For award-winning costume designer and stylist Patricia Field, Miami isn’t just a vacation destination for when she’s in search of sun and fun; it’s a cultural epicenter she’s been involved with in some capacity since she purchased her South Beach apartment over three decades ago. “It's my second neighborhood,” Field says. “It’s not like I visit there and I go away.”
Living partially in Miami Beach means that during Art Basel week, Field is never too far away from the action at any given moment. Every December, in celebration of Art Basel, Field opens up a weeks-long pop-up shop for her ArtFashion collective of designers which culminates in a runway show and gallery night showcasing the artists’ work.
Field first started ArtFashion as a way of staying clued in on the latest designers making waves with their work. “When I sold my shop on the Bowery, I still wanted to stay connected in some way without the big responsibility of the big shop and everything that goes with it,” she reflects. Field has been friendly with artists and designers of all magnitudes for decades — having championed the likes of Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring — and initially started ArtFashion as an online gallery. It soon grew to the point that Field needed to acquire a physical space in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, which sits as ArtFashion's permanent gallery today.
Now, ArtFashion has come to serve a growing flock of young, talented artists who each use individualistic techniques in designing their looks. “They're all kind of like my children,” Field laughs, “And they’re all quite different.” Painted clothes, for example, were one of Basquiat’s signature creations that Field sold in her store decades ago. Now it’s become a go-to for many ArtFashion designers, and Field notes that seemingly everyone “from the Guccis to the Pradas” has jumped on the trend.
“For me, in my whole career and as far as my [ArtFashion] shop is concerned, I always cater to the young people,” Field says. It’s why she recruits designers who have an eye for where fashion is headed, and why ArtFashion is that much more crucial in a world where fashion and owning designer clothes often feels inaccessible for many young people. Artists like Jody Morlock, Studmuffin NYC, and Scooter LaForge have made names for themselves with their work even beyond ArtFashion (Missy Elliott and Miley Cyrus have recently rocked Studmuffin, for example), so their places on Field's roster are that much more valuable.
“We always try to create something that’s fun and theatrical,” Resnicow continues. “It’s really about everybody getting on their feet and having a blast, and that’s so much about what Pat’s style and art is about.”
Field agrees. “We’re, to put it simply, party people,” she chuckles. “We enjoy music and dance; it’s all part of our culture.” As a result, the fourth annual ArtFashion runway show is poised to be the most exciting yet. For Field, it’s just an extension of the work she’s been passionate about for decades. “I feel like ArtFashion is another step in the same direction.”
Patricia Field Presents ArtFashion. 7 p.m. Saturday, December 7, at Wynwood Block, 2621 NW Second Ave., Miami; 786-953-4666; patriciafield.com. Admission is free.