Written and illustrated by Faye Milner
Whether you’re a Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte or Samantha, there is no denying that the women of Sex and the City changed our wardrobes forever. It has been nearly 23 years since we first encountered the tutu-clad Carrie Bradshaw in the shows iconic opening credit sequence, but who is the face behind the fashion?
I couldn’t help but wonder, who is Patricia Field?
Costume designer and stylist, Patricia Field, is a native New Yorker who began her career in 1966 at the age of 24 when she opened her first boutique, Pants Pub. Her nonconformist designs attracted celebrities like Patti Smith, Debbie Harry, RuPaul Charles and Missy Elliot and led to her collaboration on The Devil Wears Prada, Ugly Betty and most notably, Sex and the City. Drenched in Noughties nostalgia, cringeworthy puns and boozy brunches, the show was an immediate success. Having said that, for all the revolutionary ways in which the show approached female friendship, gender dynamics and sexuality, it entertained many problematic attitudes and stereotypes. The only thing that transcends its dated narrative is its fashion, courtesy of Field.
Throughout the duration of the show, Field established and maintained connections with various fashion designers, pioneering the lending relationship between costume designers and high-end fashion houses and paving the way for shows such as Gossip Girl, Killing Eve and Empire. As well as changing the landscape of television, Field is also credited with turning the likes of Jimmy Choo, Christian Louboutin and, of course, Manolo Blahnik, into household names.
I like my money where I can see it – hanging in my closet!
Whilst the women of Sex and the City definitely had their fair share of fashion faux pas, their clothing just oozed personality and reminded viewers of who they were. Field infamously paired a python-print boob tube with a striped sarong and a cowboy hat, and somehow made it fashionable. No matter how outlandish the outfit was, it worked. This was due to her high-low approach to fashion, which is embedded in Carrie, who prowls the streets of New York looking for the perfect $7 dress to go with her $300 shoes.
And just like that…
Although the show ended back in 2004, the fashions of Patricia Field have not been forgotten. Avid fans of Sex and the City will be familiar with Instagram account @everyoutfitonsatc, which as the moniker suggests, archives every outfit on the show. Despite having closed her boutiques in 2015, Field has since launched her new concept, ARTFASHION. The concept sees Field as curator, working alongside up-and-coming artists to produce unique, made-to-order pieces.
And so, we find ourselves awaiting the highly anticipated Sex and the City reboot. As for whether or not Field will be reprising her role as costume designer, the question remains.