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The Carrie Diaries Style Isn't a 'Joke Version of the '80s,' Says Producer

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Eric Liebowitz/Warner Bros

The Carrie Diaries takes place in the early 1980s, but don’t expect the decade’s style clichés displayed on the show.

“Our whole idea for this was I didn’t want it to feel like the joke version of the ’80s with people in those thin glasses or parachute pants where even in the ’80s we were all kind of thinking, ‘Is this a mistake? It think it might be,’ ” the Sex and the City prequel‘s executive producer Amy B. Harris said during at the Television Critics Association panel to promote the highly anticipated show.

Instead, Harris says, she and fellow exec producer Stephanie Savage “are really trying to have fun mixing and matching – staying true to the ’80s while also keeping the clothes as aspirational and inspirational as possible.”

It hasn’t been too tough for them to find contemporary pieces for young Carrie Bradshaw (AnnaSophia Robb) and her pals that look like they could have been worn in decades past.

“There have actually been a lot of clothes out there that have been ’80s inspired [like] really bright colored denim jeans,” Harris explains. “Shoulder pads have come back in a big way so we are playing with it. What I love about having Carrie’s mother’s closet to play with is she’s got a lot of ’60s and ’70s clothes in there so we are going to have that sort of how Carrie Bradshaw becomes the girl who does vintage mixed with couture.”

But it’s been more than fashion choices that have helped the producers stay authentic to the time period.

“We work really hard when we are on the streets of Manhattan,” Harris says, of producing the show, which made its debut Monday on the CW. “We travel with what we call our ’80s kit with some graffiti, trash, gross garbage cans. The ’80s was very different in Manhattan. It wasn’t pretty Times Square. It was scary Times Square. We have to green screen out some stuff where we see in the background there’s a 646 number on a building. Those numbers didn’t exist.”