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‘And Just Like That …’ Episode 11 Fashion Recap: Samantha’s Return

This article contains spoilers for Episode 11 of the second season of “And Just Like That …”

After 11 episodes of ball gowns and bucket hats, questionable Met Gala looks and so much plaid, Season 2 of “And Just Like That …” has come to an end.

In the season’s finale, Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) hosts a soiree to say goodbye to her apartment. Most of her closest friends are there, except for Samantha Jones (Kim Cattrall), the “Sex and the City” fan favorite who finally appeared in a 75-second scene, to explain why she could not attend the party. In the episode, which forces reckonings between many of the show’s romantic pairings, Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) wonders whether her relationship with Che Diaz (Sara Ramirez) was “a good train wreck” or simply a train wreck.

This season, members of the Styles desk often asked similar questions about the show’s costumes, and ahead of the final episode, gathered to discuss Carrie’s kitten, Samantha’s return and whether the show’s ostentatious looks paid off.

Katie Van Syckle The cat’s name is Shoe!

Jeremy Allen As predicted, the cat was a harbinger of empty Gramercy Park hallways to come. And I maintain that Shoe might very well be spelled Chou, as in Choupette.

Vanessa Friedman Shoe — or Chou — is very satisfying as a pet name. Also predictable. Maybe as predictable as the news that “And Just Like That …” had been renewed for a third season.

Maybe that is why it was hard for me not to watch it and see the whole thing as a turning point: Carrie is staying in her new apartment no matter what, and it seems all the characters have finally settled into a certain visual consistency, as displayed by outfits during the last supper.

It was as if, maybe, they had finally reached a new stage.

Louis Lucero II I see what you mean about the visual consistency on display during the last supper, but it also felt like an elevation of each character’s personal style.

VF I agree. Miranda seems to have finally found an aesthetic balance, ironically in an asymmetric caped dress, the way she has finally found a balance with her exes. Ditto Seema in a silver lurex halter that seems to reflect her new willingness to take a relationship risk; ditto Nya in her prints.

Even Carrie, whose accessory sleeves I still find a bizarre fashion statement (if you buy a dress with no sleeves, it is because you want a dress with no sleeves), looked chic in her silver and black checkerboard dress, rather than merely kooky. I consider graduating from kooky a step forward.

Callie Holtermann Right, each look offered a clue to where that character was headed next. Miranda, in her garnet dress, seamlessly transitioned into an appearance on BBC. It was reasonable and sophisticated Miranda — not green bucket hat Miranda covered in seaweed at the beginning of the season.

LL The men, too, seemed to be leaning into type. Giuseppe’s band collar beneath a rumpled chambray jacket seemed note-perfect for a poet at a dinner party. And in a double-breasted suit and knotted scarf, Seema’s lover Ravi looked just as you would expect a movie star haggling over permission to shoot in front of the Great Sphinx to look. (Though, perhaps not in this century.)

CH The dinner outfits were fabulous, but many viewers may be focused on the attire of the one character who didn’t make it: Samantha.

When she calls Carrie, she appears in a bright red dress layered under a metallic jacket. Even though they are separated by an ocean, the two women were both carrying Fendi bags.

LL After weeks of hype for this season-finale cameo by Kim Cattrall, I’m not sure the appearance was worth it.

VF That whole Samantha moment looked like a Band-Aid to me.

LL Band-Aid is right. Much was made of Ms. Cattrall’s eagerness to be dressed by the original “Sex and the City” costume designer, Patricia Field. But of what little we could see of Samantha in the back of that car, nothing felt particularly fresh.

JA The fact that Samantha’s look was, to Louis’s point, relatively understated almost feels like even more of a power play.

CH In the episode, Miranda asked Che whether their relationship was “a good train wreck” or just a train wreck. We’ve certainly wondered the same thing about the costumes in this series.

LL For a season that began with Charlotte’s genuinely monstrous Met Gala look and ended with Carrie’s mod checkerboard skirt, I’m notching it up as a win.

VF That’s a good way to put it. Though whatever kind of train wreck it was — sometimes amusing, sometimes irritating — I do think it’s time, as Miranda said, that it takes us in a new direction.

JA I’ve got to say, I was along for the ride, as bumpy as it was from time to time. There was always something startling and shiny to see out the window.

Vanessa Friedman Katie Van Syckle, Louis Lucero II Jeremy Allen and Callie Holtermann contributed reporting.

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