Friday 12 October 2012

Digital Fashion Week: Patricia Field - EXCLUSIVE interview with the legendary SATC stylist

When people ask me ‘Are you a Sex and the City fan?’, I roll my eyes at them!

I mean come on… is this even a question when one glance at my exploding technicolor wardrobe and 100+pairs of shoes says it all?? How could a girl with so many eclectic outfits, an obsession with sky high heels - and a mop of curly hair a la Carrie Bradshaw - not be a SATC fan? Fanatic more likely!

But although Carrie Bradshaw and myself share a few obsessions (not with Mr. Big though!), the main reason I love watching SATC again and again is the fashion and this means one thing: stylist extraordinaire Patricia Field!

Legendary in the way she mixes and matches the unexpected and for creating seemingly effortless yet iconic looks, Patricia’s styling is something any aspiring stylist like myself would love to achieve. In many ways, she is one of the reasons I got into styling and had the confidence to wear whatever I want regardless of what others thought of it.

SATC stylist Pat Field will be at Digital Fashion Week in Singapore
Patricia Field is responsible for so many iconic looks in film and TV which are still talked about...

So when I was told that the woman herself is going to be one of the guests for the upcoming Digital Fashion Week in Singapore, I jumped for joy! Seriously, how many times do you get to meet someone who is basically royalty in your eyes?

Patricia will be giving a LIVE interview on Google+ hangout with my co-host Yvette King during DFW but I had many questions to ask her and she was gracious enough to take some time out her busy schedule and answer them below.

Now there is one more question to ask her when we meet in a couple of weeks… Can I be your assistant please????????

Carrie Bradshaw's stylist is in Singapore
Perhaps the most character Patricia is famous for styling is Sarah Jessica Parker's
Carrie Bradshaw in SATC! Her wardrobe is every fashionista's dream!!!!!
A great example of Patricia's lasting influence is this iconic look
which she created for the opening credits of the SATC  series!

DFW Singapore special guest Pat Field worked on Devil Wears Prada
Her work on The Devil Wears Prada has got her an Oscar nomination!!! Seen here on the
set of the movie with Meryl Streep

Pat Field (DFW guest) styled Confessions of a Shopoholic
Another fashion-obsesses character is Rebecca from Confessions of
a Shopaholic movie. Love those OTT tutus!!!!

Bonjour Singapore: Who or what inspires your styling?

Patricia Field: My styling is inspired by the individual situation at hand. That means the person I am styling their personality, their physical characteristics, and their spirit. I like to tell a story in my styling. It is therefore important to know as much as I can about the person that I am styling. The rest is all in my head.

What’s the best and worst thing about being a stylist?

Best: Creating beauty is the best thing about styling. It is a wonderful way to have a career.
Worst: I have had no serious negative experiences that I can report regarding styling.

Pat Field and SATC
Some of Patricia's memorable looks where the dresses (especially Carrie's Vivienne
Westwood wedding dress) which featured in the first SATC movie.

Through styling TV series and movies – especially Sex and the City – you have created some iconic and memorable looks. Do you rely on your instinct for that or is there any logic behind it?

Styling TV series and movies I always rely on the information accumulated in my brain as well as, my instinct for what looks beautiful and tells a story about the individual who I am working with. Behind every fictional character there is a real person. I work with the actor or actress to create that character. One of my formulas in achieving this is to understand what the actor and character have in common and try to stay within those common denominators.

What was your most favourite look to put together in any of the movies/series?

It is difficult to select a most favorite look as I have put together thousands of looks and was mainly happy with the results. I do know that the Versace gown worn by Carrie in the last episode of Sex and The City was definitely a favorite of the audience. Just the other day I was in Copenhagen and someone asked me about this particular look which was a pale green couture gown designed by Versace that Carrie wore the night that she got stood up by Barishnikov. It was apparent that this costume made a big impression as years had passed and there were still discussions.

THAT Versace dress!!! What a moment it was...

Who’s your favourite designer to work with?

Asking who my favorite designer to work with is like asking a child which is his favorite ice cream sundae. I have worked with many designers, young and old, big and small. Many of them are personal friends and all are professional acquaintances. I love working with local favorites who make one of a kind pieces and work with me on a close and specific level. For example, in the Sex and The City movie number two Samantha wore a red dress with studded shoulders at a karaoke bar when she and the other three gals stood up and performed “I am Woman”. This dress was designed by the Blonds, a New York one of a kind design team. I was out on evening and one of the two designers was wearing this dress and I requested it for Samantha for that scene. As it was the only one and the size was too small, the designer removed the one of a kind shoulder treatment from the original dress and recreated a second using the original shoulders.

Samantha's red dress by the Blonds, which caught Patricia's eye and got the designers
to recreate it for Kim Cattrall using the same one-of-a-kind shoulder treatment from the
original. Talk about dedication!!!!

You stock some emerging designers (one of them from Singapore) at your boutique in NY. How important is it for you to support emerging talent?

I stock emerging designers and it is very important for me to represent them in my New York boutique. It is very important because aside from showcasing young designers, I can offer my clients one of a kind creations at affordable prices by up and coming young designers. All women love to be the only one who owns a piece. In this way everyone is happy. In addition, it is important for me to support emerging talent because on a personal level I derive great inspiration from young energetic designers who create beauty.

Patricia Field's boutique New York
Patricia Field's boutique in New York...

You have played a big role in a fashion movement where style rules are discarded and women dress for themselves instead of trying to appeal to men and the public in general. Do you believe this is how women should dress and why?

I believe women should dress as the individual that they are. Dressing in style is a way of communicating to others who you are, what your position is, and what you have to say. This is the definition of style and I believe that every woman is unique and can express their uniqueness in how they put themselves together.

Louboutin, Jimmy Choo or Manolo?

Manolo, the most classic, enduring, and best constructed.

The iconic Manolo Blahnik 'Something Blue' pumps which were sewn into the storyline
of SATC first movie. Just say I do!!!!!!

What are the three things which every woman should have in her closet?

As all women are not the same it is impossible to state the three things that apply to every woman. I would like to answer this question but I have no way to answer this because I have no way to answer with any intelligence.

What should a woman invest in the most: shoes, bags or clothes and why?

I don’t believe investment in clothing should be valued categorically by items. For example, you may find a one thousand dollar bag at a sample sale or a thrift shop, etc and it may cost one hundred. For me it’s about finding the best value for what you select and to make your selections specific to your wardrobe. By this I mean, pieces that will coordinate in many different ways, creating a variety of looks with the clothing that already exists in your closet.

Anne Hathaway, Pat Field, Devil Wears Prada
More looks for The Devil Wears Prada, this time for Anne Hathaway's character.

Singapore DFW guest Pat Field styled Ugly Betty
And... Ugly Betty!!!! Who would have thought geek would look so chic (and

Is there such a thing as age-appropriate dressing or can you rock anything at any age?

Age appropriate dressing is a valid idea but the idea of age is not necessarily measured in years. An individual who is young in heart and spirit will most likely be young in body and energy. It is the spirit and the energy that sells the outfit.

Red carpet events these days are mostly risk-free and stars are sticking to a safe formula when dressing up. How do you feel about that? Is there anyone whom you think is still pushing the envelope?

Red carpet events are generally conservative and formula. Once in a while when someone pushes the envelope - for example Cher - there is always a backlash. I find this disturbing and provincial because the very people who are the least creative pass judgment on the ones who are the most creative.

Cher is not one to shy away from taking red carpet risks, seen here
at the Golden Globes awards in a stunning velvet gown!!!

What’s the most fashionable city you’ve been to and why?

As of late, I find Shanghai very fashionable. There is an optimistic energy and excitement in the air and the women are definitely having fun with fashion.

Have you been to Singapore before? What are you looking forward to most on your trip?

As this is my first trip to Singapore I am very excited to come. I have been to many places in East Asia but Singapore has eluded me up to this point. I am looking forward to a brand new experience as well as, meeting and working with people from another city, another culture and in another part of the world. Travel and work projects are exciting as they are informative, and educational.

For all updates on when Patrica arrives in Singapore, follow DFW on facebook and check their website. Patricia Field will be giving LIVE interview on Google+ hangout on Friday the 20th Oct. 2012 so log on to DFW G+ page here to keep posted! 


Just send me the question you would like to ask Sophie Sumner during my DFW Google+ hangout live interview on October 21 at 10pm (Singapore time). Best question gets a pair of invites to the exclusive event to see her walking for Singapore label Ownmuse.