Sarah Jessica Parker is a fashion victim, says 'SATC' costumer Pat Field

Sarah Jessica Parker while promoting the Sarah Jessica Parker while promoting the We all love "Sex and the City," but are you familiar with Patricia Field? She is the award winning costumer behind Carrie Bradshaw's outrageous outfits and she's been a designer, store owner, and fashion institution for 45 years. She's also been credited for inventing leggings in the 1970s and has been known to join her good pal Betsey Johnson for a dance on the catwalk at at New York Fashion Week. We caught up with Field in her downtown New York City apartment to discuss the "SATC" phenomenon, her new partnership with Kotex, and how women can create a strong fashion identity. Read on for the highlights!

On Carrie's wardrobe and Sarah Jessica Parker pulling it off (or not)
"I had a unique situation with Sarah Jessica Parker because she loves fashion. She loves her role in it. She's very graceful. She loves to swirl and twirl in her clothes. She's going to make it all look good and she's got the little hot body. It's not Sarah Jessica. If you see Sarah Jessica when she's casual, she's basically in sweat pants or jeans and flip-flops. And when you see her dressed she's in some designer crazy thing which she's gotten into. Which is not necessary, because that part of her was more interesting as Carrie in my mind. It's almost getting fashion victimy actually. [Laughs] Of course somebody wrote [the character] first, but she and I, we created this fictional character of Carrie. As long as she could pull it off, there was no risk. She was easy in that sense because she's a natural."

On why she loves Uggs, but surprisingly hates high heels
"I love Uggs because to me, even though they're from Australia, they fit into the American lifestyle. It's function. The surfers wear them. They're warm in the winter, they're comfortable in the summer. You slip them on, you slip them off. I'm a big Ugg girl, I like them. But I'll tell you what I don't like. I'm sick of platform shoes. I want a shoe that disappears-I don't want a shoe that leads the parade. I'm sick of it! And the craziest heels. Who is gonna wear it? That's the kind of attitude towards women that has to end, and it will only end when the women show them with their pocketbooks, that they're not going for this horses---. It's fine if it's a sculpture and it's an art piece, but it's on your foot. It gets to a point of "The Emperor's New Clothes" if you know what I mean. I want to see if this caves in, because the shoes have gotten so insane, I wonder how many women are still really going for it."

Crrie Bradshaw in a Versace gown on Crrie Bradshaw in a Versace gown on On her favorite Carrie Bradshaw outfit
"One that always stands out was the Versace gown that she wore when she was in her hotel room in Paris and getting stood up by Baryshnikov. It was towards the end of "SATC." I ran over to the St. Regis where they were shooting that scene (all the interiors from Paris were shot in New York) and they were rehearsing and this gown was all bunched up underneath and she was sitting on the bed. And I was like, 'did your mother or grandmother ever have a toilet paper cover that looked like a doll with a beautiful gown. This is a doily.' So I took the gown and I covered the whole bed with it, and I said and now you just go like this [she gently lies back]. So I'm glad I ran there."

On the "SATC" wardrobe not translating in real life
"I know, I feel responsible for this madness! For this handbag craze and whatever. For me it's like the 'Wizard of Oz.' It's entertainment, it's a fantasy. I never thought go and get every shoe you see and every handbag. Everybody took it like so literally! It was there to entertain and make people laugh. There was parody and irony in it. It's like the Bible. It was written in allegory. [laughs] I know I'm responsible. Sometimes I feel bad about it."

Patricia Field at the Patricia Field at the On the power of "SATC"
"I was here before 'SATC' and I had a reputation in fashion and in New York, but 'SATC' threw it around the world. And the best part of that is that I could be in Beijing, I could be in Tokyo, I could be in São Paulo, and women come up to me and go, 'You're Patricia Field' and I could see that they're happy. And that is the best reward there is."

On working with U by Kotex to create stylish maxi pads

"This project invites women to express their individuality in design. I designed a tin that holds them in your bag, so it's kind of this interactive project. I think the premise for this contest is very healthy and good because up to this point it's always about some taboos and the curse and a negative connotation for subject matter that is absolutely positive. For that purpose, it rang my bell as well. The name of this contest is Ban the Bland. Well I think I'm good for it, not just because I'm colorful, but I think mainly because I'm independent and I live my life according to my own design. And I really do like working with brands outside of fashion...because it's not repetitious." For more info, head over to banthebland.com.

On how the fashion industry has evolved since the 1960s

"The biggest change in the industry since I started out was it went from smaller and local to big and offshore. I don't feel great about it on the part of my country. I remember being in my 20s and going into the garment center in new york and literally you couldn't get through it, it was packed with people pushing carts and cars and trucks. It was a snarl. Today you sail straight through, it's like the empty canyons. I don't feel good when I see that. It's a loss, because we don't make anything here anymore."

Patricia Field and Sarah Jessica Parker at a 2003 Narciso Rodriguez fashion show. Photo by Getty ImagesPatricia Field and Sarah Jessica Parker at a 2003 Narciso Rodriguez fashion show. Photo …On why she loves designer collaborations
"I coined a term a couple of years ago: the democracy of fashion. Because it allows people to wear whatever they want at prices they can afford. I don't feel that to put yourself together you should need to go and take a mortgage. It's nice that people can go into H&M and buy Lagerfeld. Or Alber Elbaz. I've done that in the past with Marks and Spencer. I think it's great that people can go and buy a designer. You feel good. Even Payless shoes they have designers doing their shoes now. I did a few for them."

On how to create a strong fashion identity
"The trick is to know who you are and how you want to express who you are. And not think about what's in fashion today, tomorrow, the next day, what's trendy. It's about how you feel. And when you put on your clothes, you know if they fit you and feel good. you know if they don't feel good or they're jabbing you. You are the center of the world. You need the confidence. Confidence is very sexy. I mean, who's attracted to a wimpy coward?"

On how to revamp your wardrobe
"Go in your closet and you're used to wearing this dress with these tights and this jacket, say 'OK, I'm not going to do that combination again. I'm gonna throw it up in the air and make a new combination with the same pieces.' You'll make all new outfits and open up combinations without spending a dime."

On why you can always hang on to leopard prints
"Trendy to me is kind of throwaway. People think of me as kind of out there and wild, but I look at myself as much more classic. To me leopard print is like a polka dot. I'm not a polka dot girl, but I'm a leopard girl. But polka dots never disappear. Sometimes they're in sometimes they're not in, but they're always there. Leopard for me is the same way. I love animal print because they represent animals. And I love animals. I love anything that's organic, but in a glamorous way. Not in a hippie way." [Laughs]




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