Writes Selina Dufner
Hey, Upper East Siders. Gossip girl here, and I have the biggest news ever. One of my many sources sends us this: “Spotted on the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art: …”
Well, who exactly is spotted is yet to be known, as the cast of the Gossip Girl reboot just started filming. While we eagerly await the release of the first episode, why don’t we pass the time learning more about Eric Daman – the amazing costume designer behind the outfits on Gossip Girl. And yes, he is also on board for the reboot.
Before having a career in fashion, Daman studied French Literature at the Paris-Sorbonne University in Paris. His whole life changed when he came home one day and heard the following message on his answering machine:
“This is Steven Meisel’s office in New York, we are looking for Eric Daman. Steven is interested in shooting him for an upcoming Calvin Klein campaign.”
Which is exactly what he did the very next week. Shortly after that, Daman appeared on the cover of L’Uomo Vogue, again shot by Meisel. “The following year was a flurry of supermodels, fabulousness and flashbulbs. I loved it! I felt like I was being offered the best insider scoop available, being exposed to and learning from the best of the best”, he recalled. And that must have been true, as he even modelled alongside fashion icon Kate Moss. Daman started to develop an interest in what happens behind the scenes, and working as a model opened many doors for him to eventually becoming the costume designer he is known as today.
Another turning point was when he ran into Patricia Field, an old acquaintance from his days in Paris. At that time, she was the costume designer for Sex and the City, and the first season had already aired. She wanted Daman to be her assistant for the upcoming seasons, which he gladly agreed to. In 2002, he was rewarded for his hard work by winning the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Costumes for a Series.
All that led him to dress our favourite Upper East Siders. For those who wondered, Serena van der Woodsen’s style was inspired by Daman’s former model partner Kate Moss, whose look could be described as effortless and rock-chic with a touch of bohemian hippy. Blair Waldorf, however, valued elegance and glamour and, according to Daman, he found inspiration in the likes of Audrey Hepburn and Anna Wintour. After Gossip Girl, he provided costumes for the Sex and the City prequel The Carrie Diaries, which definitely was a challenge for him. He stated that it was “hard to fill those Manolos”, referring to Carrie Bradshaw’s love for the designer’s shoes. Young Carrie’s look was naturally inspired by 80s fashion, but Daman wanted to keep what he calls “an aspirational authenticity”.
Given Eric Daman’s past experiences with styles of different eras, I can’t wait to find out how he will dress the new generation of privileged New Yorkers. Thanks to the recently published pictures of the cast, we already got a glimpse of what to expect. The most striking piece to me so far? The Fendi baguette bag, an accessory that even used to grace Carrie Bradshaw’s arm.