Gossip Girl’s costume designer on the show’s Insta-savvy fashion evolution

Savannah Lee Smith as Monet De Haan and Zión Moreno as Luna La

Karolina Wojtasik / HBO Max

Pulses quickened on discovery that Eric Daman, from the OG Gossip Girl, would be behind the costumes in the 2021 reboot. He’s the visionary that took the hairband stratospheric and helped entrench Serena van der Woodsen and Blair Waldorf in eternal fashion consciousness. But what does he have in store this time round? There’s a more youthful cast, gripped by their Instagram rather than a blog, and they’ve got a fresh new look, as Daman explains below…

How has it differed working on the costumes this time around?

Instagram has been a huge, integral voice and inspiration in how we are designing, looking at style and responding to it. It has such a presence globally and in our storyline that it was essential to deep dive into the Insta rabbit hole of influence and influencers. Instagram did not yet exist when we did the OG GG (original Gossip Girl), so looking to social media and responding to it has been the biggest difference in how we are designing.

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Jordan Alexander, Savannah Smith and Zion Moreno

James Devaney / GC Images via Getty Images

Did you look at real life New York private schoolers to influence how the characters dress?

Yes, all of NYC really. Right before we started preparations, I was walking down the street and a group of private school kids flooded out of their school and a group of cool girls were all wearing oversized logo sweatshirts, biker shorts and chunky designer sneakers, and I was like voila! That’s the look…

Blake Lively in the pilot episode of the original Gossip Girl and Tavi Gevinson as Kate Keller

Everett Collection Inc / Alamy Stock Photo / Karolina Wojtasik / HBO Max

Did any of the reboot looks hark back to the original series?

There is a great moment in the first episode where we meet Tavi Gevinson’s character Kate on a train and I wanted that to hark back to the first time we met Serena. I revamped Serena’s OG look (tan leather jacket, petit bateau stripe tee and neckerchief) for Kate’s style intro (tan blazer, stripe breton tee and neckerchief). Fans seem to love that connection!

Jordan Alexander as Julien Calloway in Gossip Girl

Karolina Wojtasik / HBO Max

The headband was probably the most famous fashion story to come out of the original Gossip Girl. What will this incarnation of Gossip Girl’s key trend be?

(1) The Oversized prep school looks.

(2) Julien’s (played by Jordan Alexander) mismatched earrings

(3) Zoya’s (played by Whitney Peak) socio-political totes

Whitney Peak as Zoya Lott, Jordan Alexander as Julien Calloway and Zión Moreno as Luna La

Karolina Wojtasik / HBO Max

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What trends from the show are you already seeing trickle down into the mainstream?

Vintage designer bags; one-of-a-kind luxury finds from the past; a Dior saddle bag or Fendi baguette from the SATC era; a ‘90s nylon micro pink Prada shoulder bag and Chanel necklaces from the ‘90s supermodel era.

Luxury vintage is where it’s at as far as status goes. Gen Z loves to be mindful of their impact on the environment but also loves a one-of-a-kind piece that is unique to them and comes with a heritage story.

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Any fun easter eggs we can look out for in terms of costumes?

Yes, in episode five two iconic gowns from the OG Gossip Girl make appearances to haunt our storyline like haute ghosts of Christmas past!

Blake Lively and Leighton Meester wearing dresses that make an appearance in the new series of Gossip Girl

Collection Christophel / LANDMARK MEDIA / Alamy Stock Photo

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