THE INSIDER: PATRICIA FIELD
"Metallics are like leopard print - they're neutral, they go with everything!"
Patricia Field owns a boutique on Bowery and designs a shoe collection for Payless, but you probably know her for something else - dressing Carrie, Charlotte, Samantha, and Miranda on Sex and the City.
As the movie and the latest Payless collection launch this week, Patricia Field tells all.
Your new Payless shoes are very shiny...
I love metallics because they're neutral and go with everything. It’s disguised as a novelty, but really, it’s a classic. To me, it’s like leopard print, it’s classic, it never goes away.
Which shoe is your favorite?
I’m always wearing the pump. You put it on with jeans, you go out, you’re dressed… and they're comfortable! Because once you put on a shoe and it kills you, that shoe has a new home and that’s in your closet.
Does travel inspire your work?
My newest collection of boots for Fall were very inspired by Tokyo. In Tokyo, the girls wear shorts with legwear underneath them, and boots. It’s amazing! And I just came back from Australia… I think Australia is like America’s younger sister. It’s got the same parentage, but it’s so much more laid back.
How does having a boutique influence your work as a stylist?
I never think of myself as a designer. I went to work for a department store – I was always in it for the business… what I wanted was to be independent… you know, I meet designers and their heads are in the clouds! My first thought is the sale… the truth is in retail, the customer either puts the money on the counter, or not. That keeps you real. There’s room for a lot of fluff in high fashion ads and styling and movie making but it’s all bullshit. The truth is in the sale.
Do you think you empowered women with your Sex and the City outfits?
I always felt powerful. I didn’t think I couldn’t stand up to anyone, it's just the way I was raised. So I injected that power into those girls. They were free to express themselves through clothes. In that way, a woman is freer than a man! Whatever your strength is, use it. Why not use everything you have to forge your life? So dressing the Sex and the City cast came natural to me, in that way.
Do you regret any wardrobe choices on the girls?
Sure, some things I love, and then I see it later on TV and I’m like, Oh no!
More SATC dish!
Sarah had a vintage studded belt she really liked, she named it Roger… and she would always say, "Pat, get me Roger!" And I was like, "Carrie Bradshaw can’t wear the same belt with every outfit!" But I think belts are going to keep being very big. I like what a belt does to the shape of a woman. It’s like, okay girls, pull it in!
This story was published on May 29, 2008.