Patricia Field

Neighborhood: Lower East Side
Type of Place: Women's Clothing Shoes

For years, designer/stylist Patricia Field was a star of the groovy-outsider crowd. With hair dyed a changing array of not-found-in-nature shades and an equally unconventional, in-your-face style sense, she seemed unlikely to hit it big in the mainstream. But that’s exactly what she did, via her stylist work on “Sex and the City.” For the shows four main gals, Field created looks and outfits so distinctive that, several years after the end of the series, they are still regularly referenced. I was shopping with a friend recently and asked her opinion of a pair of heels. “Very Samantha Jones,” my friend replied, referring to the show’s guru of sex and PR. And she was right.

NYC-based fans of the show have been excited by recent sightings of filming for the upcoming “SITC” movie. Carrie, Miranda, Samantha, and Charlotte are back; and Pat Field is right there with them, making sure their outfits are just-so.

The new Patricia Field shop on the Bowery looked appropriately fun and energetic from the outside, and its merchandise didn’t disappoint. Most of the goods weren’t actually designed by Field, but she and her staff selected them with her particular aesthetics in mind.

I was pleasantly surprised by the prices—there was lots to like here for well under $100. In typical Field fashion, most of it would be best suited to a late-night party. A pleated-front silky halter dress in hot pink or champagne was a great buy at $64; a silver-metallic mini-dress with flounce at the hem was $52; an orange floral-printed chiffon dress, which could take you from day to night (though probably not to the office), was $42. And a long-sleeve, form-fitting jersey dress with ruffles at the wrist, in black or cranberry, was fun enough for a night out but might just squeak by at the family Thanksgiving table.

With t-shirts, Field gets to have outspoken fun. One black-cotton shirt ($42), long enough to be a mini dress, announces in huge letters that “Rehab is the new black.” And the “Girls Work It” t-shirt of Field's own design ($38) reclaims a word that starts with “c,” is generally thought of as (very) sexist, and is mostly frowned upon in polite company.

The sale racks were great too. I loved a lightweight yellow-and-grey printed dress with a cinched waist, now $21, great for spring and summer and for any warm-weather vacations you might take before then. And for men (Yes! There’s stuff for men here too), if a great-looking black and white long-sleeve shirt is indeed, as its label stated, hand-painted, then it’s a total steal at $38.

In accessories, I found some huge and very-Field-y earrings in rhinestone, sold individually, shaped as letters of the alphabet ($8 each; mix and match!). There were also magnifying glasses on bright-gold, exaggeratedly fake chains ($14); ruffly pink-polka-dot umbrellas ($28); and the shockingly good value of cute plastic bangles covered in peace symbols ($4). To wrap any of these purchases as gifts, consider “Raunchy Wrapping Paper” ($6 per sheet) with stripes on the outside and naked men or women printed inside, brought to you from a company called Suck UK.

Downstairs, I discovered lingerie, makeup, wigs, and a full-service hair salon (who knew?). And speaking of discoveries, two items left me initially baffled. One seemed to be a strangely misshapen baby t-shirt (turned out to be a t-shirt for small dogs, $18); the other was a piece of tulle attached to a round elastic band (turned out to be labeled as a belly-dance veil! And a bargain at $5). Bottom line, you don’t know what you’ll find here. But it’s certainly worth a look; and bound to leave you with a smile, not to mention the possibility of a kick-ass new outfit (and/or a belly-dancing career).
  - Pamela Grossman

Patricia Field
302 Bowery
New York, NY 10012
(212) 966-4066