Patricia Field Has All the time Trusted in Her Vision

After I first visited Latest York City, I used to be in awe of its fashion. There have been touches of my native Mediterranean culture interwoven with past eras just like the minimalist ’90s and glittery aughts, there have been thrifted discoveries alongside high-end pieces, and yet the garments never appeared to overcome the wearer. As a substitute, the outfits and accessories existed in-sync with their owners, as if silently and powerfully expressing their energy.

Patricia Field’s work has an analogous effect. The renowned costume designer and Latest Yorker, who has defined style onscreen for many years, has never been one to decorate herself — nor her characters — for fleeting trends. If anything, she has began trends through her work on pop-culture hits reminiscent of Sex and the City, The Devil Wears Prada, Younger, and Emily in Paris. Could you imagine Carrie Bradshaw without her legendary Manolo Blahniks or signature white tutu, and even Andy Sachs without those Chanel boots?

In her memoir, Pat within the City, Field, now 82, transports readers through the varied eras of Latest York City, from the Chanel-influenced fashion of the ’50s to the grunge downtown attire of the electrical ’80s. Through the evolution and recycling of fashion trends, Field was never swayed to follow a formula; as she writes, her “real inspiration is timelessness and quality” which her award-winning work accurately showcases.

Patricia Field Pat within the City: My Lifetime of Fashion, Style, and Breaking All of the Rules

Patricia Field Pat within the City: My Lifetime of Fashion, Style, and Breaking All of the Rules

Credit: Harper Collins

Fashion, like all types of art, is inherently political—and Field understood that together with her subtle acts of revolt. Prior to Sex and the City, Field recalls within the book, pantyhose were a necessity for ladies, but she shattered that rule with the leading women’s wardrobe. Even the choice for Miranda Priestly’s signature white hair in The Devil Wear’s Prada got here with debate. Though Pat within the City will entertain audiences conversant in Field’s repertoire by highlighting the inspiration behind her artistic decisions, the memoir also unpacks how her radical vision paved the best way for contemporary fashion.

Patricia Field has a talent for not only keeping her finger on the heartbeat of latest fashion, but additionally pushing boundaries of individuality and storytelling. As an artist, designer, and beloved mentor, Field’s memoir chronicles all the things from love, passion, culture, and the phenomenon that happens when all three intersect with art.

Here, the icon speaks to ELLE.com about her relationship with Latest York City, dressing the ladies of Sex and the City, and her advice for the following generation.

How has your cultural background shaped your identity and artistic expression?

My grandmother had rather a lot to do with my young years and my aunts as well. I at all times considered myself as Greek, and I knew I used to be Greek through them. My dad was Armenian and unfortunately passed away once I was about seven, so I’ve never really had as much of a probability to soak up the Armenian culture.

I even have a bit of social life in Athens. I knew some designers in Greece; what I actually liked the thought of was to make use of them because primary, people don’t see that. Number two, their uniqueness. No person had it, no costume designer used them, but I knew them. They were pleased that I used them and I used to be pleased to because I knew my audience had never seen these pieces before. They were unique and inventive without following trends like jeans and sweatshirts.

While writing about your life, you concurrently write an ode to the past eras of Latest York City and chronicle gentrification’s impact on the downtown art scene. Did your writing bring up any emotions concerning the now lost features of Latest York?

Having been born and bred in Latest York City—each Manhattan after which my family moved to Whitestone Queens—I’m a Latest Yorker from day one. I don’t follow these Latest York City social trends. I even have my very own relationship with Latest York City. It’s mine. It’s a private relationship having been born here, schooled all over college. After I hear people say this or that about Latest York City, sometimes I’m like, ‘Oh, really, they think that about their city?’ I never really [did], whether it’s good or bad, but I never really thought I had my very own description and feelings about my city.

patricia field

With Andre Leon Talley on the House of Xtravaganza ball.

photo by ©Tina Paul 1988

One thing that surprised me out of your memoir was how executives desired to make Samantha Jones dress in stereotypical attire for a sexual woman, and a few were even against Miranda Priestley’s hair being white. How did you get to a spot of trust in your vision for these characters?

I grew up secure. I used to be never an insecure person. Perhaps as of late I’m getting a bit of insecure, but that’s just due to years, but I never let it limit me. For instance, once I first met Darren Star [creator of Sex and the City], which I credit Sarah Jessica for because she got here down and commenced to satisfy me because they weren’t pleased with the unique pilot. I had experience in film and TV before Sex and the City, and I knew I might be a bit of bit radical. After I first met Darren, I brought him this book on Bettie Page. I said to him, ‘Bettie Page, she’s like a pin-up girl…Don’t take this literally, just understand from this, my spirit. I’m not gonna dress these girls like pin-up girls, but my spirit goes to be there, and that may show up within the characters’ personalities.’

patricia field, meryl streep

With Meryl Streep on the set of The Devil Wears Prada.

©20thCentFox/Courtesy Everett Collection

If there was one project you’ve worked on previously that you prefer to to return to, which one wouldn’t it be?

That’s a tough one to reply just because I like recent experiences. In fact, Sex and the City was highly regarded and Devil Wears Prada was, too. But returning? I don’t know, it’s an excellent query. When it got here to the Sex and the City reboot I used to be already committed to Emily in Paris.

However, I just finished the costume designing for Kim Cattrall, who I even have a relationship with, who’s within the TV series, Glamorous. I like the thought of a recent challenge although I do know Kim thoroughly. I do know what she likes, and I do know dress her; I could do it with my eyes closed. I’d say I like a recent project versus going back to 1.

Now that you just aren’t any longer working on Emily in Paris, is there a probability of you joining And Just Like That because the costume designer?

Well, I used to be called while I used to be doing Emily in Paris for the reboot. But I used to be committed to Emily in Paris on the time. They were going to begin prepping and there was a conflict of time schedule, but I suggested my longtime colleague and excellent friend, Molly Rogers, who worked on the unique series with me, so she’s doing it.

patricia field

With Sex and the City star Sarah Jessica Parker.

photo by ©Tina Paul 2009

What message do you hope younger generations will take away out of your memoir?

I hope younger generations find the humor within the book, absorb and take a bit of little bit of that humor on and never be dry because I’m not a dry one. Perhaps there shall be some high points for a younger generation after they read it, but they’ve their life. It’s only to encourage them, not for them to repeat me, but to seek out their very own talent, their very own ability, and make it grow like a lovely sunflower.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

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