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01/14/2013 at 06:00 PM ET

Carrie Diaries
Warner Bros.

A few things to know about the CW’s new Sex and the City prequel The Carrie Diaries: It’s set in Connecticut and New York City, it stars the adorable AnnaSophia Robb (left) as young Carrie Bradshaw and it takes place in the 1980s — an awesomely bad time for fashion.

But costume designer Eric Daman saw the show’s tricky time period as a reason to have fun with clothing — not a reason to fret.

“I looked immediately to those high school classics, and the Molly Ringwald type of girl,” Daman, formerly the costume designer on Gossip Girl, tells PEOPLE. “It’s definitely a refined ’80s look … giving those trends a contemporary spin while still giving a nod to the Carrie of Sex and the City.”

Daman says he’s lucky that the ’80s are having a bit of a revival in the fashion world — labels like Cardigan and Marc by Marc Jacobs have given him plenty to work with. Having an enthusiastic starlet to work with is helpful, too.

“AnnaSophia is up for anything — she came in really wide-eyed,” Daman says. “She’s a true delight, and I don’t think they could’ve cast anyone better to fill those Manolos.”

We’ll first meet young Carrie at high school in small-town Connecticut, where she dresses to her surroundings. “Her Connecticut look is a bit quieter, has a dustier palette,” Daman says. But once she finds herself interning in New York City, “the more fashion she’s going to explore,” he promises.

And just like in Sex and the City, there will be signature pieces that our heroine wears time and time again.

“There’s a little ‘C’ initial pendant by Alex Woo that’s the prelude to the famous Sex and the City ‘Carrie’ nameplate necklace,’” Daman says. “It’s important to get those little things in there, and establish a connection to the original without beating people over the head with it. We’ve kept it nuanced enough to feel fresh.”

To keep fans posted on major fashion moments throughout the series, Daman plans to Tweet and blog about Robb’s most notable looks, so be sure to follow him online. And catch The Carrie Diaries on Monday at 8 p.m. ET on the CW. Tell us: Are you planning to watch the show? 

–Kate Hogan

PHOTOS: SEE STARS ALL DRESSED UP FOR TV IN ‘LIGHTS! CAMERA! FASHION!’

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