Ever wonder what goes on inside super stylist Patricia Field's bright red head? Lucky for us, she and I had a convo at the Mercedes-Benz Star Lounge about her approach to styling, the Sex and the City movie, Cashmere Mafia and where she does the shopping for all the clothes we know and love. I got an exclusive interview with her at Fashion Week; she spoke with ease and gave Fab many minutes of her time. Thanks Patricia! On to the goods . . .
It looks like the wardrobe for the Sex and the City movie is more dramatic versus the show? Can you explain how you approached the movie wardrobe?
I approached the movie with the idea that five years has passed since we last saw these girls in action. And we know these girls quite well so you have to come through with a truthful concept. You can’t just be, “Oh, let’s do this and let’s do that” because our audience knows these girls very well and you’re not going to put something out there that they’re not going to believe. Five years have passed, what has happened to these women in five years? There are some changes but it’s not a new person.
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So are they dressing older, would you say?
Some are, yes. And some are not. One might be dressing older, one might be dressing richer. There’s always a blend of old and new because they don’t change. Of course the pieces are different, but it’s the person behind the piece. She still wears a lot of vintage . . .
Tell me about mixing old and new, vintage and designer?
I love this dress (the white one with red flowers) for Carrie. it’s not designed by any name. It’s very much what all the designers are doing now — Lanvin, Balenciaga — the balloon. I found this gorgeous dress and I was like, “She needs to wear that dress.” She knows what the designers are doing today and she could wear the designer dress but not everybody can wear that dress because there’s only one.
Where did you find that dress?
In the collection of one of my assistants. There’s no label, it’s nobody major. That would be a dress you would find in a department store in the late ‘50s in the dress department, a nice department store, Lord & Taylor. But not designer designer — the dress department.
By the way Saks has a really good dress department up on the ninth floor.
What is it like working with these women? How much do you collaborate with them on their outfits
I always collaborate with them because the actor is creating this character and wearing these clothes so the collaboration is a huge part of the job.
So if they don’t feel comfortable in something? . . .
I would never insist on anybody wear something they were uncomfortable in. If you don’t feel that this is right for you, that’s not the way you achieve anything.
What are your favorite accessories and what is your signature Patricia Field touch?
My touch is mixing all the variables in a certain way — that’s my signature.
I’ve noticed you’ve been using a lot of belts.
I have been using a lot of belts now, and always have. I like the waist and the sexiness a belt creates. If you put a belt on the waist it makes you longer. The whole hip thing makes you shorter, makes you look squatty. If you put a belt up high you look taller and thinner.
What about jewelry?
It’s just whatever I look at and say it’s pretty. (Amen to that!)
Where do you find most of the clothes?
I find them everywhere, all around the world, in showrooms. I just call up people or people call me and they want to see their things. But it’s not only designer, it’s thrift store, it’s shopping. It’s getting a lot of clothes and putting together pretty outfits.
What was your approach with Cashmere Mafia?
I tried to watch it but it wasn’t on Wednesday night. I haven’t seen it yet! The basis is the same, you use logic and rational thinking but it’s a different project and different people. Lucy Liu is really fun to work with, she’s smart, she knows what time it is. Each experience is always different. It’s very exciting and that’s why I love it.