Gossip Girl’s Costume Designer Takes Us Inside the Closets of the Upper East Siders

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When Gossip Girl viewers think of Blair Waldorf and Serena Van Der Woodsen, a certain aesthetic comes to mind. For Blair, her signature item was the ever-present headband and preppy skirt, while Serena was the first true boho chic babe.

Those looks inspired an entire generation and Gossip Girl is ultimately to thank for many trends—remember the moment when Chuck Bass wore a pink polo?

So, when costume designer Eric Daman returned to the Upper East Side to style the new generation of Constance Billard students, he knew that he had his work cut out for him.

"I had a lot of anxiety actually. I had a lot of pressure that I put on myself," he told E! News in an exclusive interview. "Going into it I felt like I had to live up to this standard because it has this incredible legacy and I have so many people relying on me to turn on the show and make it new and fresh and all this stuff."

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But then, the coronavirus pandemic began and, while it was a scary time, Daman said it was just what he needed. As he put it, "There's nothing like a pandemic to put stuff into perspective."

From that point on, Daman approached each character's wardrobe with the goal of having fun and creating ensembles that are true to the characters and the current landscape—like a post-pandemic world.

As episode one reveals, the students are returning to school after a full year of zoom and a time when masks are nothing more than a remnant of a bygone era. The only thing that manages to survive the months of quarantine, according to Daman, is athleisure. 

This is most recognizable in Julien's (Jordan Alexander) school uniform, a look the costume designer refers to as a "Princess Diana retrospective."

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"The Oxford sweatshirts, biker shorts and that whole vibe just seemed really right for Julien's character specifically," he shared, adding that the trendy look felt authentic for her as an influencer.

When it comes to accessories, Julien's earrings are the equivalent of Blair's headbands. As Daman explained, her shaved head gave the team the opportunity to mix her "harsh punk edge with a little bit of glamour" by combining diamond hoops with a Tiffany snake earring. 

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