Patricia Field’s storefront on Bowery has consistently been the best place to cop unexpected furry sweaters and glammed out costume jewelry and wigs and Daniel Palillo and batwinged leopard print cover-ups. She employed drag queens and trans people back before anyone would, and she’s kept entire generations in sequins while helping to launch the careers of now-iconic designers and musicians and artists.
For five decades the designer and stylist’s boutique has been a hub for the best, most creative, outrageous and iconic subcultures of New York City, and just a few years ago she expanded her small shop into a larger, two-story boutique next door. It was heaven; a good 60-70% of my wardrobe comes from there; I’m wearing a Pat Field skirt right now as I type. I don’t know what to do after this, because this Spring Field is officially closing the shop:
“I started my store when I was 24 years old and it has led me onto all the wonderful professional roads I have taken,” said Field. “My purpose was to begin my own life/career and to answer to no one but myself to be independent. After 50 successful years of being able to do just that, I decided it was time to close this chapter and make more room for all the branches that have sprung directly from that tree; continuing my film and television work, styling, designing, and pursuing brand-new projects that have been offered to me that I have not had time before to develop.”
I’m glad she’s pursuing her varied and many outlets but it’s sad to see yet another holdout of old New York—fun New York—vaporized in the face of increased gentrification on the Bowery. Here’s a video from a 1988 vogue ball held by the House of Field:
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