Legendary Patricia Field's Next Act

After conquering fashion — and helping turn Carrie Bradshaw and Miranda Priestly into cultural touchstones — Patricia Field plots her next act.



The cast of Sex and the City.


“My home was already gorgeous,” she says. “I designed it and loved it and would have never moved out of it other than to build my store. So I didn’t really change any part other than turn my bedroom into the beauty salon. I didn’t change the decor in there, I just moved the furniture out.”

Now that the store’s done, Field’s planning her next move, and it may not involve design at all.

“I want to do other things if possible,” she says. “If I go into TV or movies, I’d like to play a different role. Because I’ve done [styling]; it’s repetitious. Producing or directing or even being on a show interests me. I could make a really good talk show host.”

In addition to Sex and Prada, Field has designed for TV series including Ugly Betty, Dirty Sexy Money, and Spin City, and films such as Confessions of a Shopaholic and the upcoming The Girl on the Train. In 2012 she showed up as a guest judge on Project Runway All Stars.

She’s self-confident, but, especially for a woman who has worked on so many hit films and TV series, Field remains humble about her effect on popular culture. She turns self-deprecating when told she elevated the status of shoes, turning them from a somewhat utilitarian accessory to a late-20th-century status symbol, thanks to the Sex ladies’ fixation on high-end footwear.

“I don’t know if I can be proud of that,” Field croaks. “Now you get a designer shoe and it’s a thousand dollars!”

She’s entirely tickled when told The Devil Wears Prada is the gay Star Wars, watched dozens of times by gay men who never tire of the eye-popping fashions that come across as nearly 3-D.

“The original script had no fashion montages,” Field remembers. “And [director] David Frankel would say, ‘There’s a new scene for you, Pat.’ I’d go, ‘You just increased the wardrobe by 100 pieces!’ But that movie had a very good energy, and it shows. There are certain things I can watch over and over again. So that’s a very nice compliment.”