After Monday’s star-studded festivities, last night’s screening of Sex and the City 2, sponsored by the Cinema Society, Swarovski, and HP (stringer Bradshaw types away on a mini HP, not the Mac of the HBO series), felt like a relaxed evening at the movies with friends—friends like Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, and J.Crew’s Jenna Lyons. Gawking fans outside the theater were warned that the stars weren’t coming, but plenty of fashion’s ruling class did. So did a full half-row of models (Karlie Kloss towering over the rest), a real housewife (Kelly Killoren Bensimon), a real newlywed (Ivanka Trump), a smattering of other reality-ites (Tinsley, Olivia Palermo), and a cadre of young and youngish designers (Prabal Gurung, Charlotte Ronson, Brian Atwood). And Courtney Love, because these days, there’s always Courtney Love. “This is better than the movie,” said a spectator, craning around to survey the audience.
As it turned out, it was. At two and a half hours long, Sex makes you long for the days of half-hour episodes, which seem delicate bonbons compared to this brick. If you want a comprehensive rundown of all of the fashions, well, there’s a book for that. (No app, yet, but presumably some savvy entrepreneur will correct this oversight shortly.) Will fans mind? The die-hards shouldn’t. (And I guess they can argue that Avatar—and, for that matter, Lawrence of Arabia—are longer.) “Heavy hitting” has never been the Sex way, after all, and with a shovelful of salt, the movie’s ultimate message of global female empowerment through fashion is one that’s generally worth approving. But as for me, I’m going to focus on the specific. It was fun to see the classic Dior newsprint dress from the series make a comeback. And the clear-plastic Calvin Klein shades that Carrie rocks in Abu Dhabi are seriously desirable—even I wanted a pair. Girl power, schmirl power. Isn’t conspicuous consumption what this whole scene is really about?