You may not know her name, but you definitely know her work. She's the mastermind behind the wardrobe styling in Sex and the City, The Devil Wears Prada, Emily in Paris, and Ugly Betty. Patricia Field is an undisputed icon for her ability to source, style, and construct the perfect fashion forward garments for the casts of TV's most iconic shows.
In February1942, she was born in New York City. Being a born and raised New Yorker is integral to her identity and distinguishable style. She's one of the first to really break the mold with fashion. To discourage the public from chasing trends, and to instead value personal style and eclecticism. Patricia Field is a trailblazer of this fashion philosophy, which has been adopted by many social media style icons today.
Patricia Field's career actually started as that of a designer— she came on to the fashion scene by opening up a small boutique in New York. Her clothing was self described as "freaky fashion," and was very popular in queer and underground communities. However, after her widespread costuming success in Sex and The City, Field was in high demand in the television and film world.
For Sex and the City, Field won four Costume Designer's Guild awards, as well as a Primetime Emmy. Her next projects included The Devil Wears Prada, where she was nominated for an Academy award, a BAFTA award, and won a Satellite award for her costuming.
Even at the age of 81, Patricia Field has not yet retired from costume design. In 2021, she won a Costume Designer's Guild award for Emily In Paris. She is still bringing joy to the audiences of fashion-centric television and film.
In early 2023, she published a memoir titled Pat in the City: My Life of Fashion, Style, and Breaking All the Rules.
Field's devotion to unique style is what has earned her success. If she hadn't gone against the grain and styled Sex and the City in the way she did, she may have never seen this level of success. Even looking back at the show's pilot episode— the protagonist, Carrie, didn't shine in her fashion quite as brightly. This is because a different costumer had styled the pilot episode in 1997. It's hard to imagine a version of the show styled by anybody else. Every detail of the fashion is irreplicable and iconic.
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In her memoir, Field revealed that after the pilot episode of Sex and the City was shot in June of 1997, none of the cast was happy with the costuming and styling of the show. Sarah Jessica Parker reached out to the producer personally and recommended Patricia Field for the job. And the rest is history. Sex and the City may not have been the beginning of Field's career, but it certainly was the beginning of the rest of it.
Field's success is important to the fashion industry because she was one of the first to live by the now popularized concept of personal style. To believe in the breaking free of trends and seasons and just wearing what you want to wear. She didn't just live by this ideology, but encouraged others to live by it as well.
"I think the fashion industry, as a result of globalization, has undergone a uniformity. I'm not saying that's good or that's bad but that is my observation." Field was quoted saying this in an interview with Harper's Bazaar. It shows her undying passion for the industry and her devotion to styling with personality.
Patricia Field found her passion toying with the concept of fashion "do's and don'ts," and then throwing it all out the window. This appreciation and adoration of the incongruous ensured her eclectic nature read through all of the characters she dressed. All of the shows and films she has costumed for have become iconic for one thing above all else: Their fashion.
Whether it's Emily in Paris in the early 2020s or Sex and the City in the early 2000s, Field has always put her whole heart into everything she's done and left her mark on it. In the next season of Emily in Paris, it will be interesting to see every style she's decided to dress the characters in. But until then, we can only sit back and admire every piece of media that Patricia Field has put her heart into.