Film & Video
1 min

Fashion philosopher

A fascinating doc about the rise of Patricia Field

Mars Roberge
Trailer Mars Roberge

Any style junkie worth her salt knows Patricia Field is the iconic fashion designer of The Devil Wears Prada, Ugly Betty and, of course, Sex and the City. But that isn’t how Toronto-born filmmaker Mars Roberge first encountered Field or her infamous Manhattan boutique, House of Field. “I first heard of her store from my sister, who lived in NYC and would take me there when I was little,” Roberge says. As an adult, Roberge moved to New York and got a job at House of Field, although he was oblivious to Patricia’s pop-culture cachet. “Being a broke DJ for so long, I can’t remember the last time I had cable, so I had no idea about Sex and the City. In fact, one time I helped Kim Cattrall in the store and told her she should buy something because it was ‘very Sex and the City.’ She didn’t know I had no idea who she was!”

In his documentary The Little House That Could, Roberge tracks Fields’s lengthy history of working alongside queers, club kids, artists and countercultural figures of all stripes long before the HBO bucks came rolling in. “Pat was the start for artists like Keith Haring, Basquiat . . . she gave designers from Marc Jacobs to Margiela their start.” Assembled from interviews with scene gods like Amanda Lepore, Codie Ravioli and Field herself, Little House is about family, fashion and Fields’s legacy. “She brought originality back to the world of fashion,” Roberge says. “Like a philosopher king, she taught free-thinking.”