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Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie Bradshaw. Jose Perez/Bauer-Griffin/Shutterstock

From the second pictures of Sarah Jessica Parker filming scenes for the Sex and the City revival, And Just Like That, started popping up, die hard fans have found themselves obsessing over the fashion, from Fendi baguette bags to Manolo Blahnik pumps. 

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But when Carrie Bradshaw was spotted in a maxi dress that was mistakenly identified as Forever 21, social media spiraled as people were less than thrilled that the well-dressed city girl from the original series started wearing fast fashion in her 50s. 

The reaction took the And Just Like That costume designers Molly Rodgers and Danny Santiago by surprise just the same as the objections weren’t even accurate. “It was a dress that I had found five years prior and it had no label in it. I just thought, ‘This is a really cute piece, I’m gonna buy it,’” Santiago exclusively told Us Weekly. “I think it was five or six dollars. I’ve had it in my archive ever since.”

Carrie Bradshaw in the controversial maxi dress. J Mayer/Shutterstock

When it came to start planning Carrie’s wardrobe, Santiago whipped the printed maxi, which is likely from an indie brand called Raga, out of his archive. “It’s very spring, it’s lightweight, it has a pretty print to it. We had placed it in Sarah Jessica’s wardrobe of things to possibly choose from, we tried it on and put it together,” he explained. “But again, we had no idea where it came from” 

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All bets were off when the paparazzi snapped the outfit though — it turned into a straight up a saga. “People started saying, ‘I know that piece. I know where that piece is from. This came from there. This came from here.’ It wasn’t a choice to put it in, it was just a piece that we thought worked for the scene,” Santiago recalled. 

The tizzy about Carrie’s wardrobe was less than ideal. “It felt like the first major headline that cropped up out of what we were doing and I felt wrongly accused,” Rodgers told Stylish. “I was pissed. It was the first thing that really cropped up, and it was negative.” 

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While the dress likely is not Forever 21, who’s to say that Carrie is opposed to shopping on a budget? “She can do whatever she likes,” Santiago said. “She’s always been known to wear high and low and mix things. It would have been the same if Carrie found that dress at a thrift store — she would have bought it, not knowing what the label was and she would have enjoyed wearing it just because of the fact that it was a dress that she loved … Whether she paid $5 or $5,000 for it, she equally appreciated it for what it was and enjoyed wearing it.” 

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