Sunday, June 15, 2008

SEX AND THE CITY and Its Labels

Don’t get me wrong, The Southern Belle had a great time at SEX AND THE CITY. It was more than a movie, it was an event. It was a reason for a Girls Night Out and we almost didn’t get a seat, because even on a Thursday night the theater was jammed with women like us.
I felt a surge of Woman Power seeing those four powerful, dynamic women on the screen as I sat with two powerful, dynamic women friends. Of course as a recovering screenwriter I am delighted that the movie is doing so well at the box office. I loved seeing those four beautiful over-twenty actresses costumed by the world’s top designers. However, Carrie’s first VOICE OVER: “Women come to New York from all over for the two Ls, love and labels” set my teeth on edge.
Love of course. Freud said, “Love and work are the cornerstones of our humanness.” And beside the show is called: SEX AND THE CITY. But labels? Labels? OK, I told myself, fashion was an important element in the series. So I sat back and enjoyed the show. And it was lots of fun. But over the weeks since, that phrase keeps coming back to me and my teeth are edgier than ever.
Fifty years after the feminist movement we are what? Supposed to be dupes to designers? Covet accessories not because of their intrinsic beauty but because they carry a certain label? Walk around carrying billboards on our arms? Or was it all an excuse for product placement?
Of course we want to be attractive and we like beautiful things. Open any issue of VOGUE or ELLE and you’ll see outfits that are lovely, but you’ll see others that are awful, no human being would be caught wearing them, but they do have the right labels. Go to your little boutique around the corner and you might find schlock or you might just find an original gem. But maybe that was the real story arc after all. In the end the dress Carrie found happiness in was a no-name outfit she found in a vintage shop.