Michelle Kleinsak
January 16, 2004 AT 05:00 AM EST

With style addicts crying into their cosmos at the impending end of ”Sex and the City,” what show is worthy of accepting its sartorial baton? Early bets were on ”SATC” costume designer Patricia Field’s latest project, ”Hope & Faith,” but Fox’s ”The O.C.” seems more likely to become the younger, brattier heir to Carrie and Co.’s trendsetting legacy. (The So-Cal show featured Ugg boots and micro-minis early on; both became ubiquitous faster than you could say ”meet me in the pool house.”) ”’Sex and the City’ has been so amazing in terms of making viewers think about fashion,” says ”O.C.” costume designer Alexandra Welker. ”We like to think that ‘The O.C.’ is having that kind of impact as well.” Welker plans to bring fashion favorites like Matthew Williamson and Rock & Republic (as well as up-and-comers like Hudson velvet pants and automotive-inspired purses from Kim White) to the hit series. And like ”SATC” and its nameplate necklaces, the show has already performed its first bit of fashion resuscitation with the Original Penguin label. The vintage sportswear logo — formerly associated with golf tournaments and the squarest of celebs (think Arnold Palmer) has been spotted on thinking-girl heartthrobs like Jason Schwartzman as well as ”The O.C.”’s Seth (Adam Brody). It may not be a flower pin, but it’s a start.

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