Willie Garson, who memorably played Stanford Blatch, a talent agent and best friend of Sarah Jessica Parker’s Carrie Bradshaw on Sex and the City, passed away at age 57 after a battle with cancer. Here, Chelsea Fairless and Lauren Garroni, co-founders of the viral Instagram account Every Outfit on Sex & the City, pay tribute to the character’s inimitable sense of style.
Chelsea Fairless: We’ve always stanned Stanny. His fashion sense is simply iconic. A couple of years ago, this podcast came out called Origins, which goes deep into different television shows, and in the one about Sex and the City, Willie Garson said that he was Pat Field’s project because the wardrobe department was always getting a lot of pushback from production about the girls’ outfits—Carrie looks too crazy, or the girls look too crazy—but with Stanford, they just didn’t give a shit, so they let Pat Field do whatever she wanted with him. That’s why you get these incredible, flamboyant outfits that have held up so well.
Lauren Garroni: Suiting, color, patterns.
CF: Monochromatic looks were a big thing for Stanford. I think he subscribed to the Jenna Lyons ethos of “leopard is a neutral,” except for him, it’s Liberty prints.
LG: Neon green is a neutral.
CF: He was always very diligent about matching his accessories: the pageboy hat matches the tie, matches the pocket square, matches the shoes.
LG: I was just watching “All That Glitters” in season four, and [Stanford] is wearing a three-piece neon green suit when he catches Carrie having brunch with the shoe importer—who we were told by our audience is Murray from The White Lotus—thinking he’s a straight man. He goes, “I’m green with envy!” And she goes, “Yes you are!” Any outfit that’s tied to a Michael Patrick King pun is a good look.
CF: I love that Stanford look where he’s wearing a mustard yellow plaid suit and tiny little red Elton John-style glasses that are really fabulous. I also have a soft spot for his wedding look in Sex and the City 2. Even though it’s not Gucci, I think it exemplifies Alessandro Michele’s vision for androgynous menswear.
LG: And the Pastis outfit with the furry Kangol pageboy hat that’s neon pink and matches the shirt, with the acid green scarf.
CF: One thing is for sure: Stanford today is more relevant than ever. This is his moment. Menswear is so flamboyant now, and he was really on the ground floor of that.
LG: I’d dub his look “Urban Dandyism,” with a John Waters sense of humor.
CF: It’s an amalgamation of British, prep, and the general Pat Field worldview, which is that people in Manhattan exist that wear this many bright colors.
LG: And clashing patterns.
CF: Stanford’s style is always consistent. Andy Warhol once said something to the effect of, “Don’t change your style or your hair because then you never age,” and it’s really true. He’s looked the exact same over the years.
LG: I remember the first Stanford [Instagram] post we ever did: “We all judge. That’s our hobby. Some people do arts and crafts. We judge.”
CF: Perfectly wise.
LG: And his quote, “It’s straight love that’s become closeted.” That one’s got a darker edge to the dialogue, but he’s always funny. We can’t forget that Stanford is a real person in Candace Bushnell’s life, too.
CF: He was one of the original characters in the column—a real OG. Everyone was trying to figure out who the real Stanford Blatch was in its heyday, before the book came out.
LG: Male fashion has definitely come around to meet Stanford’s style. Now, men—specifically straight men—are a lot less afraid to wear color.
CF: He found his look and he stuck with it. Bless him.
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