Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Thank you, Mr. Blackwell.

If it wasn't for Mr. Blackwell, known world-wide for his annual celebrity best and worst dressed list, I probably wouldn't have a job.

Thank you, Mr. Blackwell.

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 25:  Fashion critic Mr.  Blackwell attends the 17th Annual Night Of 100 Stars Oscar Gala held at the Beverly Hills Hotel on February 25, 2007 in Beverly Hills, California.  (Photo by Chad Buchanan/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Mr. Blackwell
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 25: Fashion critic Mr. Blackwell attends the 17th Annual Night Of 100 Stars Oscar Gala held at the Beverly Hills Hotel on February 25, 2007 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Chad Buchanan/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Mr. Blackwell Getty Images

If it wasn't for Mr. Blackwell, known world-wide for his annual celebrity best and worst dressed list, I probably wouldn't have a job.

Mr. Blackwell, his first name was Richard, died Sunday afternoon after complications from an intestinal infection. He was 86. Mr. Blackwell released his first list of fashion disasters in 1960. Up until then, he was a little known dress designer.  Blackwell annually ripped into celebrities for committing fashion flops. His list was met with much fanfare. Nobody was safe, not even Princess Diana of Wales, who topped his worst-dressed list in 1982. According to Mr. Blackwell, Princess Diana had gone from “a very young, independent, fresh look” to a “tacky, dowdy” style.  Some of of his other famous zingers include:

Barbra Streisand: “She looks like a masculine Bride of Frankenstein.”

Christina Aguilera: “A dazzling singer who puts good taste through the wardrobe wringer.”

Meryl Streep: “She looks like a gypsy abandoned by a caravan.”

Sharon Stone:  “An over-the-hill Cruella DeVille.”

Britney Spears: “Her bra-topped collection of Madonna rejects are pure fashion overkill.”

Eventually fashion critiques would be key in print and television media and nowadays, everybody is a fashion critic, but Mr. Blackwell was first for doing it with such flare and attitude. What were your favorite Blackwell lines?  Will you miss his annual list?

About this blog

I’m a Libra so I’m all about pretty things. We of the scales sign know what we like, and our standards are high.

So I can’t help but love fashion – one day I will get that Diane von Furstenberg wrap and those Christian Louboutin shoes.

And fragrances? My favorite right now is Chanel Mademoiselle. As for makeup, can we say MAC?

So let’s thank the Greek goddess of beauty, Aphrodite, that a true fashionista can find everything she needs right here in Philly.

I’ve covered fashion here for six years, and I have traveled to New York, Los Angeles and Paris to write about local and national designers. Let me tell you, there is no place where people wear midnight Eagles green or Phillies red with such wild abandon as they do on the west side of the Ben Franklin Bridge.

Sound familiar? This blog is for you.

Reach Elizabeth at ewellington@phillynews.com.

Elizabeth Wellington Fashion Columnist
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