It comes as no surprise that Sarah Jessica Parker’s earliest fashion memory involves a pair of shoes. Patent Mary Janes, to be precise, that she wore with a velvet jumpsuit with a Peter Pan collar adorned with a hand-embroidered strawberry when she was three years old in 1968 when her mother remarried in Ohio. Along with carpool ballet – which finally explains how Carrie Bradshaw could run down all those New York streets in twinkling Manolos with such ease – and playing outside with “the big kids” in the summer until the street lights flickered on, it remains one of her most treasured childhood moments.
It’s perhaps with this in mind that 14 years after she fronted her first campaign for the American brand in 2004, Sarah Jessica Parker reunited with her Gap family this year to create a childrenswear collection to help the next generation create their own fashion memories. The second season has been conceived to be “worn, loved and shared forward with a wish for the future,” and as one of eight siblings, this is a scenario she’s not unfamiliar with.
When it came to the inspiration for her second collection, SJP had an endless archive of her childhood wardrobe at her fingertips, thanks to her mum’s thrifting, but don’t expect to see a velvet jumpsuit with the hand-embroidered strawberry any time soon. “We pulled out lots and lots of pictures from our past but there wasn’t one piece in particular that played a role,” she insists, and instead points towards smocking, plaids, stripes and rick rack details as her points of reference which have subsequently been brought to life in the form of chunky, shawl-collar fair isle cardigans, denim dungarees, rugby jerseys, and plaid shirts for Autumn/Winter 2018 designed to be shared among siblings.
As brands become more socially and enviromentally aware, this isn’t merely a charming sentiment, but also vital to create and perpetuate a sustainable shopping ethos. And thanks to this super-relevant fashion philosphy for the post-SATC generation, we couldn’t help but wonder whether the style icon who launched a thousand trends – and is single-handedly responsible for all of us owning either a corsage, a gold nameplate necklace, or a frou frou ’50s prom dress – has found a new way to capture our imaginations through her wardrobe all over again.
- Sarah Jessica Parker’s Autumn/Winter 2018 collection for Gap Kids will launch in stores across the GCC on 9 September