A couple of decades ago, I left the shelter of my family and friends for the unknown, a dream in a city that would star in the rest of my life. I wandered the myriad of streets and avenues, from east to west and uptown to downtown, window shopping for inspiration, friends and a life that was my own and out of the ordinary.
As I walked along Eighth Street, I ran across "The House of Field." This was a house like no other — somewhere between "The Addams Family" and "The Rocky Horror Picture Show — a place where fashion, makeup, kink and fetish merged together to make an uber-fusion of personal style. The Head Mistress was a woman whose personality is ideally characterized by her rough-as-sand-paper voice and her smooth-as-brandy ease … Patricia Field.
Like any artist, Field's creations were so far off the beaten path of commercialism that you would wonder how this freakish yet fragile world could co-exist or blend into the mainstream. Who would imagine that this Empress of Eclectic Fashion would one day be dictating what's de rigueur to global fashionistas, housewives hurting for a piece of their lost vibrancy, studio suits and ad execs?
But "Sex and the City" proved to be the perfect canvas to fuse these worlds and tell the story of four girlfriends, their lives and a world of magic where anything can happen in what's called the city of New York.
As any actress worth her weight in Louboutins, Manolos or Choos knows, you must first dress your character. But Pat and her team didn't design clothes or create outfits, they brought characters to life and gave us four of our favorite girlfriends to check in on, hang out with and live vicariously through. We connected with their lives and loves and wanted to wear what they wore, or at least see it. Because, let's face it, most of it was way too over the top for any of us to really wear.
But it did the trick: It inspired us to want more for ourselves, to redefine power dressing for a new generation of women. As my dear friend and witty fashion colleague, Simon Doonan, told me: "In the '80s, female TV characters became corporate and a bit dyke-y. SATC made it OK to be a really femmie girl again."
As avid viewers, we wanted to run away from our lives and our homes, if only for the half hour of "Sex and the City." But as life shows us, all good things must come to an end, and so did SATC. It took four years to bring it back to life but, this time, on the big screen. Once again, for two hours and 15 minutes, we can catch up on the trials, tribulations and trends of Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda and all will be well with our world, SATC-style.
As we often do in our own lives, if a friend moves away or a colleague changes jobs, we find new friends, someone else to bond with. And we have had several offerings from such fashionable shows as "Lipstick Jungle," starring the iconic Brooke Shields and created by Candace Bushnell, author of the original "Sex and the City," and a front row Fashion Week regular. The LJ girls are SATC wannabes of the Dana Buchman/Liz Claiborne fashion set, not breaking many rules.