The season premiere of Gossip Girl is upon us! And in celebration of Monday night’s highly anticipated Paris episode (we’ve been watching them on set all summer long), we sat down with the show’s costume designer and resident trendsetter, Eric Daman, to find out his vision for the City of Lights (and what fashion “fads” he is totally over)! Check out our exclusive Q&A with Daman below (plus a scene from the episode) and click through the photo gallery for head-to-toe credits of what the gals will be wearing in the premiere!
InStyle.com: How did the Paris setting influence your fashion choices for Blair, Serena and Chuck?
Daman: I wanted the girls to feel like they were beamed from planet Gossip Girl to Paris! A heightened sense of style, couture and glamour. High fashion with more glitter and overstated silhouettes, plus hats, hats and more hats. In contrast, Chuck is having a traumatic life experience and trying to change his identity. Gone for now are the dandy days of Chuck Bass and in turn, his threads are now more work to wear than made to wear. I wanted to keep him stylized, and was very inspired by James Dean in East of Eden and Marlon Brando in On The Waterfront and Streetcar. But after his existential crisis, he will find solid ground and newfound happiness and his wardrobe will reflect that—think a constant barrage of boutonnieres!
InStyle.com: Clemence Poesy comes in as Blair’s nemesis/Chuck’s new love interest. How did you decide on her character’s style?
Daman: Sensual with European ease and confidence. Soft and chic, beautiful, but not too overtly fashionable: think Bardot in And God Created Woman. I wanted to retain a subtleness to her style—she is the only character ever in the show to always carry the same bag, wear the same shoes and repeat her favorite Catherine Deneuve-inspired trench. Tres French, tres nouvelle vague!
InStyle.com: Will Blair’s style evolve as she transfers from NYU to Columbia? We recently spotted her filming in minimal pieces from Victoria Beckham and Celine…
Daman: Blair in Paris was meant to be a fashion Blairgasm. Upon her return she definitely goes more sleek and ladylike: clean lines and structure, like a modern-day painting. Staying true to her style sensibility there will, of course, be girlie gown moments, but B is growing up and so are her clothing choices.
InStyle.com: Serena’s style choices are always are a bit more risqué, but are you planning on taking things to new heights with her new love interest? That tux was major!
Daman: Serena is also growing up and taking fashion risks and experimenting with shapes as well as boundaries. The tux (by Maxime Simoens, my new fashion fav and Parisian discovery) is a great example. It is modern, risqué and unexpected, and so is this season’s Serena. She will always keep us guessing.
InStyle.com: We know there’s a baby on the way for Dan. Will this have a more mature effect on his style?
Daman: All new fathers are sleepless, rumpled and un-phased by fashion, and the same goes for Dan.
InStyle.com: When is Little J coming back? Will we see a more glam J or will she stay the rocker girl?
Daman: Stay tuned and find out—evolution is inevitable!
InStyle.com: Dish about Katie Cassidy’s new character, Juliet! What’s her style like? How did you decide on her look?
Daman: I started with ice cold colors, for an instant “cold shoulder,” but then kept her smokin’ bod sizzlin’ with super-short, slinky, draped jerseys and overly constructed bust lines. Then I added shrunken but architectural blazers in camel and navy to give her a demure allure.
InStyle.com: What trends are you most excited about for fall? What trends are you totally over?
Daman: Loving the equestrian trend! It’s replacing the sooooo overdone military trend.
InStyle.com: There is more of a couture element to the girls’ style this season. Is this something you are doing consciously or are the high-fashions just showing up at your door?
Daman: It makes sense that these uber affluent Upper East siders would grow into couture, just like they do in real (surreal) life.
InStyle.com: Can you tell us what you have on your inspiration board right now?
Daman: My Valentine’s dress designs for the Eric Daman for Charlotte Russe collection due in October!
Tune into the premiere of Season 4 of Gossip Girl, Monday, September 13th, at 9 p.m. EST on the CW.