Stylist du Jour: Eric Daman, Wardrobe Stylist of Gossip Girl
Whether you LOVE or HATE it, I’m certain that we’re all pretty much entertained by the Upper East Sider teenage drama of Gossip Girl. I wasn’t tempted about this show when it first came out, the title itself turned me off. On one lazy evening I watched one of its episode. Oh boy, I was hooked ! It’s what I’m looking forward to watching every Monday evening, it makes Monday a pleasant day *here in the States, starting this new season, Gossip Girl airs every Monday nights. The impact of these teenage series is pretty remarkable, they manage to capture the hearts of young girls and adults alike. Some of my girlfriends who despise soap operas, have converted to Gossip Girl. The cute dramas, the clothing, shoes, and accessories are definitely the ones who entertained me the most from this show, even more than Lipstick Jungle or Cashmere Mafia. Have you ever wondered who actually styles all its casts? Meet Eric Daman, the wardrobe stylist /costume designer of Gossip Girl. Here’s what I’ve briefly compiled from his interview with WWD and various sources.
HIGHLIGHTS:Variety recently named him “the world’s fiercest costume designer” for styling the casts of Gossip Girl with a power team of 25 stylists behind him.Playful headbands and bows mixed with designer dresses and latest-IT-bags, making Gossip Girl as one of the most talked-about fashion showcases since “Sex and the City.”
BACKGROUND: Growing up in rural Michigan, Daman’s interest in fashion began while he was studying at Sorbonne in Paris and working as a buyer at Magic Circle, a high-end Parisian boutique.
MODELLING MOMENT: In 1993, Steven Meisel, who was scouting for an upcoming Calvin Klein campaign, walked into his store when he spotted Daman through the window. Later on, he was on a flight to New York and on set with Kate Moss.
EARLY STYLING: After moving to New York to model full-time, Daman began to explore fashion styling, eventually landing editorial shoots for The Face, Visionnaire, Spin and Rolling Stone. After bumping into stylist Patricia Field on the street (he knew her from his time in Paris), he was hired to assist her on the set of “Sex and the City.” So, he contributed his styling on the casts of SATC by assisting Mrs. Field. His styling on Gossip Girl may NOT look like his high-glossy editorial portfolio but definitely a head turner. Personally, I think his styling on GG look a lot like the styling on the fashion pages of Teen Vogue.
DRESSING THE CHARACTERS OF GG: He always makes sure he would mix some of the higher-end looks with something from a less expensive brand . Mixing high and low is how people dress today. He always uses stuff from Forever 21 and H&M. You would see Serena or any of the cast wearing a $5,000 dress with a pair of Nine West shoes. To him, Serena is one of the casts which is difficult to style.
HIS MANTRA IN STYLING GG: ” I always want to make kids feel like they can look at what the characters are wearing and they can afford to go out and buy something for themselves. I strive to inspire the watchers, but it’s also important to have fun with clothing. Clothing can be fun and glamorous without making you feel alienated — that’s what I want to get across.”
HIS FAVORITE CAST TO DRESS: Guess who?? No other than Chuck Bass (Ed Westwick). He wants to try and pioneer a movement where straight men could dress better. Daman said, “Girls do it, so now it’s time for the guys to step up and get rid of those ugly T-shirts and square-toe shoe.”
FAVORITE TREND FOR FALL 08: Belted boyfriend cardigans and high-waisted pencil skirts.
(l) belted cardigan, (r) high waisted skirt, courtesy of revolveclothing.com
LONG-RUN PLAN: He has thought a lot about doing his own apparel line, a mass line, like something for Kohl’s, Target, Charlotte Russe. Then he would also like to do a higher-end, capsule collection for a store like Henri Bendel’s or Barneys. Again, it’s mainly about accessible fashion and mixing it up.
HIS STYLING TIP: want to look like Blaire or Serena, watch his styling tips here and here.
*A fan of Gossip Girl? Join the discussion about this addictive show on FD forum, here.