Few things are more iconic or relatable than Sex and the City’s opening credits. Carrie Bradshaw, prancing around Manhattan in her white tutu and pink cami combo, feeling herself and her look, till she gets splashed with gutter water by a passing bus. Maybe not all of us get a photo of ourselves emblazoned on said bus, but Carrie twirling around in her tutu with the look of ultimately crushed hope on her face is very real.
What effect would a more polished Carrie have on that memorable scene? It turns out we get to find out, as an alternate opening sequence was released this week. In it we see her strutting through Midtown in a powder-blue A-line shift dress with a cerulean clutch and white shoes (we assume they’re Manolos, obviously), only to stumble on her own two feet. Carrie gracefully catches herself, but not without the look of a very bruised ego. The dress is a little more proper, and would almost be something worn by the show’s archetypal princess, Charlotte.
But that dress! Let’s get back to that dress. Marc Jacobs shared some images on his Instagram of the dress and it turns out it was from his Spring 1998 collection, during the height of late-nineties minimalism. In fact, it was modelled by Kate Moss on the runway. Its perfect darting at the waist down to the knee-length hemline hints at Jacobs’ passion for voluminous, theatrical skirts that would define his contemporary work today.
He also shared an undated image of Winona Ryder wearing this dress, along with her equally-influential pixie cut, in her late '90s raisin lipstick glory. Her grunge attitude paired with this prim piece recalls Courtney Love in her babydoll frocks from a few years earlier.
It may be a missed opportunity for Jacobs now, but Sarah Jessica Parker revealed in her interview on Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin that the time, no fashion designers were willing to lend the show any clothes. It wasn't until that second season when Fendi jumped in with their baguette that the flood gates really opened — so if they were using that Marc Jacobs dress as a potential opening credits feature, odds are that the show's costumer, Patricia Field, either called in a favour or bought it herself.