When The O.C. premiered in 2003, its fashion really did influence the way girls dressed. The rise of Marisa Cooper and her mix-and-match style - the Chanel school bag with the Hurley tank top and the Marc by Marc overalls - it was flawless, and so Teen Vogue you'd swear Conde Nast owned the series. Now Josh Schwartz creates his second teen series, this time an East Coast ode called Gossip Girl. It's based on the books we all pretend we haven't read, and stars Blake Lively, whom we love, as heroine Serena (though we peg Taylor Momsen as the breakout star, since she's fourteen and looks like Barbie). But will Gossip Girl's fashion have the same O.C. impact? We're undecided. Watching the first episode, we weren't inspired to try anything new - not the way The O.C. was alternately like a shopping list (must buy American Eagle cutoffs to wear with heels), a DIY post (must apply metal studs to China flats with hot glue), and a secret lesson in layering (must always and forever put Hanes wifebeaters under strapless evening gowns). And though the use of new labels like Vena Cava and Phillip Lim is admirable, and the cast looks gorgeous in them the clothes look a little off-kilter on (supposed) high school kids - and not in an iconic, Saved by the Bell kinda way. To find out why, we snagged actual Upper East Side student Tess Brokaw, a recent Brearley graduate, to ask how Gossip Girl succeeds... and sometimes fails.
Most schools have a uniform, but on days when you don't wear it, like Fridays... Well Brearley never has a uniform, but the whole cliché is to come into school in sweats and t-shirts. At Chapin, they have a uniform in high school, and it’s seasonal skirts – dark blue or pale yellow. But you have to accessorize with shoes, bags, and jackets - this one girl always has the massive Chloe bag, like so oversized there’s no point to it.
What if you came to school dressed like the girls in this photo? It would be like, “What are you wearing?