As the man behind some of TV’s most talked-about trendsetters, Eric Daman knows his way around a wardrobe closet. The Emmy-winning costume designer stopped by Tysons Galleria last week to host an All Access Fashion event, and he caught us up on what it’s like to create looks for the Carrie Bradshaw character in “Sex and the City” and Blair Waldorf in “Gossip Girl.”
What can we expect on this season of “Gossip Girl”? The show returns at 9 p.m. Monday on CW.
It’s our last season, and I feel like the fans are going to want it to be as extraordinary as possible, and I want it to be as extraordinary as possible, so we’re really going to try to push the envelope.
Any fall trends that you have your eye on?
I think you’re going to see metallics that are a little more in a fall palette, like aubergines and deep, rich ochers and golds that are much-deeper orange.
Anything from the spring shows that stood out to you?
There’s a lot of ’60s throwback. There’s a lot of black and white— and that mod sense of vertical stripes, horizontal stripes, stripe blocking that you haven’t seen in awhile (which I love), kind of like [’60s model] Peggy Moffitt. . . . Blair Waldorf kind of has a little bit of a mod thing going on every now and then. I think Marc Jacobs really set the tone with it, and then we saw a little bit of it in Italy and a little more in Paris.
We’ve heard that headbands are coming back to “Gossip Girl.” Is that a possibility?
I think it’s important to have it come full circle and make it be what everyone wants it to be. It’s an important piece to the series, and it’s an iconic piece to Blair, and there might be a return of headbands — you have to tune in.
If you were creating costumes for a show about socialites in D.C., what designers would you draw from?
I think I would go toward a draped Preen, or I think Prabal [Gurung] is doing really great things. I would love to collaborate with them on something like that for a socialite or even for Michelle [Obama]. I think Prabal could be a great designer that Michelle Obama might be missing out on.
What would you like to see on a first lady at the inaugural ball?
Honestly, Oscar [de la Renta]. Embracing Oscar, embracing American heritage, embracing all the glamour and beauty that he represents and what he represents for our heritage in our culture in fashion.
What is your approach to costuming an iconic character, like Carrie in “The Carrie Diaries,” an upcoming prequel to “Sex and the City”?
I’m in a very lucky position that I was a part of “Sex and the City” and was a part of growing Carrie Bradshaw. Knowing who Carrie was as an adult has been instrumental in me getting to know who she was as a teenager. But in high school, she’s not going to be [adult] Carrie Bradshaw. She’s not going to be in Manolos every day.
I think the younger crowd that’s coming off of “Gossip Girl” is going to be looking at it, so we’re wanting to keep a modern edge. It’s not the ugly ’80s; it’s aspirational authenticity. It’s not just going to be giant shoulder pads and oversized ugliness; it has to be beautiful and apropos, think amazing Marc Jacobs gloves mixed with an ’80s skirt.
If you had a dream project, what would it be?
I think it would be a TV show about my fake real life that would be almost a sitcom about what goes on in the wardrobe room. What happens fitting the actors and everything around that.