When Variety broke the news that Kim Cattrall will reprise her iconic role as Samantha Jones for a cameo in the Season 2 finale of “And Just Like That,” I couldn’t help but wonder… is there anything that could thrill a “Sex and the City” fan more?
The answer is yes: the HBO show’s 25th anniversary experience in New York City, as put on by Max, to celebrate Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker), Charlotte (Kristin Davis), Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) and Samantha and — possibly most important — all of their stunning clothes.
Formally titled “And Just Like That…It’s Been 25 Years, A Sex and the City Experience,” the event will be open June 8-June 11, but Variety and other members of the press were let into Carrie’s closet early Thursday to explore.
Upon entering the immersive space in New York’s SoHo neighborhood, the first thing you’ll see are four giant installations displaying photos and rolling footage of Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda and Samantha, giving you the guidance you need to decide, “I am a…” (None of you asked, but I’m a Charlotte.)
Across from those pieces is a ’90s-era newsstand hawking copies of Vogue and the Wall Street Journal alongside issues of publications featuring the four leading actresses on their covers from over the past two decades.
Then, the event truly becomes “immersive,” as you hit up two fabulous photo ops: one on the stoop of Carrie’s famous brownstone and one at the desk in her apartment. (Yes, there is a window on the other side they’ll take your picture through as you type out your new column on the old Mac.)
Once you get through Carrie’s bedroom (don’t sit on the bed, you’ll get scolded!), you enter a “dreamscape” version of her closet. Here, you walk down a hallway with four large screens on either side. The first six of these are dedicated to showing montages of Carrie’s most beloved outfits throughout “Sex and the City,” while the final two show off her looks from Season 1 of Max’s followup show, “And Just Like That.”
After you emerge from Carrie’s closet, you enter a large space with glass cases displaying classic outfits, bags, and heels curated by “And Just Like That” costume designers Molly Rogers and Danny Santiago.
There’s also a Post-It wall (we’re sorry, we couldn’t write one, don’t hate us), a gift shop with “Sex and the City” 25th anniversary merch, a Ketel One Vodka-sponsored bar where you can order Carrie’s cosmo (mocktail versions, too!), and a stand filled with Magnolia Bakery cupcakes (if you know, you know).
During the press event on opening day, reporters were treated to a panel hosted by Vogue that included Parker, Rogers and Santiago. The three spoke about Rogers’ and Patricia Field’s costume work on the original series, as well as the work done for the film sequels — and the designs that Rogers and Santiago are now using for “And Just Like That.”
The three took time out from discussing the many pieces in Carrie’s extensive wardrobe (which are kept safe with Parker when they aren’t being used) to talk about the late Willie Garson, who died just prior to the release of “And Just Like That’s” first season. According to Santiago, Garson’s “Sex and the City” and “And Just Like That” character, Stanford Blatch, was his favorite to dress.
“He was always open to colors and accessories and pins and broaches and ties and shoes,” Santiago said. Bradshaw added, “He loved being a paper doll.”
While Parker was unwilling to spill anything about Season 2 beyond what’s in the trailer (“I’m inclined to give away nothing. I think what you’ve seen is as much as I’m willing to say”), she and Rogers called upon “Sex and the City” and “And Just Like That” executive producer Michael Patrick King, who was sitting in the audience next to producing partner John Melfi, to tell the story of when he first saw the infamous bird that Carrie wears in her hair to her and Big’s first attempt at a wedding.
“They said, come here, come here,” King said from the audience. “They opened a little closet in the lobby of the Park Avenue building where Carrie was coming out. And I see this bird, and I just had to take a step back. I closed the door, because it’s like church for them. And I was like, I don’t know what to say. And then SJ looks me right in the eyes and goes, ‘It’s amazing.’ And that’s how it works. It’s a real dance, and it’s a thrilling collaboration between all of us.”
At the end of the panel, Parker rang a bell, which she says is used on the set of “And Just Like That” whenever it’s decided that a costume is entirely complete, from head to toe. “This is the most important part of the entire process, because that means done.”
“And Just Like That” Season 2 premieres June 22 on Max.