The SATCH-fewer has yet again stroked every corner of the world. Willingly or unwillingly that series has affected us all one way or the other. Although I think everything has gotten a bit too much – call it SATCH-mania if you like – I must admit that exactly that series was part of my survival-kit when comforting my lonely self the first couple of months after moving to London.
One thing is the characters and the themes; another is the clothes who are characters in their own right. For 15 years Patricia Field has worked as the Emmy Award-winning costume designer for the oestrogen-heavy television series and its two movie adaptations.
I found this interesting interview with the stylist who has been a fixture on the New York fashion scene since opening her boutique in 1966. Enjoy!
Looking back on the 15 years of “Sex and the City,” how accurately do you think the series and the films reflect the fashions of the time?
I think we initiated rather than reflected. It’s not a documentary reflecting a reality; it’s a hyper reality with the intention of entertaining and pleasing people’s fantasy and imagination.
What trends have you initiated in the sequel? I mean, let’s face it, I single-handedly brought back Halston. [Laughs]. That would be a trend. Halston represents to me American fashion at its finest — elegance, simplicity, not adornment. Frankly, I was getting really weary of all these mad shapes coming at me. I yearned for chic simplicity and right away I thought of Halston. This to me is the most important fashion statement that I made in “Sex and the City 2.”
Were there any changes in the characters that you had to factor in this time round? I’m really not a psychiatrist or anything like that, but I noticed a very big personal change in Cynthia Nixon and it was really inspirational for me. Physically, she had lost a lot of weight and changed her hairstyle. She was always a great actress — I think the best of the four — but I felt more of a happy, peaceful calm from her, and it shows. When you are happy and at peace with a smile on your face, that really is the most attractive thing about a person. Of course, if you get skinny and become a sample size, that opens up new possibilities. But on a deeper and more motivating level, I think it starts from deep inside. I can only trim the tree.
Do you think Miranda’s character lost some of her original qualities by becoming so glamorous? No, she’s still the same character, but it’s just the way she delivers it and how she looks. She’s definitely undergone a transformation, but she didn’t exactly go from black to white.
Do you ever worry that the characters’ fashion sense is too over the top for fans to relate to? No, it’s the opposite. What I think creates the fan is that sort of hyper real, fantastical delivery of the visuals. The fans would be very disappointed if there wasn’t an elevation or a step up. This is why “Sex and the City” has succeeded in creating an exclusive club of a billion women around the world who all speak the same language. It liberates their fantasies and imagination.
You’re an expert at interpreting a character’s personality through her style. How good are you at reading people in real life based on their personal style? I’m pretty good at it, but I don’t walk around trying to figure out people by what they are wearing. The way you dress yourself is a form of self-expression, and a way of communicating to others who you are. But style is broader than just fashion — it’s not only the way you dress, but also how you decorate your home, the books you read. It all runs together. The more ways you can express yourself the better, because then you are communicating at a higher level.