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CONFESSIONS OF A SHOPAHOLIC

Dressing Shopaholic
Award-Winning Costume Designer Patricia Field Sizes Up the Film Filmmakers knew that a film like "Confessions of a Shopaholic” required brilliant costuming. Enter Patricia Field.

"Patricia Field is one of the great costume designers,” says producer Jerry Bruckheimer. "She's always been ahead of the curve, finding new designers and dressing our characters in ways that are unique, interesting, colorful and stylish.”

Field has been at it for more than 40 years, since opening her first boutique in 1966. Field is responsible for the noteworthy fashions behind HBO's "Sex and the City” (including the smash-hit feature version released in 2008) and "The Devil Wears Prada.”

"The story of ‘Shopaholic' really appealed to me,” says Field. "It seemed like a fun, positive and entertaining project, which is my kind of movie. I love to entertain…it's my approach to this business. I had never worked before with Jerry Bruckheimer, and that was a big draw. Jerry and P.J. Hogan were very positive about me working for them, which is very important.

"I'm a stylist,” continues Field, "even though in the world of costume design that's kind of a dirty word. I create fashion as art, and I do that by means of collage. I mix old pieces, new pieces, dressy pieces with jeans, all kinds of mixtures. The world of costume design in the orthodox sense is about making the garment from scratch. But I feel that if we're doing something contemporary, you're at a disadvantage in trying to make garments when you've got the world of designers to choose from. Our film is about a shopaholic who goes around shopping all day.”

Field says she was inspired by the film's colorful cast. "I always get my main inspirations from the actors and what they bring to their characters. I work with the actor to bring out what they want the character to be. Of course, I have my own ideas, and I share those, but in the end, it's the actor who's in front of the camera. I found Isla to be very flirty and fetching, with a twinkle in her eye. She's petite and cute, but has a sexy Cheshire cat quality that inspired me to dress her in the way I did for the film.”

Isla Fisher enjoyed the costuming process as much as Field did. "It was so much fun creating Rebecca Bloomwood with Patricia Field,” says Fisher. "She's such an amazing stylist with a unique vision. I wanted Becky to be adventurous and eclectic in her style, and also be the ‘Everygirl' that we all relate to. It was a fun balance finding and keeping her young, bright and colorful, but at the same time high fashion.

"Becky is much more adventurous—stylewise—than I am and far more image conscious,” continues Fisher. "I'm much more of a jeans and T-shirt kind of girl.”

"Becky is a happy girl,” says Field. "Although she has a conflict with debt, she's essentially a positive person. Isla is very animated, funny, sexy, pretty and young, so it was an ideal situation for me. Also, I knew that Jerry Bruckheimer wanted to use a lot of color in the movie, which was fine with me, because I love color. So the costumes for Isla as Becky reflect those qualities.”

Ironically for a story set in New York, Field got several ideas for dressing Isla while on a business trip in Tokyo before the start of production. "While I was there, I shopped for Isla,” Field says. "Her petite size is perfect for the Japanese size range, and young fashion there is extremely animated and colorful. It was an opportunity for me to dress Isla in clothes that we haven't seen before. The influence isn't reflected in the fact that she wears clothes designed by the Japanese, but rather in the mix. It reflects the edge that you see in the Tokyo fashion scene.”

Reflecting her "collage” technique, Field adorned Fisher in fashion-forward and often startling combinations of c

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