Wardrobe stylists are the new fashion “it” kids. Haven’t you heard? Leading the pack is head wardrobe stylist on Gossip Girl and fashion guru who totally gets the teens, Eric Daman. We chatted with the utterly charming friend to Serena and Blair last night outfitted in a tweed blazer to die for and brown knee high boots as he showed off his new collection of party dresses for Charlotte Russe. (Check out all the looks in the slide show above – all under $43!)
So youve been working with Charlotte Russe for awhile. Why was this a good time to do a full collection for them?
I was working with them as their Creative Director for the past year and a half and then Advent purchased them and [president of Charlotte Russe] Janet Ming decided everything should go in-house, which I think was very smart to have it all under her umbrella. I, of course, could not come in-house because I have a day job called Gossip Girl. I was like ‘Uhhh… I cant really do that.’
And then she was said ‘Maybe we should do a collection together?’ Going into it, I thought, I dont want to just do a collection like who wants Serena van der Woodsen t-shirts? Lets do something more special! Then she said maybe we should do a dress collection and it just rang like heaven bells in my ears, like ‘Special occasion dresses, yes!’
So do you feel like this collection is very Serena?
I dont feel like its Serena or Blair. I have to say, I went into the collection the same way I go into the show. I went into it like ‘I want to design dresses that represent what I do’, which is what I do on the show, which is all a part of me. So its not an extension of Gossip Girl its all Eric Daman when it comes down to it. Its all part of my aesthetic. But I wanted it to be something that could be interesting for very different personalities.
TV stylists have been getting a lot of attention lately Janie Bryant (Mad Men), Pat Field (who you worked on Sex and The City with) and obviously yourself because of all the great things that you do. Why do you think people are honing in on this profession as something that should be paid attention to now?
I think people are realizing that clothing is really part of how we are addressed as human beings. Even the crunchiest, most granola person in your life, theyll still look at you and be like ‘Oh, youre dressed like that so youre that girl.’ Our clothing sums us up, its our coat of arms, and its who we are. And I think people are really realizing that clothing has a much bigger importance in society than weve ever wanted to talk about.
How do you work with the evolution of the characters on Gossip Girl in terms of their wardrobes?
When they started out, they were very young. Blake was not hanging out with Karl Lagerfeld, Blake was not on the cover of Vogue, and it was just these young girls who were in high school wearing school uniforms.
It’s like Im creating this character that evolves from season one to season six, who is the same person and has the same flavor, but is very different. I think that evolving from a school girl and seeing Blair Waldorf when she was originally very Queen Elizabeth, very flirty, very girly, like babydoll schoolgirl reigning over everyone and then all of a sudden seeing her in this Victoria Beckham dress going to NYU, and very minimalist and severe and taking herself very seriously it was really a great evolution, but still Blair Waldorf.
So I have to ask. Theres always a lot of attention paid to Serenas very form-fitting looks. How do you think that plays into her character? Does it serve the character or is it just because Blake Lively has that awesome body?
Blake does have an awesome body. Its good to embrace, and it looks great on the show, and I think its also because Serena has an awesome body. Serena and Blake are very symbiotic in who they are you want them to look as amazing as they can be and show off their best features.
I learned that on Sex and the City. Sarah Jessica Parker taught me that you want to look as amazing as possible and you know, Serena is that girl. She is! Like you cant really get away from it. She wants to be sexy and she wants to be enticing and she wants to look like she hasnt thought about it which takes hours to think about!
Amazing, thank you so much!