Making her return to series TV and HBO, Sarah Jessica Parker said her outfits will not be one of the stars of Divorce, as they had been in her longrunning Sex and the City. 

“Early on was this desire on my part… I really wanted to think about 70’s cinema and the look of cinema of the 70’s,”  Parker told TCA. “Pretty much everything Frances wears is used…from vintage or thrift shops along the Northeast Corridor. This was a very specific idea about somebody who has an aesthetic that will be revealed over the season.” Costumes for the new series are being overseen by Arjun Bhasin, she said.

“She has to dress,” Parker said of her character Frances. “It’s required by law when you walk into a place of work to be dressed. [But] it’s not another character.” Clothing is part of  “the whole person in a much more subtle way. You see it in everything: in Thomas [Haden Church]’s character, in the children’s clothing. The family is isolated in a period without it being a period piece. We thought a lot about that – a lot.”

Not talked about a lot, however, was trying to make Frances different from Carrie Bradshaw, the SITC character with whom Parker is so closely identified.

“This story is different,” Parker said. “I was always interested in the story of marriage. This automatically is different.

“The only time we were really cognizant of distinction was when we started talking about the wardrobe and understanding the obvious connection between a skeleton and clothing,” she said. “But Frances is so much her own person, from the moment I read the pilot. She’s so distinct from, not only Carrie, but any other character I had ever played.”

Returning to series TV was not unlike returning to any other longtime pursuit after time away. She said she was quickly reminded “how much I love television. I love the process, the schedule, the speed, the urgency, how important every detail is, how little time you have to sort it out and try to get it right. It didn’t take long to feel natural again, and very much where I wanted to be with these people in particular.”

Asked what is the most personal thing they have infused into the show, EP Paul Simms said despite the Divorce title, the show is in a bigger way about marriage. He joked, “that is all I’m going to say in case my wife reads it,” adding that he is happily married. Ditto Sharon Horgan, who wrote the pilot, who joked her husband visibly paled when he saw the episode.

After a decade-long break, Parker is returning to the HBO lineup with the new single-camera comedy series that follows Frances, a woman who suddenly begins to reassess her life and her marriage, and finds that making a clean break and a fresh start is harder than she thought. Church stars as Robert, Frances’ husband, who is struggling to cope with the failing marriage. Written by writer-actress Horgan, Divorce was sold to HBO with Parker attached, in her first major TV acting commitment since Sex And The City.
Divorce premieres Sunday, October 9 at 10 PM ET/PT.