'Sex and the City': For Better and for Worse Dressed

Clad in a Vivienne Westwood wedding gown and attended by bridesmaid Cynthia Nixon, Sarah Jessica Parker prepares to tie the knot.

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Style-wise, the supporting cast is, for the most part, as it was. Charlotte is still prim in printed sundresses and generally perky, uptown attire. Samantha is perhaps bigger and bolder than ever in over-the-top, often unsightly, getups, as in canary yellow and emerald green jackets belted over white pencil skirts and topped off with door-knocker earrings. Such gaudy, where-did-they-find-it (Dallas?) garb makes Kim Cattrall's now-infamous reluctance to sign on for the big-screen production understandable. Still, it's par for Samantha's course. If anyone experienced a transformation, albeit a mild one, it's Miranda. Whereas in the series, Cynthia Nixon's cynical high-powered lawyer sometimes dressed as a quintessential corporate stiff in stark suits and boring basics, here she is fully, believably chic in tweeds, earth tones and graphic prints, often accessorized with demonstrative geometric jewelry.

Of course, the fashion story was and always will be about Carrie, a character, who, thanks to Field, holds dual titles as television's best and worst dressed. To the well-trained, high-fashion eye, Carrie's 81 costume changes make up perhaps the most metaphorical wardrobe in cinematic history. For half of the film she comes off as a polished, uberfashionable grown-up; the other half, she's the quirky, experimental fashion trailblazer/victim. Polished Carrie is done up head-to-toe in resort and spring 2008 trends: florals, like a gem-studded YSL sack dress, and full-skirted frocks made a little edgy with a studded black leather belt — even studs have gone uptown. It's hard to find fault with any of these looks — most were featured in every fashion glossy out there last season. They're intentionally perfect — too perfect for the sake of the plot. This is, after all, a character who for years eschewed the obvious in favor of her own eclectic style, which included tie-dyed tanks, midriff-baring tops and biker shorts, all while being over the age of 35.

At her best — or worst, depending on how you see it — Carrie entertains and impresses with imaginative combinations. As for her outrageous, often tacky, taste, she pulls it off with the help of Parker's taut, toned and all-around tiny figure — enviable on a 22-year-old woman, almost unthinkable on a 43-year-old — that can make even stonewashed, button-fly jeans look good. Or an all-black ensemble of a tarlike puffy coat, topped with a fedora; not to mention a pair of pajamas paired with a fur coat, white high-heel booties and a sequined beanie. Indeed, it's a taste of the wacky, and totally in character. Still, it fails to deliver the same euphoric fashion rush as did the series. Even the montage of Carrie cleaning her closet of supposed-to-be-shocking Eighties garb is too familiar to have the impact of, for example, that green satin ruffled-butt miniskirt she casually wore to dinner with Big during season six. That's the problem. In the 10 years since the show started, dedicated "Sex" maniacs have become so used to Carrie's style — her wild, tacky and impossibly theatrical gear — this time, including the film's grand showpiece, a Vivienne Westwood wedding gown and veil, festooned with a bird, it's impossible to shock them. Fashion-wise, the in-the-bag blockbuster "Sex and the City: The Movie" is definitely fun, but not enough to get carried away.
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