What is the appeal of Gossip Girl? Is it the delicious scandal? The hot young cast? The fabulous fashion? Or all of the above? Well, if you thank the writers for the scandal and Chace Crawford for the hotness, you have costume designer Eric Daman to thank for the show’s chic style. Whether it’s a green tuxedo on Chuck (Ed Westwick), a sexy schoolgirl uniform on Serena (Blake Lively) or Blair’s (Leighton Meester) bold couture, Daman’s had his hands in it. The designer took time to answer questions about inspiration, his busy schedule and which fashion direction these characters are head in the show’s season 2 (premiering Monday 8 p.m. ET on the CW).
How did you get involved with Gossip Girl?Producer Amy Kaufman, who I worked with on the film The Door in the Floor called me to interview. During my presentation, I showed tear sheets exemplifying the characters’ styles and they pretty much matched exactly the tear sheets that executive producer Stephanie Savage had put together. And that was that.
What’s your typical day like?Shopping, fitting, on set establishing costumes, phone interviews, shopping, fitting, concept meeting, shopping, fitting, emailing, shopping, fitting.
How would you describe Blair’s style? Old Hollywood glamour meets contemporary couture. Jackie O. meets Anna Wintour.
How would you describe Serena’s style?Worldly supermodel chic with an innate ease and sensuality. She’s the Kate Moss of the Upper East Side.
How would you describe Jenny’s (Taylor Momsen) style? Vintage Brooklyn with a dash of St. Mark’s Place.
How would you describe Chuck’s style? Young Sean Connery gone Savile Row via Milan. Urban dandy reads Oscar Wilde.
Which character is the most fun to style?They are all great fun. Each is so different and their styles are so independent of each other that I truly love dressing all of them.
Who in the cast is up for anything when it comes to fashion? Is there anyone who is harder to convince? They all have great faith in my designs and choices. Chuck Bass is a free for all and I have a great dialogue with the girls for what the costumes mean for the scenes and how they will play on screen.
Where do you see the character’s styles going in the new season? A little more grown up. They are seniors now. Blair will be more d collet and wear less headbands. Serena will show siren sophistication. Chuck is Sean Connery circa Hitchcock‘s Marnie. Jenny is having a dark and moody moment, but still Lower East Side sexy.
Are you influenced by the actor’s own style for their characters or do you try to keep them totally distinct?Their personal styles are totally distinct as are their characters’ styles. I’ve tried since the pilot to really create distinct styles for all of them. The costumes feel as though they are becoming their own characters and thus help the actors embody their on-screen personas.
Are there any major trends that you’re anticipating or any show-stopping looks that we’ll see? All the looks are hopefully show-stopping with a focus on accessories, accessories, accessories.
What are your top three favorite looks?They are in upcoming episodes so I can’t tell you.