Good morning, Upper East Siders, get out your wallets, because Gossip Girl fashion is back and ready to drain bank accounts throughout the boroughs. With HBO’s recent endeavor, a 2021 reboot of the iconic mid-2000’s soap, costume designer Eric Daman is tasked with the impossible: keeping alive Gossip Girl tradition while dressing the current cool girl.
The reboot has made a lot of key moves to accommodate the cultural shifts since the original; socialites are now influencers, the titular blog is now an Instagram account, and post-pandemic social consciousness is at the fore.
However, the most important facet of the original, the luxurious fashion choices of absurdly wealthy teens, might be a struggle for the reboot.
So far, the reboot has gotten a lot right. Daman makes deliberate styling choices that do a good job of paying homage to the original Constance Girls while still being believably trendy for current teens.
Good outfits include:
Resident “It Girl” Julien Calloway, played by Jordan Alexander, is well styled in white crocodile boots and a Fendi baguette bag. The costuming choice plays into the cool-girl influencer aesthetic with on-trend brands and styles that still feel authentic enough for a teenager to wear to school. Were I a fabulously wealthy teen, I would want both of these items in my closet. I do want both of these items in my closet.
Rebellious newcomer Zoya Lott, played by Whitney Peak, looks the part in this homage to the original’s costuming for Taylor Momsen’s Jenny Humphrey. The shoes, from the Adidas X Ivy Park collaboration, are a nice nod to the fashion of now without losing sight of the fresh-on-the-scene aspect of her character.
This Christopher John Rogers suit, worn by scheming social media maven Monet De Haan, played by Savannah Smith, is arguably the best look of the show so far. Highlighting designers like Christopher John Rogers and LaQuan Smith is a smart move, delivering on an elevated and current style that is both aspirational and wearable. This Zoot Suit-esque ensemble is also a smart way to nod to the more socially conscious shopping habits of today’s It Girl.
Now, with the positives out of the way, let’s get into the negatives. While the reboot has delivered well on a lot of the fashion hopes I had for the new era of Gossip Girl, my major gripe is the moments in which it leans too heavily into the now.
With awkward dialogue about the COVID-19 pandemic, hard to believe Twitter beef, and a whole lot of virtue signaling, some of the clunky illusions to current society have slithered their way into styling choices.
Bad outfits include:
While logo-mania is definitely endemic in today’s fashion, it feels in-authentic to see on screen. I personally refuse to believe that the same character to wear that iconic Christopher John Rogers suit would be caught dead with that tired Jacquemus bag and those gaudy Valentino sandals. It is my personal opinion that oversized logo buckles should be left in a sorority with the Gucci belt. Pieces that are so obviously trendy date themselves as badly as trendy plot lines. As for that Louis Vuitton bag paired with a Burberry cape, I’ll let pictures speak louder than words.
While this outfit in and of itself is not bad, it is an example of character Zoya Lott’s seemingly endless well of social justice themed tote bags. In only four episodes, I’ve counted 5 different equivalent tote bags on Lott’s shoulder. We’re averaging 1.25 totes per episode. The idea of the tote is one I can fully get behind, as her character is very involved with activism, and it seems a fitting styling choice. But, perhaps we should choose one, or even two, because they are starting to become majorly distracting. Or maybe, you can join my campaign to Get Zoya a Telfar Bag 2021.
So far, the Gossip Girl reboot has had mostly strong fashion moments, leaving me excited to see what we might see next.
Going forward, I want to see more current designers and interesting silhouettes, as well as more of the clever nods to the source material we’ve seen so far. I never, ever, want to see a logo buckle, ever again.