Patricia Field is one of fashion’s greatest visionaries. The legendary boutique owner, stylist and costume designer is best known for changing the way women dress through the TV series “Sex and the City”. Over the years, Field has worked closely with a who is who of creative visionaries, including iconic artists like Keith Haring, Kenny Sharf and Jean-Michael Basquiat, who sold painted clothing in her famous shop, as well as burgeoning talents of today like Scooter LaForge. Her boutique in New York City has been a fashion institution for decades, an emporium brimming with glitter, sequins, spandex and neon; now it’s about to close in the spring on the 50th anniversary of its opening.
Our New York guest editor Zoe Warncke was eager to ask the style innovator some very personal questions. “I admire Patricia for her very unique approach to fashion, how she mixes couture and independent labels – nonchalant and confident,” says Zoe. “The reason I wanted to do this interview was to ease my grief about her closing her boutique in the East Village.”
How do you let go off someone/something you really love? Is it getting easier the older we become?
Patricia Field: All situations have a shelf life. The difficulty I believe for some people is not recognizing the shelf life and living in a past time experience that is no longer relevant. There’s a saying in English, “too soon old, and too late smart.” I always seem to have remembered this, and I’m pulling it out of my memory as an example of how to answer this question.
What do you see in the mirror?
P.F.: I am not in the habit of looking at myself in the mirror. As such, I will answer your question based on this. In general, I see my future as continuing to be active and inspired, as that is what gives my life value. As this is the very start of a major change in my life, I am taking the attitude, as I normally do, to not overthink it and allow my future to unfold organically. Of course, I do have certain ideas in mind concerning my future, including professional and personal hopes and plans. However, the process is just beginning.
What is your favorite weakness?
P.F.: As I am not a believer in weaknesses, I do not have any favorites. My philosophy is to be as positive and strong as possible in all endeavors and experiences.
Who is scared of you?
P.F.: Haha, this is a funny question. As I’ve become aware of the fact that some people are frightened of me, I do not know why. In my opinion, I never come across in a threatening way. My style is to state my ideas, truthfully and directly. Maybe this is interpreted as something to be afraid of, but I never had an explanation for the “why” of your question. I’ve heard people say: “Pat, you are brutally honest.” My response is: “Brutality and honest do not go together. Honesty is beauty.”
Please tell me about your next project/adventure; and why you chose this particular one.
P.F.: Regarding future projects, I am at the beginning of developing an online art-fashion presence involving the many artists I deal with in my shop and also involving one of my close colleagues in Japan who has built a Keith Haring museum, and is just starting to stage exhibitions worldwide, outside of Japan. My choice for this comes as a result of my long-term collaboration with Mr. Nakamura of the Keith Haring Museum and whose staff we have come to have in common. Hopefully this idea will grow and you may find an exhibition in Germany. In the meantime, these developments will come through my website, www.patriciafield.com, and through the website of the Nakamura Museum.