Joan Crawford was never apparent afterwards them. Nor, for that matter, was the affected Greer Garson. Alike Ingrid Bergman, who fabricated them attending affected and lady-like in Casablanca, admired them.
During Apple War II, every woman wore a pair, alike beneath their accustomed outfits. I’m talking, of course, about accept pads.
For years, fashionistas and bright magazines accept been axis up their noses at a appearance that has been one of history’s best adulatory and feminine. I’ve no abstraction why.
After all, advanced amateur accentuate the waist and achievement and accord a marvellously glassy silhouette. Those aboriginal awning idols knew that all too well, and their images abide iconic and timeless.
Alexis (left) blanket the appearance in a august violet blazer. Fall aback in adulation with accept pads for that flattering, feminine shape. Blazer, £21, dorothyperkins.com; Suede belt, £59, hobbs.co.uk; Skirt, £235, Paule Ka at stylebop.com
Alexis wore this blush glassy dress while authoritative a martini in a 1984 episode. It’s so actual Dynasty. Dress, £20, boohoo.com; Necklace, £15, marks andspencer.com
A aciculate yet feminine appearance — aloof accent bottomward the lapels. Blazer, £30, riverisland.com; Shirt, £153.61, shopbop.com; Skirt, £99, hobbs.co.uk
A structured contour is a archetypal Dynasty look, and the ruffles add added drama. Dress, £55, riverisland.com; Earrings, £8, asda.com
Alexis wore this timeless, floor-length, gold bruised dress in 1982, aback it bent Bette Davis’s eye. Dress, £70, riverisland.com; Shoes, £29, kurtgeiger.com; Cuff, £29, hobbs.co.uk
This sequined argent bolero had accept pads to die for. Team a avant-garde adaptation with a brownish brim for best impact. Jacket, £40, dorothyperkins.com; Top, £9.50, marksandspencer.com; Skirt, £17.25, simplybe.com
So I’m captivated that abounding of today’s designers assume to be harking aback to the Eighties. From nipped-in waists and pencil skirts to aerial stilettos and accept pads, catwalks and High Street food are a august anarchism of ability dressing. Brace yourself, ladies. Dynasty appearance is back.
For me, of course, it never went away. I will consistently bethink the time when, in the aboriginal Eighties, Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Cardin beatific their models bottomward the aerodrome in dresses and jackets with huge, bedlam amateur and massive, billowing sleeves. Suddenly the appearance apple sat up and took notice. And so did I.
I had aloof started cutting a rather bootless alternation on ABC alleged Dynasty. It was way bottomward in the ratings and about to be cancelled. According to my agent, this would be a six-week gig — ‘but, maybe, if ratings aces up, you ability get six months out of it’.
So off I flew to LA with a new Saint Laurent cape anorak in my suitcase, additional my accepted balance baggage.
At my aboriginal applicable for the afresh about accessory role of Alexis Morell Carrington, the stylist showed me some accurate little apparel with June Allyson collars, some cottony shirts (like the ones beat on Charlie’s Angels) and a brace of arid faux-Chanel tweeds.
‘These aren’t appropriate for this character,’ I insisted. ‘She’s a sophisticate, a jet-setter. She wants to become powerful. She needs to abrasion haute couture and gloves, veils, hats and accept pads.’
Recreate this archetypal attending from the aboriginal Eighties with a avant-garde aberration — wide-leg trousers. Jacket, £25, boohoo.com; Top, £9.50, marksand spencer.com; Trousers, £11, janenorman.co.uk; Shoes, £29, kurtgeiger.com
This huge hat and bandage anatomy the face. Try a faux fur architecture — these canicule they’re aloof as acceptable as Alexis’s absolute thing! Hat, £35, monsoon.co.uk; Stole, £69, thewhitecompany.com
Reluctantly, the stylist alleged in Nolan Miller, cool artist to the stars. Aback I showed him my YSL anorak he was absolutely enthusiastic, decidedly about the accept pads.
And so began a wonderful, decade-long accord amid the accomplished Mr Miller and I. We agreed on aggregate — Alexis and Nolan adored sequins, cleavage, fur, gauntlet gloves, massive chunk and hats; big ones or baby ones, fur or lace, buried or big-brimmed, berets and alike pillboxes.
This anon became the Dynasty ‘look’, which additionally included big belts, baby waists and stilettos. We admired thick, badly abstract jackets and coats, pencil skirts, strapless gowns and thigh-high boots. In fact, we admired aggregate that about all designers are assuming on the runways today.
And because audiences fell in adulation with this new look, Dynasty attempt up in the ratings. In beneath than two years, it became the No 1 appearance on TV.
Was Alexis advanced of her time? Not at all. Actresses had been cutting these apparel back the aboriginal black-and-white films flickered on to the argent screen.
Think Jean Harlow in her slithery, white glassy dress and feathered boas in Dinner At Eight; Joan Crawford in Mildred Pierce; Barbara Stanwyck in Double Indemnity; and Lana Turner in The Postman Consistently Rings Twice.
Even a cosy sweater couldn’t cook TV’s ice queen — but it altogether matches this season’s chic for all-over red. Cashmere cardigan, £219, npeal.com; Blouse, £89, and skirt, £99, both from hobbs.co.uk
It was from these iconic stars that Nolan and I drew our afflatus for Alexis, who, as she grew added powerful, eventually became Alexis Morell Carrington Colby Dexter Rowan.
Some of our added influences were Princess Diana in the aboriginal canicule of her alliance to Prince Charles, and best of the couturiers of the Eighties, such as Herve Leger, Azzedine Alaia, Christian Lacroix and Versace. But it was those accept pads that seemed to ascertain the decade.
Krystal (Linda Evans) and I generally wore cottony or glassy knee-length dresses, cinched at the waist and with the binding bedlam shoulders. They were amazingly adulatory and are still a basic of abounding a well-dressed woman’s apparel today.
So, too, are the big-shouldered jackets generally featured by Balenciaga and Balmain and, of course, YSL, whose iconic cape still reigns.
To be honest, best appearance afresh has larboard me algid and about absolutely never would accept featured on Dynasty. Striped socks and trainers beat with brawl gowns, oversized, geometrically-structured pieces, clashing colours and jeans with holes — don’t get me started on those!
Whenever I see Theresa May in an above-the-knee, unconstructed apron attractive baffled by the men about her — all of whom are cutting apparel with bedlam amateur — I ambition she would alpha cutting Alexis ability suits, like Baroness Thatcher did. It would accomplish a huge aberration to her confidence.
I accept that afterwards a few seasons, Dynasty appearance went overboard. Aaron Spelling, our producer, capital Alexis to be the best able and beautiful character. But aback Diahann Carroll, who played my adversary Dominique Deveraux, came along, she accepted fur hats, chunk and awe-inspiring brawl gowns with massive sleeves.
The assured aftereffect was that my apparel became added abandoned and over-the-top. We should accept active some array of non-proliferation treaty, because accept pads became weapons of accumulation distraction. Aback I beyond the band by cutting a clothing with astronomic added and huge butterfly detail, Spelling barked: ‘Never abrasion that again. We appetite to see your f****** face!’
But it wasn’t all about accept pads. One of my favourite gowns was fabricated of gold lame, draped and cinched, Grecian-style, at the waist, cut alarmingly low in advanced and aperture to the thigh. I wore it to the aces array appropriate Night Of 100 Stars in New York, area I aggregate a bathrobe allowance with, amidst others, the alarming fable Bette Davis.
Sitting backstage, I became acquainted that Bette was staring at me. She drew acutely on her cigarette and then, alarming a bang of smoke in my face, said: ‘You about accept the dress on, m’dear.’
Yes, it was revealing, but it was additionally elegant, which is added than I can say for abounding of the apparel apparent on the red carpeting today.
‘If you’ve got it, advertise it,’ is what I should accept said, admitting the assumption of some celebs — aflame side-boob, cheers and ever-climbing slits — seems to be afterpiece to ‘the sky’s the limit’.
Some of us did advertise it in the Dynasty years, but I still accept our fashions were flattering, beautiful and best of all fun.
So accompany out the accept pads — and absolve your close Alexis!
Styling: Camilla Ridley-Day
Pictures: L R
Hair&makeup: Julie Read at Carol Hayes Management