Roundup: How to recreate Carrie Bradshaw’s iconic newspaper dress

If you read last week’s post, you might already know that my friend Kristin and I dressed up (all matchy-matchy) in a newspaper dress, as a nod to the slinky backless number Carrie Bradshaw wore in season three of Sex and the City when she semi-crashed Natasha’s lunch in a cringeworthy attempt to apologize for her crumbling marriage with Big. Of course, SATC fans know how this lunch turned out — with Carrie losing to a still-upset Natasha, who just didn’t have it. Eight years later, however, Carrie’s character pulled the dress out from a forgotten corner of her closet and revived it on a much more pleasant occasion — a romantic lunch with Big.

The dress, which has now become an iconic look from the show, was originally designed by John Galliano, who “borrowed” the idea of a newspaper print from legendary Italian designer Elsa Schiaparelli. Schiaparelli, who often rivaled Coco Chanel and became an equally prominent leader in haute couture in the 1930s, dreamed up the print from press clippings about herself. (The idea came to her on a trip to Copenhagen, where she saw fishwives wearing newspaper pages twisted into oddly shaped hats.)

When Galliano sent his own “The Christian Dior Daily” print down the runway as a part of his “Hobo Chic” 2000 couture collection, it was a point of controversy and drew a fair amount of backlash from the fashion industry. According to Harper’s Bazaar, the print was “inspired by homeless people sleeping on newspapers on the streets of Paris and a nod to the 1920s Tramp Balls, where the rich would dress up as the poor for fun.” I mean, you can see why turning poverty into an aesthetic didn’t sit right with most people. (That said, this is one of the many, many things this often-revered-and-hated couturier was found guilty of throughout his career.)  

Despite all the ruckus around the collection, Galliano repurposed the print the following season, and suddenly, it fell back in favor. Even now, 20 years after the debut of the designer’s collection, we’re still seeing celebrities sport the look. Kendall Jenner, for example, wore it courtside in 2018, and Rita Ora rocked a newspaper-print dress promoting her new album that same year. In 2019, we saw it on Kim Kardashian West, who donned a vintage skirt from Galliano while attending a Levi’s event. 

So, dressing up in a newspaper-print dress was our way to pay homage to SATC, but even more importantly, the release of Emily in Paris on Netflix. (The show is made by the same creator behind SATC.) Emily, which follows a Midwestern marketing pro as she moves to Paris, and navigates work, life and love in a new city. Cue the not-so-hilarious clichés, suave men, over-the-top fashion and chocolate croissants. If you haven’t read my reaction-slash-review of the show, you can do so here! As you’ll notice, I typically include a “shop my look” section at the bottom of every piece. That way, readers can know where to snag the outfits I wear on my travels and adventures around town. 

Last week, I promised I’d write a separate roundup with a few of my favorite newspaper-print dresses. With Halloween around the corner, I felt like it would be cool to provide you with a host of choices — in case you decide to dress up as the iconic Carrie Bradshaw this year! So, if you want to recreate this look, here are a few newspaper-inspired garments to add to cart.

Lioness

String Along Mini Dress

Writer’s note: Since the dress was a bit looser on me that I would’ve liked, I did get it tailored and taken in.

Miaou

Gigi Dress

Reformation

Barlowe Dress

Writer’s note: Not newspaper, but thought I’d include anyway!