even though the interview itself isn’t all that compelling and certainly not as insightful and full of scream-worthy moments the way Lady Gaga and Adele’s Vogue profiles recently were.
The fashion, however, is indeed very good and very Carrie.
If you’re looking for gossip though, there’s nothing here. SJP’s goal is to sell the new series, to make sure Carrie and company are as much of a cultural moment in the 2020s as they were in the late 90s and the 2000s. We are told repeatedly in this Vogue piece that women in their 20s and 30s were shaped by Sex and the City and can’t wait for these new stories to be told. We are meant to believe that Gen Z grew up with Carrie through streaming and that And Just Like That will resonate as much with a younger audience as it will with the women are the same age as Carrie, Miranda, and Charlotte. And we are being reassured that, unlike the original series, And Just Like That will not just be about privileged white women but will feature a range of people from different backgrounds and experiences and that includes in the writers room too.
There’s also a significant amount of advance pushback against the haters and critics who might not think that these characters are relevant anymore based on age.
“The fact that most of the women having sex on the show are now in their 50s, is, in and of itself, a pretty radical proposition in the current TV landscape. “When we announced And Just Like That…, there were a lot of positive reactions, but one bitchy response online was people sharing pictures of the Golden Girls. And I was like, ‘Wow, so it’s either you’re 35, or you’re retired and living in Florida. There’s a missing chapter here,’” [Michael Patrick] King tells me. “I like that we’re not trying to youthify the show. We’re not including, like, a 21-year-old niece,” [Cynthia] Nixon says. “I think it’s revolutionary to do a show about middle-aged women, with their aging lady bodies,” [new staff writer Samantha] Irby says.”
Of course it’s great that And Just Like That will show middle-aged women in all their vitality, having sex and living full and complete lives. I don’t mean to be petty but, um, they were kind of doing this before. Kim Cattrall’s Samantha Jones, after all, was basically 50 when the show ended. Kim aka Samantha doesn’t come up during the interview, not surprisingly, but when I read the aging section in the piece, my mind went to Sam because this new series may be a chance at course correction from how certain aging topics were handled back then. You’ll recall, Samantha was going through menopause during the second movie and, well, the storyline was played for comic relief with Carrie and Miranda not really taking Samantha’s hormonal issues all that seriously. I mean, there was a lot wrong with that movie, both movies, actually, that they’ll be trying to account for this time around – and it’s not like they get to pretend like the movies didn’t exist, because they’re canon. Carrie and Big were married in the movies, not when Sex and the City ended, so they’re definitely picking up from after that point.
Still, the motive here is drive anticipation – And Just Like That is one of the biggest title releases this holiday season for HBO Max and will likely be hyped with the same intensity as the Friends reunion was earlier this year. Are you now more excited about it after seeing SJP in Vogue? Click here to read the full piece.