There’s something about Chelsea Fairless, and, understatement, many would agree. In other words, Fairless (and her pal, Lauren Garroni) are the creators of @EveryOutfitOnSATC, the addictive-as-Carrie’s-penchant-for-designer-pumps (and puns) IG account that boasts 400k+ followers. (And a “fashion’s favorite Instagram” Vogue review — Carrie would be so proud.) But don’t you dare judge an account by its IG handle, because, these days, @EveryOutfitOnSATC is so much more than just an archive of the legendary ladies’ head-turning duds. See also: the LOL-inducing and educational #WokeCharlotte, which finds Charlotte reimagined as a progressive social justice leader who calls out many a problematic moment from the salacious series. #SolidarityForMiranda and #ImWithMiranda are also and aptly likes-heavy, so much so that Fairless designed ‘We Should All Be Miranda’ t-shirts, which are perpetually sold out — Kristin Davis recently rocked her’s to bed. Fairless also designs campy pop culture-centered home goods and apparel via her very own, new-ish line, “Female Trouble.” And it’s all kinds of sartorial-slaying surreal. Looking for a Showgirls nameplate necklace? Of course you are. How about a naughty nun pillow? Samantha would live/die for it. We caught up with the self-described “raging pop culture addict” and she spilled her thoughts re: Kim Cattrall pulling a Posh Spice by ruining the SATC film reunion, where she thinks Carrie would be today in the borderline deceased print industry, and all about the fantastic “Female Trouble” goodies. Careful with your credit cards. #NeedEverything
COOLS: How did Female Trouble come about? Were you working on the line before launching @EveryOutfitOnSATC?
I started working on Female Trouble around the same time that Lauren and I started @EveryOutfitOnSATC. Before that, I had been working at VFILES as the fashion director and although that was a creative job, I didn’t do any design work when I was there. So I was desperate for a creative outlet and I wanted to start my own thing. But I had never sold anything that I designed before — I didn’t know how to use Adobe Illustrator, I had no experience with production or order fulfillment. But because I started making merch for @EveryOutfitOnSATC, I ended up learning a lot of things that ultimately helped me to launch Female Trouble. I just kind of winged it but the response has been great… thank God!
COOLS: You describe Female Trouble as a “tastefully tacky line of home goods and apparel.” Most of the pop culture references are pretty niche and not nearly as “mainstream” as SATC — how do you narrow down what you want to create/what you think people want to buy? What’s been the most successful item?
I just made things that I personally wanted to own. And that’s why a lot of the products are home goods, because I’m always looking for affordable things for my apartment. The most successful item has been the Showgirls necklace. Which I find hilarious, because it is a such a niche reference. But the people who love Showgirls are hardcore and they really came through with those orders. There are a lot of film references in the line and that is definitely something that I want to continue in the future. I’m a raging pop culture addict and I can’t really control it to be honest. It seeps into everything that I do.
COOLS: What do you think the SATC characters would want from the line?
Samantha definitely would get the “Nunsploitation” pillow. Even though we never saw her in a latex nuns habit, unfortunately, I feel like she could get behind the overall thought process. She did have a major thing for that friar, after all. Charlotte would get the Showgirls necklace because her first husband, Trey MacDougal, had a memorable role in that film. Honestly, who could forget the waterfall sequence? Miranda would get the flask, because she probably needs it more than any other character. And Carrie needs the “Satan’s Sisters” necklace. It could be seamlessly integrated into so many of her most iconic looks.
COOLS: There’s gotta be a psychotic slew of research to keep up with the @EveryOutfitOnSATC posts. How do you choose the looks and figure out what they’re wearing? Do you email Patricia Field? Or is it just you and Lauren’s fashion-y eyes?
The time when the show first aired also coincided with the peak of Lauren and I’s interest in fashion magazines. So we retained a lot of knowledge from that period because we were obsessive tweens that just discovered Vogue. And then directly after college I worked as a photo researcher for various fashion clients. I have ingested a freakish amount of fashion images in my life. It actually terrifies me to think about it. But also, now that I am so attuned to the clothes on Sex and the City, I often recognize things from the show when I’m looking at old magazines or fashion shows. Like, I just saw an old Isaac Mizrahi ad today and Shalom Harlow was wearing a dress that Charlotte also wore early in the series. So we’re constantly discovering things as well.
COOLS: Your first post was Carrie saying “Don’t mock the clothing” and the initial posts were all about the clothes paired with your immaculate captions. But then you introduced Miranda Solidarity and Woke Charlotte, which everyone’s so obsessed with. How and why did you take this direction?
The series was always centered around Carrie, and we do love Carrie. But we relate to Miranda more, and self-identifying as a Miranda has always had a distinct stigma attached to it. We wanted to remove that stigma and rebrand Miranda as the fierce, aspirational, feminist icon that she is. So the hashtags #MirandaSolidarity and #ImWithMiranda were the result of that thought process. As was the “We Should All Be Mirandas” shirts that we made. #WokeCharlotte, on the other had, was a direct result of the fact that Lauren and I had always felt that certain aspects of the show were problematic. And we were trying to think of a way to address those things without sounding humorless. The account is about frivolous entertainment, after all. So, we thought that it would be hilarious if we turned Charlotte into a social justice warrior. And #WokeCharlotte ended up resonating with so many people, which we love. Those have been the most popular posts on the account by far. And as much as we do love dissecting the clothes, it’s more exciting for us if we can diversify the content a little bit.
COOLS: Let’s get right to it: What are your thoughts about this whole Kim Cattrall ruining the movie tragic thing?! You’ve said you’re a Samantha — has Kim’s horrific decision made you reconsider? Can you even separate Samantha from Kim? (I’ve unsuccessfully tried…)
I feel like I’m a Samantha with a Miranda rising, to be honest. And yes, I have to separate Kim from Samantha at the moment. Because of course I am disappointed that she was unwilling to sign onto the third film. These are trying times and people really need light, frivolous entertainment right now. I’m sure that shooting that film would have taken a toll on her mentally and physically. But it would have been for the greater good and she would have been more than adequately compensated for her work. That said, I do think that playing Samantha has required Kim to do a lot of dehumanizing shit over the years, particularly in the second film. I wouldn’t be surprised if that took a toll on her.
COOLS: Some of the SATC ladies have liked and posted comments! Has anyone slid into your DMs?
Kristin Davis slides into our DMs on the regular, which we love. Pat Field has DM’d us. SJP wrote in a comment that we COULD DM her, but we don’t want to abuse that power. I feel like at some point we’ll have to ask her for a quote or something so we don’t want to waste that DM on something that isn’t super essential. But she has been super supportive overall and we really appreciate her likes and comments. Not to mention the fact that she is game to read our super bitchy captions. She rules.
COOLS: Do you find yourself watching SATC 24/7? Are you (gasp) getting a bit sick of it yet?
I don’t watch the show all the time actually. But when I do, I make a note of the outfits that I feel like I have something to say about. Or some current event reminds me of an episode and I’ll revisit it. Like the Harvey Weinstein scandal even reminded me of Sex and the City. Because he was one of the people who tried to revive Halston and he brought SJP on board for that. And there was also that episode where Carrie was sexually harassed by her editor at Vogue — she was wearing a Prada dress with nude women on it during that scene. Often times it will be external things that determine which outfits we chose.
COOLS: Where do you see the fashion industry going? What do you want to change? (Also, let’s talk about those “We Should All Be Feminists” designer t-shirts, which are a bit different than your “We Should All Be Mirandas” t-shirts. Your’s go up to an XXXL — thank you — and they’re not $700. Also, thank you.)
I hope that the fashion industry decides to be better. There are ethical issues in many industries, but a lot of the issues the plague the fashion industry–like the lack of racial diversity and size inclusivity–could be easily fixed. Diverse casting should be easy. Eliminating fur should be easy. Ensuring that models have safe working conditions should be easy. And then there are so many harder issues that need to be addressed as well, like the environmental impact of fast fashion, for example. So much needs to change. The proliferation of designer protest tees is actually one of the less annoying things in the scheme of things. But of course if a luxury brand makes a $700 feminist slogan tee we’re going to make fun of it. I would be less critical if these brands had been making feminist slogan shirts BEFORE feminism became trendy and Beyonce-approved. But Prabal wasn’t doing that, Otherwild was. These luxury brands are piggybacking off of the success of small businesses with authentic ties to social justice movements and that is annoying.
COOLS: Is print dead? How would Carrie cope? Would she even have a job?!
It’s almost dead. It’s going to have to reinvent itself and serve a different function in our culture. I feel like Visionaire is so ahead of its time in that they make magazines that are beautiful objects, that could never be considered to be disposable. Print is going to have to evolve into a luxury product because it no longer functions as a source of news. Even when I do buy a new magazine, I’ve already seen half of its content online. Print needs to become a beautiful souvenir of what is happening on the internet.
COOLS: What’s next for you/Female Trouble?
One day I would LOVE to open a brick-and-mortar store. That is definitely a long term goal. Decorating my own store is truly my dream in life.