Monday, July 15, 2024

Fashion: Patricia Field’s Flights of Fancy Explored in Documentary About “Sex and the City” Designer


Invited to a party to celebrate designer/ costumer Patricia Field and the fine documentary about her life and career premiering at Tribeca directed by Michael Selditch, one ponders the question: what to wear? After the Tribeca screening of “Happy Clothes: A Film About Patricia Field,” a colorful romp through her decades-long career: 8th Street retail shop, genius pattern combinations (plaids with florals that work) and accessories for the cultural icons populating “Sex & the City” and “The Devil Wears Prada”, the better question is, is my outfit happy enough?

We all accepted Sarah Jessica Parker’s Carrie Bradshaw in a tutu, New York street attire no less, awkwardly avoiding a splashing puddle; that image adorned the sides of buses for years, and the tasteful matching of Anne Hathaway’s dressy shirts with mini-pleated skirts, aided by Stanley Tucci for the pleasure of a white haired Miranda Priestly—that is, Meryl Streep styled to look like the supermodel Carmen Dell’ Orefice, not Vogue editor Anna Wintour. Even the detail-oriented Darren Star capitulated to Field’s eye, her unique combos and stylings—for the diva and Everywoman, trans or not.

Patricia Field in purples setting off her flame red hair was quickly ushered through the wall-to-wall crowd at Gigino Trattoria, where a person wore an entire polka dotted dress sewn to the lapel. While it flapped against others, looking disastrously askew, old friends like Bruce Weber in his signature headkerchief looked utterly himself, illustrating perhaps the secret to happy clothes.

P. S. I wore the new neutral: Barbie pink.

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