Plenty of Sex and the City fans felt distraught after learning about Big’s fate in episode 1 of And Just Like That … But behind-the-scenes, the Peloton-induced death of this beloved character presented a particular challenge for costume designers Molly Rogers and Danny Santiago. What, exactly, would the Carrie Bradshaw wear after losing her longtime love?
“There was big discussion here about how she’s in shock, so she should not be conscious of anything,” Rogers tells InStyle, noting the choice of dressing the fashion icon in mismatched, oversized items as she goes to make funeral arrangements. “She puts on some old sundress. She still has her jewelry on from the night before, and grabs a tote bag and some mule shoe. She throws on a coat — a pink coat, that we did not alter, which was big on her so she looks a little shrunken.”
According to Rogers, she and Santiago even chose to dress Charlotte in a more tailored look in order to make it even more obvious that Carrie was the woman in mourning.
“I hope it worked because when that outfit was shot out on the street by the paparazzi, we were getting ripped to shreds about it — how awful Carrie looks,” says Rogers. “Well, she’s kind of supposed to. She is burying her husband. I don’t think you would get up and take your most current bag. It was story-appropriate.”
In fact, many of episode 2’s costumes tied directly into the plot. Santiago points out how Carrie wears Big’s robe a lot — “That was the closest way for her to feel him on her, you know?” — and adds that picking out her outfit for that heartbreaking funeral scene was well thought-out.
“We had a lot of options for that scene, but that dress was one of the first things that we had in the room,” he tells us. “We had racks of different dresses to try on, and we just kept going back to that same one over and over again.”
So, what made this particular design — which came from Santiago’s personal vintage collection in Florida — the right choice?
“There was something really beautiful and simple about it. It almost looked like a ballerina dress in the way that the neckline was cut, and it said enough without being too overpowering for what the event needed to be.”
Of course, since paparazzi were constantly out on the street searching for clues and spoilers, Rogers and Santiago had a unique task added to their to-do list: creating completely fake costumes for a pretend scene, in hopes of confusing the show’s fans.
“We shot a scene that was not used because we were trying to throw everybody off, to deceive, and trying to keep what we were shooting that day a mystery,” reveals Rogers. “So, we put a bird hat on [Sarah Jessica Parker’s] head. She came out of her camper and met Chris Noth on the street. I think that kind of diverted some of the attention that day.”
Hearing this, we can’t help but wonder … what’s real and what’s not? We’ll have to continue keeping an eye out every Thursday, when new episodes become available to stream on HBO Max.