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TV

There’s An Instagram With Every Outfit On “Sex and the City”—And It’s Deliciously Queer

"Carrie was definitely rocking queer fashion with a straight lens. There were fanny packs, but, like, Gucci fanny packs.”

Chelsea Fairless and Lauren Garroni are such big fans of Carrie, Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte, that one night over margaritas, they came up with one of the most on-point Instagram accounts ever: In just ten months, Every Outfit On “Sex and the City” has garnered more than 323,000 followers—plus a Shorty Award nomination and a follow from Sarah Jessica Parker herself.

sex-and-the-city
Sex and the City/HBO

Fairless, a stylist, and Garroni, a writer/director, have a keen eye for what each look meant for the characters, and for a show still considered groundbreaking for its fashion sensibility.

Fairless’s background in photo research and both friends’ knowledge of late ‘90s to early 2000s fashion and pop culture proved invaluable, as did their ability to craft snarky commentary with timely relevance, including special shoutouts for 420 and a Carrie Fisher memorial tribute.

Of course, out fashion icon Patricia Field was responsible for the the Sex and the City wardrobe, but that’s only part of the reason Fairless says the show’s aesthetic was inherently queer: “I would say there are things that Patricia Field brought into Carrie’s style that were very lesbian—like some of the hats,” says Garroni, who calls herself a “boring straight girl.”

“I don’t know if she put her in a wallet chain or anything, but I feel like she put her in things that looked kind of dyke-y. Carrie was definitely rocking queer fashion with a straight lens. There were fanny packs, but, like, Gucci fanny packs.”

sex and the city
Sex and the City/HBO

Fairless, who identifies as queer, points to Fields’ Bronx upbringing as the source of her lesbian aesthetic—”like the bandanas and stuff”—although Miranda was the one put in business suits and spiky hair. “Miranda got most of it. Her and Stanford, obviously, who had a very gay and sort of flamboyant, Palm Beach aesthetic that we’re obsessed with.”

Not surprisingly, SATC’s gay BFF is a focus for the Instagram account.

No character goes unnoticed on EOOSATC, including guests like Amy Sedaris and Liza Minelli, as well as longterm boyfriends Aiden and Steve. Garroni discovered that 8% of the account’s followers were men—of whom, Fairless jokes, 99.9% are gay.

“We do try to do posts that will speak to a gay male audience—recently we did one about the coupling of Stanford and Anthony,” she adds. “I mean, we think it’s kind of ridiculous, but we wanted to hear back from what the gay male audience thought about that pairing. They all agreed with us—it’s sick and wrong and would never have actually happened.”

Not everyone loves their snarky vernacular, though.

“Speaking for basic straight white girls, I think they have the bitchiest comments because we go after Aiden,” Garroni says, “I’m the one that writes the majority of Aiden posts, although they flow through both of us. But it is a vision of how horrifying monogamy can be. We get a lot of comments like ‘Aiden’s great! He’s my dream guy!’”

One commenter claimed whoever trashed Aiden “must not have great luck with men.” To which Fairless drolly replied, “Being that I’m gay, I would say that I’ve had terrible luck.”

“We do use pejorative language—we say ’swishy’ and stuff,” she acknowledges. “I think I called Miranda ‘dykey’ once—straight up just said it. Some people get upset by it. I don’t know, I guess they assume it’s a straight person writing. Sometimes the more PC gays are, like, not about some of the things we write. But, you know, it’s a Sex and the City Instagram.”

Samantha would approve.

One of the account’s main through lines is a celebration of Miranda Hobbes, perhaps the show’s least appreciated characters. That adoration has extended into a Miranda Solidarity website where you can buy limited-edition “7 Days of Miranda” print with some of her best quips and most memorable fashion choices.

Miranda sex and the city

“I guess first we put into words and then put into a product what a lot of people were saying, which is there’s this sort of counter-movement away from wanting to be Carrie and into Miranda,” Garonni says.

“We’re trying to sort of rebrand Miranda and reclaim her as an aspirational figure,” Fairless adds, “because she was never really perceived that way by a lot of people. Just the fact she’s a partner in a law firm, she has a full-time housekeeper. Carrie really isn’t on that Miranda level, you know. And I think a lot of people do relate more to Miranda, but are reluctant about identifying that way. So we’re trying to take the stigma away. It’s kind of like coming out of the closet as a queer person, except you’re coming out as a Miranda-identified person.”

sex and the city
Sex and the City/HBO

Still, the ladies don’t take it too far.

“The question we get asked most often is, ‘Which character do you identify with the most?’ I would be horrified if any one person was like ‘I am totally Charlotte’ or ‘I am totally Carrie.’ Or even ‘I am totally Miranda.’ We like to say you’re one character with another rising, like a zodiac sign. I’m a Miranda with a Carrie rising.”

Both Fairless and Garroni see Miranda as queer, despite her having been straight on the show—and even eschewing a cute lesbian softball player that her boss tried to set her up with when he assumed she was into women.

“If you watch the show from Season One, it feels like that should have been the narrative,” Garonni explains. “When you look at Cynthia Nixon and her personal life, as well, it was such a natural storyline for her character to come out. We joke that in our version of a Sex and the City 3 movie, Miranda comes out as a lesbian in her 60s.

Nixon, of course, came out in 2004, the last year Sex and the City was on air, and is now happily married to partner Christine Marinoni. Despite Nixon not being on social media, Fairless and Garroni like to think she knows about the Instagram and hope she’ll acknowledge it—and Miranda Solidarity—in the near future.

“We haven’t gotten that Miranda follow yet,” complains Fairless, who once met Nixon at a Pride parade several years ago. “I’ve wanted to launch some kind of Instagram campaign, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet. I know it’ll happen one day. But yeah, Miranda’s the best character, obviously. We want to give her the props that she never gets.”

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Trish Bendix is a Los Angeles-based writer.
@trishbendix