The O.C. wasn’t just iconic for the angsty teenage drama that unfolded on screen. The outfits sparked countless trends and inspired many a 13-year-old girl’s wardrobes. The show officially premiered 15 years ago, so in the spirit of the milestone anniversary, Page Six interviewed season one’s costume designer, Alexandra Welker, to get the scoop on the looks.
“We started with a little tiny budget, which was a challenge because everything had to look super high-end,” Welker told Page Six. “There was absolutely no borrowing [from brands] involved either because nobody had ever heard of us, so they were very leery of loaning anything.”
Welker went on to make a revelation: Mischa Barton’s character, Marissa Cooper, didn’t even have real designer bags. “I’ll be honest: Those Chanel bags that she carried, those weren’t something I could have on my budget,” Welker told Page Six. “But I found this amazing store in downtown L.A. that sold the best-looking fakes I’d ever seen! So we used some really, really good knockoffs.” Have we been living a lie this whole time? Turns out you didn’t actually have to beg your parents to buy you a Chanel bag—you could have gotten a Cooper-approved knockoff.