Go to TOC for this film ( (which has also a statement on purpose and manner of analysis and a disclaimer as to caveat emptor and my knowing anything authoritatively, which I do not, but I do try to not know earnestly, with some discretion, and considerable thought).
There appeared a commment on my Instagram account, from a Kara Marshall, stating that my identification of L'Impasse, in Greenwich Village, as the possible inspiration for Rainbow Fashions, was incorrect. Seventeen years ago, on a trip to New York, she had come upon a shop that she had believed to be the set for Rainbow Fashions, she being as yet unaware filming was done in the UK, and it was not L'Impasse. She'd had a picture of herself taken in front of the shop, and later had the opportunity to have Tom Cruise sign the photo. At some point she had also become aware that filming was done in the UK so that the shop she had seen would have instead been inspiration for the set.
Kara was absolutely correct in her identification. Below is the capture she sent me, and it's a wonderful image. Standing on the steps, she appears as a rather ethereal visitor from the orgy scene, with eerie gaze fixed on the camera. Perfect.
Compare the above image to the night and day set images of Rainbow Fashions. Undeniably, we have here the inspiration for Rainbow Fashions.
Rainbow Fashions set, day
When Kara sent me the image, she was unable to remember and identify the name of the shop or where it had been located. Despite all my efforts, I had no luck at all, and let Kara know I was having no success. She examined her image again and this time was quickly able to identify it as the shop of Patricia Field.
Below is a 2019 Google capture of the building to the screen right of the shop (which is no longer there), and we can see that its doorway and the window above it served as well for inspiration for a neighboring building on the set.
6 and 8 E. 8th Street
The Patricia Field shop, also known as "House of Field", shuttered its 10 East 8th Street location in 2002, moving to W. Broadway, which means that Kara was fortunate to apparently capture her image that same year before the shop moved.
The shop has been described as legendary, helping to define the neighborhood during that era, and Patricia Field dressing eventually a number of celebrities. Also a costume designer for television and film, at the time Eyes Wide Shut was being filmed, Patricia Field was costuming Sex and the City. In 1990, one of her early accolades was serving as costume designer for Shelley Duvall (she starred in Kubrick's The Shining), working on her film, Mother Goose Rock n 'Rhyme.
Digging around, I was able to find, in the brief video "A Day with Patricia Field (2002) From the Videofashion Vault", a good shot of the lower level of House of Field from 2002, before it closed. In this we can clearly see some art beside the door that was copied in Eyes Wide Shut for Rainbow Fashions. Ascending from the lower level of House of Field in the upper image we see Patricia Field.
I find it interesting that Kubrick chose to have the Rainbow costume shop associated with an individual who is a costume designer. One can perhaps look at this as thus being self-referential to the film world, that cinema is the inspiration's reality.
10 E 8th Street as it is today
Above is how the shop appears in 2019, and already had this appearance by 2011 according to Google Maps' history. So, when I looked for Rainbow Fashions' inspiration several years ago, I would never have made the connection between it and the set. At 10 E. 8th Street, between University Place and 5th Avenue, the Patricia Field shop was only about a block and a half from L'Impasse, located at 29 W. 9th Street. It was L'Impasse that I focused upon as being a possible inspiration.
Kubrick kept the 10 address for the film. Madame Jojo's jazz club, which was the inspiration for the Sonata Cafe, was at 8-10 Brewer Str. in London and once housed in the same building next the Number 10 Club. In the film, the Sonata Cafe neon is reflected in the windows of Rainbow Fashions. Though Bill has ridden from the Sonata to the Rainbow in a taxi, he has instead just crossed the street, and it is at this point in the film, with that reflection, that individuals generally begin to realize the repetitive nature of the streets, that Bill is walking through the same neighborhood over and over and that it is only wearing different dressings, or, as it were, costumes. Coincidentally, an individual who worked for Patricia Field for 17 years, as the merchandising designer for her store windows at 8th Street, was Jojo Americo. Jojo Americo is not Madame Jojo.
Another incarnation of Rainbow Fashions is Sharky's coffee shop, where Bill takes refuge when he is followed after leaving Domino's. We observe in an exterior hall at Sharky's a Christmas decoration also seen at Victor's mansion so we are given the sense of linkages between these places, just as in the rear dressing room at Rainblow Fashions we see a rug that was observed in the dressing room in the apartment of Bill and Alice.
My thanks goes to Kara for getting in touch with me with her correction and sending her wonderful image!
For further exploration on Sharky's and Jojo, see my post on Sharky's and possible relationship to the 1981 move "Sharky's Machine".
The Google map of the location.
1000 words or 2 single-spaced pages. A 8 minute read at 130 wpm.