'I got to ask legendary stylist Patricia Field all my burning questions. This is how it went.'

Sex and the City, The Devil Wears Prada and Emily In Paris all have one thing in common — the fashion is spoken about well after the credits finish rolling.

Carrie Bradshaw's eclectic style, Miranda Priestley's high fashion garb and Emily's Parisian looks serve as inspiration for women around the world, each representing a different decade in time.

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Video via Mamamia.

And now, Patricia Field, the woman behind these iconic outfits is hitting the big screen herself.

Happy Clothes: A Film About Patricia Field premieres on February 22 as part of Queer Screen's Mardi Gras Film Festival and gives fans an in-depth look into the life and career of the 82-year-old costume and fashion designer. Field is no ordinary designer, and her life is as eclectic as her style. 

The documentary not only features interviews with people she's worked with, including Sarah Jessica Parker, Lily Collins and Kim Cattrall, but it takes us to the very beginning, back when she opened a retail store in New York City, which operated for 50 years.

So of course when I found out I'd have the opportunity to ask her all my burning fashion questions I LOST. MY. MIND. 

I mean, the woman scored an Oscar nomination for her work on The Devil Wears Prada and has had her designs be a part of the cultural zeitgeist for years. 


So I wanted to know what she thinks of the success she has had. (My head would be so big I wouldn't be able to walk in the doorway, but that's just me.) 

"All the recognition I've received, and continue to receive, from fans and viewers of my work has certainly been a much-appreciated highlight, mainly because I never anticipated it!" Field told Mamamia

"Going into a project like Sex and the City, I never thought about it becoming a phenomenon. I just did my work. So when people come up to me, to this day, and say how much they love the show, and that they were inspired by the fashion, that's really a beautiful thing to hear." 

Patricia Field is a fashion legend. Image: Supplied.


The hard work Field puts into each project is clear, and while each look is vastly different to the one before, the process beforehand is the same. Before you see an outfit on-screen, Field told me she focuses on the minute details to make sure she gets it right.

It's not as easy as pairing a few pieces together and throwing them on the actor — she also has to put aside her own biases, because it's not about what she likes, it's about how it serves the story.

"It really starts with the script," said Field. 

"I try to understand the character from how they're written on the page. The next step is getting to know the actor, and making them feel comfortable. After all, they're in front of the camera, not me! 

"If I can find some parallels between the actor and their character, that makes the styling even easier."

Patricia Field with Sex and the City star and longtime friend, Kim Cattrall. Image: Getty.


With her signature fire engine red hair and eccentric accessories, Field is a maximalist through and through. 

So I was intrigued to ask her what she thinks of the recent trend towards minimalism. 

"It's true, I'm not much of a minimalist, personally. However, fashion is a form of self-expression; a reflection of personality. So, if you feel 'minimal', by all means, dress accordingly," she said.

"Fashion is also a reflection of the time, and we're arguably living in pretty dreary times these days. So maybe that's a part of it too."

As she looks back at her career, and reflects on the whirlwind it has been so far, Field was adamant about one thing: she wouldn't change a thing. 

"One thing I don't do is regrets. It's good to learn from the past, but always focus on the future. Regrets will get you nowhere fast."

Happy Clothes: A Film About Patricia Field will be screened at Event Cinemas, George St, Sydney on Thursday February 22. 

Feature Image: Getty/20th Century Studio/Instagram @patriciafield.

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