MY BAG

Sought-after punk rock stylist

ST PHOTOS: MELISSA HENG

American stylist Patricia Field is in demand to design costumes for television and film since working on Sex And The City

At 75, American stylist and fashion designer Patricia Field is still energetic and spunky and shows no signs of slowing down.

The costume designer, famed for her work on television series Sex And The City (1998-2004), was in Singapore in November last year to film the fourth season of the reality television series Asia's Next Top Model. The episode, in which she appeared as a guest judge, aired on Wednesday last week.

Field turned up for the interview with The Straits Times with her trademark red hair complementing her outfit - a chequered sequinned top over a black buttoned shirt, grey pants and gold wingtip shoes. The septuagenarian's style was understated, with hints of the punk rock glamour she is known for.

She says she had agreed to be a guest judge because she likes the fast-paced work environment in Asia.

"I like working in Asia, in all the different countries here, because I am compatible with the work ethic and positivity. So when I got the call for Asia's Next Top Model, I was like, sure."

  • ON HER BAG

  • I have my own philosophy about bags. In general, I find that bags are a hassle to drag around. My solution is that I have a three-bag system. My big bag holds two other smaller bags. So I carry only what I need for different occasions. My big bag is a classic brown MCM backpack that I have had since the 1980s. MCM was big in the 1980s in the United States with the urban kids. I was there at the time and I liked it, so I got one. I love backpacks because they allow my hands to be free. I also have two other smaller MCM "bags" that I carry around as well.

  • Things in her bag

  • MCM POUCH

    I am never without this. My keys clip onto it too. It holds my lipstick, money, receipts and credit cards. It is strong and well-made and it does not fall apart. I carry this whenever I leave the house, even when I walk my dogs. It is good because I can put it in my pocket and I don't have to worry about leaving my bag somewhere.


    MEDIUM MCM CLUTCH

    This is from the same collection as the smaller pouch, which I designed for MCM. It has a nice olive green colour and the design combines my logo with the MCM logo. This is for when I need to hold more things.


    LIPGLOSS FROM MAYBELLINE

    Red is my signature colour. I'm using this matte lipgloss. A blueish red is more elegant and it visually whitens my teeth too.


    MAGAZINES

    I picked these up at the airport. For casual reading. I tore out certain pages to keep as a reference.


    MCM NOTEBOOK

    This is a notebook that I carry around, so I can take down notes.


    SUNGLASSES

    I usually carry these in my medium-sized bag. I'm not fussy about where I get my sunglasses. Someone sent these to me.


    IPAD

    I use it for my costume-design work, my e-mail and the visuals for my work. I just finished a project for a lingerie company in Italy, so I was using my iPad for our communications as we were going back and forth about the designs.

Though she had not watched earlier seasons of the series, Field had been a guest judge on an episode of America's Next Top Model as well as worked on reality fashion series Project Runway.

Field's foray into fashion started when she was 24 and opened her first boutique in New York.

Over the years, her daring punk urban style and graphic art-inspired designs drew fans such as singer-songwriter Patti Smith, Beyonce and Blondie's lead singer Debbie Harry.

Her work for Sex And The City won her multiple awards, including an Emmy award for Outstanding Costumes for a Series in 2002. Field also did the costumes for the film The Devil Wears Prada (2006) and television series Ugly Betty (2006-2010).

Field announced in December that she would be closing her retail store this year.

According to The New York Times, Field is simply "no longer interested in devoting the time necessary to operating this place".

She has been in high demand to do costume work for television and film projects since her work on Sex And The City and this has taken her away from her retail business.

Still embracing a fast-paced life, Field is the costume designer for American comedy series Younger. The series, in its second season, follows a 40-year-old single mother as she attempts to pass off as a 26-year-old embarking on a new career.

On what she would say to aspiring fashion designers, Field says: "Whether it is fashion design or styling, whatever you do, for me, the main thing is that it is so important to love what you do and enjoy it. If you love it and enjoy it, you will stay with it. And, in time, you'll become an expert."


• Asia's Next Top Model Season 4 airs every Wednesday at 9pm on Star World (StarHub TV Channel 501 and Singtel TV Channel 301) until June 1

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 14, 2016, with the headline 'Sought-after punk rock stylist'. Print Edition | Subscribe