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Sex And The City is back! LIZ JONES profiles Sarah Jessica Parker’s dazzling array of dresses

As a young woman, I had a morbid fear of growing old. Looking back at how middle-aged women were portrayed on TV at the time, it’s easy to see why.

The only show with older women as the main characters was The Golden Girls, an American comedy about a bunch of snow-haired, vest-wearing divorcees and widows living together in what felt like some kind of asexual nursing home.

I saw turning 50 as a death sentence.

True Blue: Sarah Jessica Parker in an elegant tulip-hemmed jacket dress and fake crocodile bag

True Blue: Sarah Jessica Parker in an elegant tulip-hemmed jacket dress and fake crocodile bag

This is what the 50-something looks like: In wildly romantic and escapist Dolce & Gabbana

This is what the 50-something looks like: In wildly romantic and escapist Dolce & Gabbana

This is what the 50-something looks like: In wildly romantic and escapist Dolce & Gabbana

Here come the girls: Miranda in sharp tailoring, Carrie in £700 Celine heels and Charlotte in classic black and white

Here come the girls: Miranda in sharp tailoring, Carrie in £700 Celine heels and Charlotte in classic black and white

Here come the girls: Miranda in sharp tailoring, Carrie in £700 Celine heels and Charlotte in classic black and white

But oh, how things have changed. ‘Older’ women don’t go into that good night softly anymore. And the full Technicolor televised proof comes in the glorious ball gown form of Sarah Jessica Parker.

As the 56-year-old stuns on the cover of Vogue for next month’s highly anticipated Sex And The City revival series, and just like that, SJP isn’t just aging gracefully — she’s aging proudly.

“There’s so much misogynistic chatter in response to us that would never happen. To happen. As regards. A. Man,” she says, describing the reaction after the show was first announced.

“She has too many wrinkles, she doesn’t have enough wrinkles. It almost feels like people don’t want us to be okay with where we are.

The corsage is back!  Teamed with a trendy midi paired with those iconic blue satin Manolos worn in the first episode of the first series

The corsage is back!  Teamed with a trendy midi paired with those iconic blue satin Manolos worn in the first episode of the first series

The corsage is back! Teamed with a trendy midi paired with those iconic blue satin Manolos worn in the first episode of the first series

At home in the range: a winning pink prairie shirt dress from Carolina Herrera (£392) and £500 Manolo Blahnik pumps

At home in the range: a winning pink prairie shirt dress from Carolina Herrera (£392) and £500 Manolo Blahnik pumps

At home in the range: a winning pink prairie shirt dress from Carolina Herrera (£392) and £500 Manolo Blahnik pumps

‘I know what I look like. I have no choice. What am I going to do about it? Stop aging? To disappear?’

No, Carrie and her crew are not disappearing. Instead, they give us a much-needed portrayal of fabulous, sassy 50-plus women who wouldn’t be seen dead in sensible lace-ups and a home-knitted wool coat.

And how lucky are today’s twenties and thirties to have something positive as a reference point for middle age.

It’s too easy to dismiss SATC as light-hearted nonsense about heels and handbags. But with women’s rights being eroded around the world, the new series couldn’t come at a more prescient time.

When it first aired in 1999, SATC liberated a generation of women who didn’t need a man to save them or buy them nice things and put female friendship first.

Stack it up: In Claude Montana jumpsuit (£500) and Dries van Noten jacket (£800), Carrie sport pattern, jacket tails and chainmail

Stack it up: In Claude Montana jumpsuit (£500) and Dries van Noten jacket (£800), Carrie sport pattern, jacket tails and chainmail

Stack it up: In Claude Montana jumpsuit (£500) and Dries van Noten jacket (£800), Carrie sport pattern, jacket tails and chainmail

Mauve-y magic: Carrie in vintage coat with nano Fendi baguette, £708, and Miranda in Celine skirt and Issey Miyake trench coat

Mauve-y magic: Carrie in vintage coat with nano Fendi baguette, £708, and Miranda in Celine skirt and Issey Miyake trench coat

Mauve-y magic: Carrie in vintage coat with nano Fendi baguette, £708, and Miranda in Celine skirt and Issey Miyake trench coat

It's a Shawl: Sexy in a 'Diana' Ruffle Dress from Norma Kamali (£230)

It's a Shawl: Sexy in a 'Diana' Ruffle Dress from Norma Kamali (£230)

It’s a Shawl: Sexy in a ‘Diana’ Ruffle Dress from Norma Kamali (£230)

Today we need it more than ever.

That a new series has been made in which the heroines rumble happily and brazenly towards 60 is revolutionary.

To see Sarah Jessica Parker with a clear-lined face, unashamed to enjoy fashion that is more than ever before, is groundbreaking.

Hopefully this new series will allay the fear of aging (certainly the last chain that binds us in the West?) of a new generation of girls.

Life isn’t over when we get past 60 – in fact, we become more powerful, more determined, more determined to grab life by the horns because we have nothing to lose.

We no longer need a man to give us a child, a home, or status, and we still feel 21 years old inside.

I cannot emphasize enough the impact when SATC first appeared on our screens.

I was in Milan, a fashion editor in my thirties, attending the runway shows in my minimalist black pantsuit and big black bag.

I turned a corner and found a long, over-enthusiastic line of young women outside Fendi—formerly a musty fashion house that no one cared much about.

Seriously?  Dungarees, in your 50s?  Let's hope she doesn't break a hip in those shoes!

Seriously?  Dungarees, in your 50s?  Let's hope she doesn't break a hip in those shoes!

Seriously? Dungarees, in your 50s? Let’s hope she doesn’t break a hip in those shoes!

Too much material, girl!  She Could Be Madonna At A Dress Up Party In Falguni Shane Peacock 'Lekha' Lehenga Set

Too much material, girl!  She Could Be Madonna At A Dress Up Party In Falguni Shane Peacock 'Lekha' Lehenga Set

Too much material, girl! She Could Be Madonna At A Dress Up Party In Falguni Shane Peacock ‘Lekha’ Lehenga Set

Every woman wanted to get her hands on the baguette, a bag, or the croissant, an even smaller bag. And the more bling, the better: Mine was orange with tiger stripes in sequins.

It was the accessory that gave us the best line in all six seasons of the original show. When Carrie is robbed at gunpoint and asked to hand over her bag, she firmly tells the mobster that it is in fact “a baguette.”

Such details are more important than life itself.

The show was an education. We were literate in former niche labels – Manolo Blahnik was catapulted into the stratosphere, while John Galliano became a household name when Carrie showed up in his monochromatic ‘newspaper dress’.

We learned about sexual positions and the precise ingredients of a cocktail.

Carrie, Samantha, Miranda, and Charlotte may have looked like stupid fools, staggering on their heels, but they had cores of steel.

Their men were nothing more than a wing, without a spark of humor or joie de vivre from the girls.

However, I’m willing to bet that if the show isn’t responsible for global warming, it at least paved the way for fast, throwaway fashion. Shopping no longer became a joy, but an illness.

A big mistake: in Paris with her most important man.  But is this Oscar de la Renta dress blooming too much?

A big mistake: in Paris with her most important man.  But is this Oscar de la Renta dress blooming too much?

A big mistake: in Paris with her most important man. But is this Oscar de la Renta dress blooming too much?

Checkmate: pastel (Batsheva), low heels, marigolds, bad hair day?  Must be a nightmare dream scene

Checkmate: pastel (Batsheva), low heels, marigolds, bad hair day?  Must be a nightmare dream scene

Checkmate: pastel (Batsheva), low heels, marigolds, bad hair day? Must be a nightmare dream scene

Risky venture: but the shoulder pads (Gaultier outfit) are way too 80s

Risky venture: but the shoulder pads (Gaultier outfit) are way too 80s

Risky venture: but the shoulder pads (Gaultier outfit) are way too 80s

I remember I was in LA for the Oscars and Barneys demanded that Barneys fly the Swarovski-buckle silver Manolos to my hotel room from New York. I had Carrie’s Apple laptop.

I had her job as a dating columnist. I’d be damned if I didn’t own her shoes too.

So it would be an understatement to say I’m excited about the reboot, which will air on Sky.

Photos show that Carrie’s clothing is more theatrical than ever. In charge of the wardrobe are Molly Rogers and Danny Santiago, protégés of the legendary Patricia Field, who masterminded the wardrobe for all six SATC seasons and the following two films.

They’ve injected some new labels that weren’t even born last time, such as eco-brand Gabriela Hearst.

Still, there’s a cheerful nod to the original, with Carrie re-wearing old favorites like her blue Manolos — which look as familiar to me as my own face.

And of course she still has that purple baguette with her.

But I wonder what millennials and Generation Zs, who can’t even get up the real estate ladder, let alone buy bags full of designer items, will make it all.

I hope they’ll be thankful that we older women have charted a trail not only for battles with stilettos or multiple crossbody bags, but also for friendship.

To be there for each other through thick and, in Carrie’s case, very thin indeed.

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