By Daniel G. Hall
Patricia Field is a native New Yorker and one of fashion’s greatest visionaries. She is an Academy Award-nominated, Emmy Award-winning film and television costume designer, as well as a boutique owner with her own clothing label. Patricia received critical praise and raised the standards for the world of television glamour when she costumed “Sex and the City,” the most fashionable show in TV history. And, earlier this year, she was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential Fashion Icons of All Time. She is a true pioneer who has brought forth a new style of dressing to American women, and has stimulated an entire fashion movement throughout the world.
Patricia began her career at age 24 with the opening of her Greenwich Village boutique. For more than 40 years, this downtown institution has become an internationally known favorite of celebrities, “scenesters” and fashionistas, a defining factor in the urban style of New York’s glittery nightlife. She has helped to launch the careers of many innovative young (and now famous) designers as well as hair, make-up and fashion stylists.
During Fashion Week in New York City earlier this fall, BELLA co-hosted Patricia’s “California in NYC” fashion week party. We spoke exclusively with one of our city’s greatest fashion influencers.
Which shows did you style at fall fashion week?
I did two presentations that were two opposite extremes. One was what I call an online fashion clearinghouse website. I did that at the mall at Lincoln Center. It was young and sporty. Then the second part of day, I did this luxurious fur collection up in a penthouse on 57th and 5th.
What inspires you?
Living, learning and love.
You have been successful in this business for so long; what was the best advice you ever received?
Pay your bills on time.
What advice would you give to up and coming stylists?
Follow your heart [in] whatever it is you want to do. Make sure that’s really what you want. Don’t kid yourself and you’ll be great at it. Whatever you do, if you love it, you’re going to be good at it.
BELLA’s tagline is “Beauty as Defined by You.” How do you define beauty?
Beauty comes from inside of a person, from their heart and soul. Beauty is how you are. Beauty is not if your nose is perfect, or if you’re the right height, or whatever. Those are definitions from the outside world. Beauty comes from within. If you’re happy, if you exude happiness, then that’s beautiful.
You’re iconic in New York City, what inspired you to venture off into California style?
I’ve been in business many years and I’ve had many California designers in my shops through the years. It’s nothing new. But I wanted to make a celebration for the California designers during fashion week because after we lost the Fashion Night Out, there was kind of a vacuum. I thought, let’s have a party for all our California designers for New York’s fashion week.
What do you want the BELLA readers to know about you?
I love to celebrate, to be with people and also put everybody to work and have a good time.
The Patricia Field boutique is now located at 306 Bowery in the NOHO section of Manhattan.