Posts Tagged ‘stylists’

I’m a big fan of fashion memoirs because each individual’s story provides a different and unique take on fashion and style. So, I’ve been looking forward to reading stylist Patricia Field’s memoir (written with Rebecca Paley), Pat in the City: My Life of Fashion, Style and Breaking All the Rules (Dey Street Books).

Pat in the City does not disappoint. Field is known for styling the fashions on hit TV shows Sex and The City and Emily in Paris, among others, and creating iconic looks such as the tutu-as-skirt.

Born and raised in New York, Field, now 81, is of Greek decent. She was the eldest daughter of immigrant parents who ran their own dry cleaning business. A rebel from the start, Field created her own style early in life, combining her mother’s preferred Pringle cashmere sweaters with a Burberry (popped collar) trench coat and boots. “My style, inside and out, was not girly girl but cool and fierce,” she explains. This was the beginning of her penchant for mixing contrasting looks, something that later would set her apart in the world of costuming.

In eleven chapters Pat in the City takes the reader through Field’s childhood (surrounded by her three unmarried aunts) to her first retail shops where in the 70s and 80s she created a haven for club kids and drag queens. Each of her first commercial costuming successes – Sex in the City, The Devil Wears Prada, and Emily in Paris – get their own chapters filled with behind-the-scene tidbits. For example – early on in costume discussions, Sarah Jessica Parker, who played Carrie Bradshaw in Sex in the City, declared that she would not wear hose, no matter the season or the weather. Field explains that historically for women hose were essential. Even as late at 1998 when SATC premiered, women, in the workforce especially, were expected to cover their legs. SJP saying no hose, was remarkable. (Later Meryl Streep, who played Amanda Priestly in The Devil wears Prada went the opposite direction announcing that bare legs were not for her and she would be wearing hose.)

I learned a lot about Field that surprised me. I didn’t know that she was nominated for an Oscar for her costuming work on The Devil Wears Prada and that she designed a line for Payless Shoes. I didn’t know that she has closed all her retail stores and now runs her own fashion gallery called ARTFashion in Manhattan.

Another pleasant surprise is the book itself, which is quite stylish and heavy with more than 250 coated pages. There are many colorful illustrations, photos, and photo collages. The images of Field, her family, and other people in her life help complete the story for the reader, plus they’re just fun to look at.

I really enjoyed Pat in the City and I recommend it, particularly to fans of her work, but also for anyone who is interested in costuming, fashion, and style.

(Thank you Dey Street Books for providing a review copy to ODFL.)

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Patricia Field. NYC Fashion Week 2019. Photo: Tina Paul.

I’m disappointed with the trend of sweatpants and sneakers. I mean, come on! I feel it’s not that interesting. Now everyone’s walking around looking like that. It shows no sense of originality. Yes, it’s comfortable. I like sweatpants when I’m in my apartment. But I wouldn’t go out in Paris in a pair of sweatpants. And that happened to me in Paris! When I first went there to do “Emily,” I sent (creator) Darren Star, “I’m in here in Paris. I’m going to check out the French chic.” I do my little routine, go outside. They’re all in sneakers, jeans and sweatpants! I’m like, This is depressing. I want the French chic, damn it!

Patricia Field – American costume designer/stylist.

How sad is that? Paris, historically the city of elegant style, is now awash in sweats and jeans.

This quote is from Pat in the City: My Life of Fashion, Style, and Breaking All the Rules (Dey Street Books).

Check back tomorrow for my review of this fascinating fashion memoir.

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Ayesha Curry

Ayesha has the best energy and is truly one of the kindest women on the planet … If she’s in LA, we might shift gears and do a short Isabel Marant dress or a Stella McCartney jumpsuit with a sexy heel or a cute bootie and layer a bunch of jewelry. In the Bay, depending on weather, she might throw on some high-waisted jeans, a bodysuit and a faux-fur jacket with a cross-body bag. Her look is chic, transitional, and real – just like her life.

Mary Gonsalves Kinney – San Francisco based stylist.

Ms. Kinney is speaking to the Nob Hill Gazette about her Bay Area celebrity client, Ayesha Curry (cookbook author and wife of Warriors basketball star, Stephen Curry).

I tip my hat to Ayesha for choosing faux-fur.

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Tyese Cooper, a woman for all seasons.

Tyese Cooper, a woman for all seasons.

Tyese Cooper is what I call a real go-getter. Just to list a few of her accomplishments she has worked in the tech industry, pursued a MBA, lived in Paris, and started her own handbag line. Currently she is a style consultant based in Oakland while also taking fashion design classes at Academy of Art and she does all she does with grace and fabulous style. At a recent talk that Tyese gave I realized my readers need to hear from this woman. So here we go …

What inspired you to become a stylist? 

I became a stylist because I found that I had a talent to envision looks for people who don’t know what works for them. I remember one evening, getting ready for a gallery reception I was pulling out all my clothes to find a look that expressed how I was feeling. I was unsatisfied and couldn’t bring myself to wear the “same ole same ole” so I invented a new look. It took awhile and by the time I got to the event, it was almost over. But I felt so fulfilled and satisfied. People came up asking who my designer was and where did I get the garments from. I dress solely for myself and self-expression. It lifts me up and makes me happy, even if that day I am not. I wanted that for other people – they wanted that for themselves. People talked about my services by word of mouth and that’s how I started.

What do you enjoy most about what you do? 

I love helping people see what I see in them. Most people don’t realize how amazing they are and how to express that to the world. I enjoy helping people realize themselves. Getting dressed every day … it can truly change people’s lives.

What are some of the challenges in your work? 

Finding locally made garments in the time the client needs, under budget. I would love to shop only indie or even vintage boutiques for example but the fact of the matter is that they don’t stock every size or color, make every size I need for my clients. As a designer, I completely understand the situation. Unfortunately, it would cost me more time to search and search all over for indie garments (even at a trunk show) than the client wants me to spend. So, I shop mostly online and in mid-large stores.

Who is your client? 

Everyday men and women who shop once a year or every month. They have budgets from $100-3000+.

Do you notice a trend in what your clients are looking for? 

No – mostly everyone wants to be on-trend and not trendy; wants garments to fit perfectly and to self-express through what they are wearing.

What is the one piece of advice that you repeatedly give to all your clients? 

Retailer sizing is only used as a guide. Let’s get 80% of the way regarding fit and then if needed let the tailor take us the other 20% way there.

How do you see style in the Bay Area? Do we have it? What is it for us? 

Style in the bay is fragmented. I would say only 10% of people are truly “expressing.” These are people generally residing or hanging out in Mission/Valencia; Upper and Lower Haight; West and Central Oakland; Laurel Heights; Hayes Valley and maybe one or two other places on the Peninsula. There is another 30% of people who want to express but are not sure how to do it so they wear what everyone else does and in the same way, i.e. mall clothes, etc.

What do you love about the fall fashion season? 

Generally I love the renewal. Sometimes the renewal is a style change, new routines, etc. People clean out their closets more and expect a more immediate temperature change than even in the spring. This season, I love the velvets and richness of reds and blacks and ruffles together. I love anything that exudes passion and will help people climb out of their shell and self-express with intensity.

Me too, renewal. Thanks, Tyese.

Hey readers, if you’d like some guidance finding your sartorial way click here and discover how Tyese Cooper can help.

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