Sarah Jessica Parker has dusted off her Manolo Blahniks to reprise the role of NYC It Girl Carrie Bradshaw. Alison Jones reports.
For so many years it looked like it would never happen. That the cinematic stars would never align and the fans clamouring for a film follow-up were doomed to disappointment.
But then, suddenly, a miracle happened - or at least those voices predicting a box office bonanza prevailed - and the movie world prepared itself for the return of one its most iconic dressers.
No, not Indiana Jones. The man in the hat with the bullwhip accessory is so last week! Carrie and her Sex And The City crew have dusted off their Choos, Manolo-d up and returned to take Manhattan, and the rest of the world, by storm.
They are older, hopefully a little wiser, but no less glamorous for their four years out of the spotlight.
Sarah Jessica Parker, the unofficial leader of the fash pack, says: "Carrie's much more of an adult. She has a very successful relationship with a man she has worked very hard at being with (Big aka John James Preston, played by Chris Noth).
"She has found extraordinary success in her working life. She has produced two more books. The subject matter is somewhat the same - men and women and sexual politics and obviously it's informed by her own age. I think she's still very satisfied with her relationships with her women friends but everybody is in a different place. There is family and children and husbands and careers.
"I think she's living a life that is extremely satisfying for her - it's a different life than the one she thought she might have as a 20-year-old. Then something very unexpected happens and it's earth shattering and what we see about Carrie is that she's definitely not the same person she was at 27."
When the series began it was all about single girls who were still bed-hopping and hoping at an age when - certainly in Charlotte's case, if not in the insatiable Samantha's - they expected to have settled down.
They were the Darwins of dating. Men were picked up, scrutinised in an appropriate social setting, labelled, then, sometimes reluctantly, sometimes hastily, put back under the rock from which they crawled.
By the end of the six-year series, all of them had found "keepers". WASP Charlotte wed her Jewish divorce lawyer, career-minded Miranda married her baby-father barman Steve, Samantha had battled cancer and her phobia of commitment to go steady with toy boy Smith while Carrie and her on-again-off-again love, Big, appeared to be on for good.
"As you get older people become more important in your lives, the frivolity and whims; they're marginalised because you're grown up," says SJP, who is 43. "It's less about what is a hot club."
What remains a constant is their devotion to clothes, which became as integral a part of the series as the sexual adventures - even if we constantly questioned how Carrie could afford to stuff her closet full of couture labels on a one-column-a-week salary.
"We begged Pat Field (the television show's legendary costume designer who also worked on The Devil Wear's Prada) to do the movie," says Sarah, who is also one of its producers. "She's a remarkable person. Don't be fooled by the red hair, she's no Hostess Twinkie. Her work on the show was as important as the storytelling.
"I learnt a lot from her - that all rules should be thrown out of the window. By doing that you take great risks and people make fun of certain things. The hits are enormous and the misses are comical. This idea that I'm some kind of fashion icon is, in large part, due to Pat."
Some of Carrie's flair does, undeniably, seem to have rubbed off on SJP. An unconventional beauty (remember her as the tomboyish firecracker Rusty in Footloose?), at 5ft 4in she is on the short side for elegance, yet is frequently saluted as one of Hollywood's most stylish stars.
"Here's the thing. I love shopping, on the rare occasions I get to do it it's a real treat. I don't get the same euphoric high (as Carrie). I tend to feel guilty afterwards and then return stuff," she admits. "But I have a child and so any free time I have, if I spent that running all the way uptown to a clothing store, I'd just feel crappy about it. It doesn't mean that I have any less affection; I just don't have that kind of disposable time."
In the early years of the show, thanks to its confessional nature and sexual openness, as well as Carrie's habit of confiding her thoughts to camera, people assumed SJP was as sexually curious (in the research-for-an-article sense) as her character. Consequently the actress, who has been married to fellow thesp Matthew Broderick for 11 years, found fans were frequently over-sharing.
"They would be very frank and candid and tell me very personal and intimate details of their lives. Men and women.
"It's not in my nature to be that way - of all the women I am the least candid and forthright about that kind of thing.
"I think it is the nature of television, it creates an intimacy very quickly for people. It's in their homes. I knew that this show was connecting with an audience.
"But it was odd because I'm not good counsel. I wouldn't ever. Whether it's tips on motherhood or being a wife or a daughter, or being a therapist of any kind - it'd be fraudulent. I have no answers!
"I was always touched by it but it's stunning when you hear a stranger's intimate, really graphic stories and it could be very graphic."
In spite of all the rumours of strained relationships between SJP and Kim Cattrall being the reason why the movie did not get off the ground immediately after the series ended, the on-screen friendship of the four has always remained convincing. The men may have come and gone (frequently and literally, especially in Samantha's case) but this stylish sorority were, as Charlotte suggested in one episode, each others' soulmates.
It is an idea of life-long loyalty that Sarah can definitely get on board with.
"Most of my friends have been my friends for 15, 20 some of them 30 years. I am one of eight children so a lot of my siblings are my friends. They are everything to me and I hope I'm the kind of friend to them that they are to me."