The second Serena van der Woodsen stepped off the practice at Grand Central Station along with her tousled blonde hair, tan leather-based jacket and a brown Coach bag, her look from head to toe confirmed the “Gossip Lady” viewers precisely who she was.
Each character on the present owned a signature element — from Blair Waldorf’s headbands, Jenny Humphrey’s home-sewn clothes to Chuck Bass’ scarves — and their costumes stay timeless. And so does the 2007 drama collection that adopted the misadventures of New York Metropolis’s excessive schoolers.
Costume designer Eric Daman had simply wrapped aiding on HBO’s “Intercourse and the Metropolis” when he obtained the provide to design “Gossip Lady.” Having deliberate to swar off scripted collection, the designer almost turned down the “career-changing transfer” earlier than his boyfriend intervened.
“My boyfriend ended up doing a dramatic interpretation for me of the entire script, and it was all so beautiful — simply charmed by all of it,” Daman tells Selection. “And I nonetheless have a 16-year-old imply woman that lives within me that was similar to, ‘Whoa, that is it; that is every little thing.’”
The artistic genius additionally behind the appears to be like in “The Carrie Diaries” and “Billions,” Daman is returning to the “Gossip Lady” workforce for HBO Max’s reboot, as soon as once more bringing the runway to episodic tv. He moved again to New York this week to gear up for manufacturing beginning in October.
On the eve of the unique collection’ 13th anniversary, Daman speaks with Selection in regards to the resurgence of curiosity within the present and teased the “gender-neutral appears to be like” in 2021’s reboot.
It’s been 13 years because the present first aired, however the present discovered a brand new viewers on Netflix this yr.
It’s loopy simply how fashionable the unique [series] nonetheless is! It’s humorous to have all these younger youngsters discovering “Gossip Lady” with their mothers who was once followers. It’s actually superior to see this resurgence but in addition the generational distinction. I’m like, “How is that this a retro present?” [Laughs]
Have you ever seen TikTok movies of a fan discovering that their Coach purse is an identical to Serena’s from the pilot episode?
Sure, I noticed that. It’s actually humorous. That Coach bag was simply a type of issues from 13 years in the past. Little did I do know that was going to change into a loopy iconic bag sooner or later. The brown doesn’t match the brown of her jacket, and there are her black boots. We needed it to really feel not too matchy-matchy and provides it that Serena van der Woodsen je ne sais quoi. However I like that individuals can discover pleasure and pleasure and inspiration and all that.
How did you design college uniforms that seemed totally different for each character?
College uniforms had been truly loads of enjoyable to play with. We first began staking out the personal colleges. These younger New Yorkers and Higher East siders had been popping out of faculty in Tory Burch flats, Marc Jacobs backpacks, the cool Barneys women — and you possibly can inform that they had been grouping nearly by designers [they were wearing].
It was very thrilling to then sort of work with this baseline of a Navy skirt, a plaid tie or regardless of the actual components had been, and the way we will personalize that for Serena and Blair? The signature components — it’s all visible clues. They actually helped paint the image.
For Blair, when she’s preparing within the morning, this headband’s like the ultimate cherry on the frosting. It’s like the ultimate little second or simply stealing the deal, and she or he turns into Blair Waldorf and goes out to the world. At one level, we counted what number of headbands we went via. It was hundreds.
It was introduced earlier this yr that the reboot will embody extra gender minorities, queer characters and actors of shade. How are you incorporating this to designing college uniforms?
I can’t say an excessive amount of, however we’re navigating it. It’s thrilling to have the ability to reinvent and play with gender, gender norms and what which means within the costumes. The costumes are nonetheless the women’ uniform and the boys’ uniform, however within that, there’s some room that we’re going to be taking part in with, including extra gender-neutral items and making it modern and inclusive.
And I’m nonetheless very pleased with Chuck Bass, and the way a lot we obtained to push boundaries together with his clothes — this straight billionaire, womanizer strolling round in an ascot, pink jackets and dressing flamboyantly in that function.
Would you say Chuck was your favourite character to decorate?
As a father or mother, you by no means wish to decide your favourite little one, as a result of they’re all so totally different. However with Chuck Bass, it was males’s put on, and I believe we had been attempting to push — to alter the notion of menswear and straight menswear.
Sebastian Stan instructed Selection earlier this yr that no males on the present wore a belt. Why no belts?
I used to be having an allergic response to belts. [Laughs] This was additionally the period of metrosexuals, “Jersey Shore” and hideous denims with actually ugly belts. No, this isn’t occurring on my watch. We [were] going to alter vogue, cease carrying bootcut denims with rivets and tears. It was simply a type of pet peeves.
It’s additionally vital to grasp how clothes and dimension and form and tailoring react to a tv display. We take issues up 1 / 4 of an inch — that actually makes a distinction for the general look. Belts add an additional girth across the waist, and nobody needs that for a complicated look.
You’ve labored nonstop, going straight from “Gossip Lady” to “The Carrie Diaries” after which to “Billions” and now again once more. How did you navigate your headspace transferring on from “Gossip Lady” to your subsequent initiatives?
The final season of “Gossip Lady,” I actually felt closure. All the forged had been so prepared. You possibly can inform — it was like that they had senioritis in school. So the transition felt nice, and it truly felt like I used to be carrying the torch to “The Carrie Diaries.”
The primary teaser picture for the reboot has Golden Goose sneakers in it. Was that your alternative?
It was a collective alternative, and I like that it raises loads of eyebrows. After all, she’s carrying $100 sneakers, and I like that it’s Golden Goose as a result of it’s “GG.” And it’s not Louis Vuitton high-heeled sneakers. There’s an entire athleisure pattern, and it’s not one to be denied.
Might you give an elevator pitch on why followers of the unique “Gossip Lady” ought to give the reboot a attempt?
In case you’re a fan, hopefully you’ll go into it with an open thoughts, and you need to see it to see the evolution of it. I believe lots of people assume “reboot” [means] we’re going to see a brand new Serena, [a] new Blair, however that’s not what it’s. After I learn the primary script — it’s contemporary however it’s so good. I used to be proper again in it; it reels you proper again in.
However actually, if I wish to be cheeky about it, everybody ought to watch it to observe the garments.