Pat in the City: My Life of Fashion, Style, and Breaking All the Rules

Dey Street. Feb. 2023. 272p. ISBN 9780063048324. $35. MEMOIR
Fashion history buffs and fans of iconic on- and off-screen style will find much to like in this memoir by an Emmy Award-winning and Oscar-nominated costume designer. Field’s name may be familiar to devotees of fashion-forward entertainment, such as Sex and the City and The Devil Wears Prada. Readers curious about her creative process will find satisfaction in her recollections of sourcing and building character-driven costume. Her contributions to the counterculture scenes of the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s may be lesser known to general audiences, but their significance is made clear through anecdotes full of recognizable names and style trends that eventually became mainstream. Her eponymous NYC boutique was the epicenter of several fashion revolutions, due in large part to the free rein of expression fostered within the LGBTQIA+ community. Insider photographs help bring the exuberant era to life. Detailed depictions of the New York Ballroom scene provide an enlightening look into this rich and influential subculture.
VERDICT A nostalgic dive into a slice of fashion history, a behind-the-scenes look at famous TV and film costuming, and a celebration of the contributions of LGBTQIA+ culture. Readers from several points of entry will appreciate Field’s accomplishments and her perspective.
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