cult of personality

Sarah Jessica Parker: Fashion Masochist

March cover girl Sarah Jessica Parker tells Harper’s Bazaar, “I just don’t have any real sense of my public persona … I don’t know what people think of me, if they think of me at all.” Speaking in fashion terms, we think of Parker as a fabulous fashionista who appreciates, loves, and knows fashion from the inside out. She wears Balmain, Nina Ricci, and Chanel couture and rubs elbows with Karl Lagerfeld and Oscar de la Renta as if they were almost normal people, but with a twinge of awe that makes us feel deep down inside like we can relate to her. Yet in the Bazaar cover story, we feel like she’s trying to act like she doesn’t care as much about fashion as she actually does.

The feeling of fashion is something Sarah Jessica understands implicitly. “I don’t have the Carrie Bradshaw passion and devotion to it, but I would much prefer that life would allow for a beautiful shoe all day long.”

What does that mean? Did she regret that she wore Uggs to her interview? (Yes, Uggs.) Or did she think up that line before she arrived and wear the Uggs to show she meant it?

She’ll readily acknowledge the transcendent power of a dress. “To stand in Mr. de la Renta’s atelier and have him build a dress on you, that is amazing. And honestly, it’s a great honor to be able to borrow something that weighs 40 pounds and requires three people to help you walk.” How do you wear something that weighs 40 pounds? “Oh,” she replies, “you just do.”

So Oscar de la Renta makes her a custom dress that weighs probably one third of her and oh, she just threw it on and strolled out the door. Just like that. No big deal.

The so-fashion-it-hurts Balmain dress she wore to the New York City Ballet last fall? “That dress was really good. I love what [designer Christophe Decarnin] is doing. It’s kind of ’80s, but it’s superfitted and tailored. I can’t wear all that stuff, I’m too old, but with the jacket shoulder he did…he’s kind of the male version of L’Wren Scott right now.”

Spoken like a true lover of fashion. Not a like person who does this:

She wore a slim black McQueen sheath, printed with a thin plume of cigarette smoke, to an SATC event in New York. “He’s incredible. I actually had to cut myself out of that dress that night. My husband was out of town, so I was alone when I got home, and I couldn’t unzip it. So,” she says, wincing, “I got out the scissors.”

We think we just lost feeling in our limbs. Also, Parker’s ability to relate to her people might have taken a nosedive.

She characterizes the recession as “Very scary. I know so many people who have lost jobs, are losing jobs, husbands who have lost jobs. I can’t imagine going shopping.”

Well, why should she imagine it? Oscar de la Renta makes custom 40-pound dresses for her. Heavens knows what other designers send her off the rack. We doubt she’s cruising Club Monaco’s sale section for a new scarf.

The McQueen tragedy was a symbolic moment in Parker’s life. We can tell that she loves fashion, but she’s afraid to love it too much lest she seem superficial, a bad role model, disconnected from her ravenous fans. So she wore the McQueen and then took a blade to it to say, “These things are nice but they mean nothing to me.” She’s a fashion masochist! We just wish she’d shamelessly enjoy and revel in every second of her fabulous fashion life. That we could relate to.

Why Don’t You? Sarah Jessica Parker [Harper’s Bazaar]

Sarah Jessica Parker: Fashion Masochist