In this installment of Behind The Seams, watch the famed NYC designer talk pop star fashion and personal style.
Patricia Field may have earned an Oscar nomination and an Emmy win in recent years for her work on "The Devil Wears Prada" and "Sex and the City," respectively, but she's been the doyenne of downtown New York fashion for decades. Field recently sat down with the Hook's Gregory DelliCarpini Jr. to discuss the styles of Madonna, Lady Gaga and Beyonce, to give tips on how everyone can look their best, and to delve into the musical roots of her own famed fashions.
Dressing pop stars including Rihanna, Britney Spears and Jennifer Hudson is only the most obvious way in which Field's bold, graphic style is mixed up with music. "I grew up around a lot of music in my family," Field says. "I had these aunts who were my mom's younger sisters, so as a kid I lived in their world of their music, like Frank Sinatra."
Having run her influential New York boutique since 1966, by the early '80s Field was there as a new pop crop blossom in the city including Madonna, who she's watched metamorphosize. "I've watched her change her style through the years and I think she did a great job of it," the designer says. "Today, she looks really good. She looks like a woman of her age. She looks fierce."
Field saw another uberfamous blonde pop hitmaker rise in New York as well, but she feels that Lady Gaga's style and sound are not based on Madonna, but on something earlier and more ingrained in the city in which both women came to prominence. "I don't think she steals from Madonna," says Field. "Lady Gaga, I'm sure, is inspired from Madonna, but I think she learned from the same people Madonna learned from and that's the underground of the East Village in the '70s and '80s. [Gaga] picked it up at a time that people were ready to get it. It was brand new to this generation of people and it worked; it clicked big time."
Field has different female musicmaker top of mind mind when talking of blending music and fashion seamlessly. "I think Beyoncé takes her stage style and her personal style and there is that connection, that thread."
But it's neither Madonna, nor Lady Gaga, nor Beyoncé or anyone else that Field says you should emulate in your own fashion choices. Her two foremost tips for making the most fashion-forward personal style statements center on simply being yourself.
1. "Make sure that your clothes fit you, that means flatter you," Field says. "That means that you understand who you are physically."
2."The way you need to understand what your proportions are, you need to understand who you are and what makes you happy; what you want to project on yourself," she adds. "It's totally individual. It's not about what's in style or in the magazines."