In my mid twenties, Sex and the City, was my show and Carrie Bradshaw was my girl.
I too had a closet filled with a countless shoes in an apartment I could barely afford. I aspired to be like her, a writer pouring out ponderings about love, relationships and romance onto a page after a late night out. Just trying to make sense of it all.
Carrie Bradshaw influenced everything from the shoes in my closet to the lifestyle I led. She embodied the quintessential dilemma many creative woman face.
We wonder how this creative search we call life will fall into place when we crave the freedom to explore, try new things so much that the risk that it may never work. Still, it doesn’t stop us from trying.
Carrie Bradshaw represents every young artist’s dream; living in New York City, dressing in couture, socializing with some of the most interesting designers, writers, artists and entrepreneurs. Sure this is the stuff novels are made of, it is the dream lifestyle of Coco Channel and Gertrude Stein.
But also it is something that happens to few and far between. It is every creative’s fairy tale.
Few artist’s get that big break. Most sit behind desks all day or work several jobs just to earn money to pay the bills and create in their spare time. Then there are some who give it all up after a few years of struggling, feeling misunderstood and making nothing at all.
I do not believe in fairy tales, but if there ever was an urban artist’s fairy god mother, costume designer Patricia Fields is that woman. She inspires artists like me, who watched Carrie Bradshaw pouring over her laptop, writing a small column that grew into a best selling book.
Today I got to meet the designer who saw that promise is so many young artists. I met Patricia Field at a pop up exhibition Howl Happening in New York’s Lower East Side.
For as glamorous and cutting edge as her creations are, Ms. Fields, is generous. She is the person every young, hopeful artist trying to make it in a big city dreams of being taken under her wing. And that is just what she does, she sees talent, dreams and a vision and nurtures it and grows it. It is not about an iconic brand, it is a family a team of creative individuals doing something they love that fulfills and completes them and she saw that and made it happen.
I went to Howl Happening this weekend, not really knowing what to expect when I heard Patricia Fields spoke. I went with the curiosity of what a woman who dressed the character I admired for so many years was like, and I have to say she wowed me. A lot of designers of her status could have made it all about her, her style, her empire, her brand.
But she gave the floor to the artists that she discovered.
Artists who create just because, they had no vision of being famous. Artists who painted on t-shirts or sewed studs onto jackets, that they sold for a few dollars on the streets. In fact some of these artists created to get them through really awful times in their lives and each night like Carrie and many other struggling artists went to bed trying to make sense of it all. But when Patricia Field first spotted them, their lives changed.
And one of those young artist, became the girl who created the unforgettable skirt Carrie wears as each episode of Sex and The City opens. Patricia Field is that person, the creative force. After seeing her speak, she made me believe that it is possible that someone will see your value as an artist and make it happen.
And that is why she is a legend, not just for what she created stylistically but for what she represents—the hope and the dreams of artists.
Author: Jane Coco Cowles
Editor: Sara Kärpänen
Photo: Volkswagen Belgium / Flickr