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Karen’s Quirky Style: Sex and My City and SJP

BY KAREN REMPEL Candace Bushnell, Carrie Bradshaw, Sarah Jessica Parker…fabulous women, both real and fictional! “Sex and the City” is 25 in June, and Season 2 of the SATC reboot, “And Just Like That,” premieres on June 22. For my 50th Karen’s Quirky Style column, I want to celebrate the gorgeous, glamorous, talented women of SATC who inspired me to embark on my own New York love affair, along with so many other women with New York dreams tucked under their pillows like wedding cake.

Candace Bushnell is the incandescent spark who set unforeseen forces in motion when she created her weekly column “Sex and the City” for the New York Observer — a pink-tinted paper that catered to the hoi polloi on the Upper East Side. From 1994 to 1996, her steamy column attracted followers from coast to coast.

She sold the TV rights for “Sex and the City” (her book based on her column) to Darren Star, who decided to bring it to HBO. The first episode aired in June 1998. It had an uncertain beginning on a cable network, prioritizing quality content over ratings. But with a ground-breaking focus on women’s sexuality, the show fascinated viewers for six seasons, bridging the tragedy of 9/11 in 2001 and helping the city recover.

As we all know, the TV show was a huge hit, garnering seven Emmys, eight Golden Globes and three Screen Actors Guild awards. SATC was named one of the best television series of all time by both Time and TV Guide.

Many of us cried when the show ended in February 2004. It hurt to say goodbye to Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte, plus a bevy of beloved male characters.

Meanwhile, Candace’s spark grew into a supernova. She has published 9 books since SATC, including 2019’s “Is There Still Sex in the City?” which fast-forwards to dating in our 50s. When I learned she was doing a one-woman show at the Café Carlyle, I immediately got tickets and invited my most stylish friend, Linda Z.

Karen Rempel, left, with “Sex and the City” creator Candace Bushnell. (Courtesy Karen Rempel)

Our intimate evening with Candace was enchanting and more satisfying than any O. She is terrifically entertaining, charismatic, personal and funny. Her insightful reflections on women’s lives, relationships and dreams struck many chords and the audience adored her. I daresay Candace may have mellowed slightly since her cynical early columns. With the humor that makes her writing so appealing, she recanted on her decades-long scrunchie-diss, then tossed heaps of them into the audience. I now have an orange velvet scrunchie with Candace Bushnell’s DNA on it. I will treasure it forever!

Bringing the focus back to an SATC luminary in our neighborhood, in closing, I want to mention how thrilled I am that Sarah Jessica Parker moved her flagship store for SJP shoes to Bleecker Street, where it belongs — near Carrie’s famous stoop and Magnolia Bakery. On my first visit, I fell in love with her sparkly new pink platform sandals. These are definitely my summer go-to. The glamor of SATC, brought to my tootsies by our beloved Sarah Jessica!

Style notes:

  • Nicole Miller magenta satin ruched sheath dress. Collette’s Basement, 10 Main St., Southampton.
  • Ginger Charm metallic pink snakeskin-embossed platform sandals. SJP flagship store, 385 Bleecker St.
  • Red ostrich feather handbag silver chain strap. Collette’s Basement.

Rempel is a New-York based writer and artist. For her past columns and more Philip Maier photos, see


  1. Anila Anila June 21, 2023

    Hi sweetie! Love this piece. So sad I didn’t get to see your exhibit at the National Arts Club. Hope all’s well.

    • Karen Karen June 21, 2023

      Hey Anila! Yeah, I’m sorry, the exhibit seemed to go by so quickly. Next year! I’ll have a proper cocktail party at the Club to celebrate next time. 🙂

  2. Bruce Bruce June 21, 2023

    Hello Karen, Always a pleasure when your column comes out. You’re looking very Sex in The City. Great gams too!

    • Karen Karen June 21, 2023

      Bruce, darling, you always say the nicest things! Glad I pulled off the SATC look. I have Phil to thank for the gams! Or technically, my parents. But Phil makes them look great. lol ❤💖

  3. Karen Karen June 21, 2023

    Thanks, Karin! So cool to hear that you loved the show too! It definitely inspired me, showing this exciting, glamorous world that I wanted to be a part of. And since I came to NYC later in life, with an established career, I was actually able to partake in some of that lifestyle. Though I still can’t afford the gorgeous designer clothes! Luckily Pat Fields has quirky style founded in thrift, and that I can get on board with. There are so many amazing thrift stores in my neighborhood, with new treasures popping up all the time.

  4. Stefan B Stefan B June 21, 2023

    Hello Karen! Thank you for the wonderful stories as well as the narrative host on all the little things that are happening in NYC! You always make me smile with your photo shoots because of the originality as well as the fun you put into it. Keep going!

    • Karen Karen June 21, 2023

      Hey, Stefan! I’m glad my hijinks make you smile. I think you have that same spirit of discovery!! ❤

  5. Lew McFarland Lew McFarland June 21, 2023

    Dear Karen, Really enjoyed your June Quirky Style. Always amazed at your uncanny ability to inhabit so many characters as you cover neighborhoods and history of NYC.

    • Karen Karen June 21, 2023

      Dear Lew, Thanks so much! I truly enjoy being a chameleon and seeing how it feels to be different people. I used to walk past houses at night and imagine the lives of the people inside. It’s kind of like that. Trying on someone else for a bit.

  6. Karin Karin June 21, 2023

    Love it – especially as your inspiration to move to NYC!
    Loved the show too! Looking fabulous Karen!

  7. Lisa Ricci Lisa Ricci June 20, 2023

    What a fun read!! You look gorgeous!!

    • Karen Karen June 21, 2023

      Thanks, Lisa! Remember how amazing this show was back in the day? Young women today may not realize the difference it made, opening up doors for talking about women’s lives in a real, intimate way, and showing the value of women’s friendships. They are so important to me!

  8. Pat Lynne Duffy Pat Lynne Duffy June 17, 2023

    Must have been amazing to meet Candace Bushnell! /creator of mythic figures and certainly one herself! You go, Girls!

    • Karen Karen June 21, 2023

      Hi Pat, It was such a wonderful evening, and she was so personal and down-to-earth, while being eminently divine at the same time! 🙂

  9. Kim Kim June 16, 2023

    Looking gorgeous Karen! I really enjoyed reading this month’s Karen’s Quirky Style. Entertaining and well written as always! Thanks for bringing entertainment to my in-box.

    • Karen Karen June 21, 2023

      Thanks, Kim! Glad you enjoyed it. 🙂

  10. Carolyn Davey Carolyn Davey June 11, 2023

    Totally love the photos in this column of you Karen in the curls and with Candace. As Jeffrey said before me…Stunning!!

  11. JEFFREY JEFFREY June 11, 2023

    Oh my goodness! I’m so glad I read this. I forgot there is a new season. But what really caught my eye was the photo of Karen in the curls. Stunning!! Please keep your dear readers informed here on the Sun.

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