Paula makes me seem so glamorous. I am not. And I was nowhere near glamorous while standing in Bergdorf Goodman with a friend (who’s arrival I had completely botched as I’d written it down for next month,) tired and jet-lagged from my return from South Africa. I was sweating my next days’ meeting with a celebrity and ensuing four days of work, yet trying to keep my cool because Style Icon Patricia Field was mere inches from me. I so desperately wanted to talk to her, but…In true form…
For those of you who don’t know who Patricia Fields is, she single-handedly made Sex in the City what it is and was. She is a supreme Fashion Stylist that works to her own rhythm and eccentricities. She also did costuming for a little movie called Devil Wears Prada, among a million other things. This is Patricia Fields:
And dammit, she is the coolest.
She is not young and hip and the “it girl”. She is older and awesome and seasoned. She is who I want to be.
I kept telling myself I had a legitimate reason to say hello and that I owed it to Blank Stare, Blinkers, and that all I needed was one little piece of advice. “Please tell us, Miss Fields, what’s the one thing you would say to ladies growing older who want to fight the good fight?” I kept berating myself, ” You can do it. You can do it.” And I wish I could tell you that I did. But I didn’t. Couldn’t. I choked.
As she stood in the Helmut Lang section (a favorite of mine too,) trying on this jacket,
she became human. Looking in the mirror, slightly doubtful, with that look in her eyes that wants validation…I wanted to say, “Yes, you should get it. Yes, the jacket looks great on you. Yes, you look good.” I know she wanted to hear something. We all do. We all want to hear something. Either: A. It’s great, B. It’s horrible, or C. Meh, you can do better.
So maybe that’s the piece of advice from Pat. Bring a friend when you shop. A real friend. A friend that won’t say you look great in everything. ‘Cause you won’t. Bring a friend who will tell it like it is and tell the truth. Because in the end they will have either helped you save some money, save your dignity or given you a little spring to your step because they have helped validate that —yes, you are awesome and look fantastic, you really do!
As I walked away from Patricia Fields feeling deflated and angry at myself, I heard her mumble, “I really need to figure out skirts.” Don’t we all? I love that a top Fashion Stylist doesn’t have it all figured out. That she too has that little voice of doubt in her head. Maybe next time she’ll bring a friend who will tell that little voice to Shut Up! And next time, god willing, I will tell my little voice the same thing.
I sure hope she bought that jacket. She did look really good in it. I’ll tell her that the next time I see her.