Of the core “Sex and the City” characters, no one has changed more than Miranda from the series’ launch in 1998 to the 2021 sequel show, “And Just Like That.”
“She is the character who had the most evolution,” “And Just Like That” co-costume designer Molly Rogers said in the latest episode of TheWrap’s “How I Did It” series, sponsored by HBO.
“Miranda — so much of her personality was being an attorney,” Cynthia Nixon, who plays the character, added. “And so she was decidedly unglamorous at the beginning of the show. And then she became more glamorous as it went on. And then certainly in the movies and all that stuff.”
In a conversation with Rogers and the show’s co-costume designer Danny Santiago, Nixon discusses how the new series finds her character on the brink of divorce with her husband Steve (David Eigenberg), pursuing a Masters degree in human rights law, and falling in love with a non-binary stand-up comic (Sara Ramirez). “There’s been this sea change that’s happened since we’ve checked in with her,” Nixon said. “Her marriage is barely treading water. … She’s 55 but she’s a student again. Everybody else is 18 or 23. And then she becomes infatuated with Che Diaz. They’re a celebrity, they’re a comedian, they’re famous, they’re non-binary and Miranda is very attracted. So I think there was an enormous amount of playing with the clothes also once that happened. Miranda becomes more girlie than we’ve ever seen her.”
Rogers noted that the franchise’s longtime executive producer and showrunner, Michael Patrick King, gave the costume designers plenty of direction on “And Just Like That.” “During prep, (he) gave us such explicit detail in their character arcs and what they would be doing and going through,” she said. “So I feel like that guided us when we were starting to outfit them.”
Nixon, who also exec-produced the new series and directed the sixth episode, “Diwali,” had fun working with the costume designers and cast to fine tune each person’s 2021 look. In one scene, Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) goes to her friend Seema’s (Sarita Choudhury) parents’ home for the Indian holiday of the episode’s title, wearing an interpretation of a traditional lehenga (think voluminous crinolin — a nod to the famous tutu from the original series’ opening credits) that is peak Carrie Bradshaw. Seema wears a sari with an unconventional twist. “Seema wanted to belt hers,” Rogers said. “She wanted to do the modern side of it.”
Rogers said she and her team watched Indian Fashion Week online for wardrobe inspiration. Rachna Fruchbom, who wrote the episode, could not be on the set the day of the Diwali scene, so she gave Nixon clear instructions for steering clear of Eastern stereotypes. “She said to me, ‘I need you on Jasmine alert. We can’t have anybody looking like Jasmine from “Aladdin,” you know?'” Nixon said. “So I did go to a couple people. I was like, ‘I think we’ve got to take that tiara off.'”
“I’ll blame that on the hair department,” Rogers replied, laughing.
Of course, Seema isn’t the only new face in this glitzy new “Sex and the City” chapter. There is also Charlotte’s socialite friend Lisa Todd Wexley — or LTW — (Nicole Ali Parker); Miranda’s impressive professor Dr. Nya Wallace (Karen Pittman); and Che Diaz (Sara Ramirez), who becomes Miranda’s love interest.
“For LTW, it’s bold. She loves color,” said Santiago. “We had so much fun bringing in these big, bold accessories. Nya, we started pulling together a lot of street style, mixing sportswear. We had a lot of fun playing with different types of sneakers with her.”
“Michael Patrick King told us that Che should be sexy,” Rogers said. “And I don’t think anything portrays that better than black.”
As has always been the case in Carrie Bradshaw’s New York City, every character has their own personal brand of chic. But in the end, the visual harmony of the group — particularly the main trio of Carrie, Charlotte and Miranda — is just as important as individual style. “It’s very important to us after the fittings to look at the pictures of the three of them, especially together, because we do like art direction and we do like them to look cohesive, like the Three Musketeers,” Rogers said, before adding with a smile, “Maybe there’s a better analogy.”
Watch the full episode of “How I Did It” in the player above.