Herewith our annual look at the clothing coups and boo-boos of the famous folk who dare to wear the duds that make us stare. This year, with the help of our opinionated panel of expert and not-so-expert judges—Olympian Florence Griffith Joyner, TV’s extroverted extraterrestrial, ALF, controversial talk show host Morton Downey Jr., country singer Tanya Tucker and designers Vivienne Westwood, Victor Costa and Kenneth Cole—we travel the sartorially bumpy road from flash to trash and back again.
Everybody—well, all the humans, anyway—loved Joan Collins’ look. “Fabulous, elegant, lovely,” cried the judges. As Flo-Jo said, “There’s nothing about it I don’t like.” Only ALF found fault, calling the gloves “arm casts as fashion.”
Kevin Costner wowed the judges, although Flo-Jo thought the bomber jacket was too tight. Tucker thought he looked adventurous: “I can see this guy getting into his plane and storming the cows.” Country singers talk like that.
Who’s going to say something bad about Prince William? No one, it turns out. “I love the little pleats on his pants,” said Tucker. “He needs a little pipe though.”
You want unanimity? Bring up the name of Jean Kasem, noted couture abuser and wife of syndicated deejay Casey. Costa spoke for all our judges: “Bad taste at its worst.”
On anyone else, polka dots and stripes might have provoked a chorus of catcalls. Yet draping Audrey Hepburn, the outfit prompted positive purrs of approval from our pussycat panel. “Impeccable, fantastic,” cooed Costa. Perhaps Flo-Jo came closest to the truth however: “I would only buy something like this if I could get my money back after wore it.”
“Barbie and Ken go to the Emmys,” caviled ALF, but Michael J. Fox and wife Tracy Pollan drew nothing but kudos from the other judges. “You can’t go wrong with this look,” said Cole. Fox was hailed for his classic tux, while Pollan was praised from tip (her hair) to toe (her shoes).
A soft landing for Donna Mills. “Cool, calm and casual,” claimed Tucker. “Pretty and adventuresome,” ventured Westwood. Cole was analytical: “I’m not sure tailor dressing for women was ever part of the ERA, but it should have been.”
Shirtless George Michael inspired extreme comment. “One of the worst,” winced Westwood. Tucker’s tongue was hanging out: “He wants to attract the opposite sex, and it works.”
Robert Palmer says he’s “Addicted to Love,” but our judges think he’s addicted to duds as well. And, they concurred, why shouldn’t he be? “He looks great,” said Costa. “I love the silk jacket, the buckled shoes, the light stocking, the creased pants.” All in all, a very cool customer.
Although Florence Griffith Joyner is one of our judges, she was also the most eye-catching athlete of the year, so how could we—or her fellow judges—ignore her? It turns out there is very little professional courtesy in the fashion-judging business. Costa thought her tights made her look like a Playboy bunny, and Downey wondered, “Is this the Olympics or the Folies-Bergères?”
No more bustiers, no more underwear worn as outerwear. So does Madonna get any respect? Naaaah! Flo-Jo’s comment: “A construction worker who fell off a telephone pole.”
Visible garter-belt line and all, New York nightclub regular Dianne Brill was dressed to spill. “An attractive woman, an interesting look,” said Cole. “I hope it stays inflated until she gets home.” Downey thought her outfit “guarantees safe sex,” which somehow dovetailed with Tucker’s observation: “She looks like she goes for $25 a night—or less.”
There’s only so much you can do with basic tennis whites, so 18-year-old Andre Agassi made his on-court fashion statement with denim. Flo-Jo, strict traditionalist that she is, didn’t like the look. “Is he playing tennis or basketball?” she asked.
For some judges, Prince’s spots turned out to be catching. Cole thought he looked “as clean and tailored as any spotted mammal I’ve ever seen.” Costa’s distilled reaction: “Obscene.”
American actress Lauren Hutton and French designer Christian Lacroix? Not a winning combination, according to our panel. “She is a remarkable woman wearing a remarkable dress that should be worn by someone else,” said Cole.
Most of our judges gave Daryl Hannah a dressing-down for doing just that. Westwood weighed in with “terrible” and “dreadful” (though Costa liked the campy glasses). Flo-Jo said she wouldn’t go out in public like this, but that didn’t mean the look wasn’t good for something: She thought it ideal for washing the car.
They may have split up, but Don Johnson and Barbra Streisand were a toothsome twosome when they were together. The judges drooled over dandy Don, and they burbled about Barbra. Said Cole: “She is a beautiful woman with a lot of style.”
The Duchess of York was six months pregnant when she wore this Zandra Rhodes creation. Did that make our judges kinder? No way. Costa thought the dress made Fergie’s bust look “droopy.” Tucker figured “the Queen made her wear it.” Only Downey wasn’t down on her: “She’s proud of her plump, and she should be.”
Ah, the price of Fame. Both Flo-Jo and Tucker agreed that Irene Cara’s ensemble basically said: “Look at my boobs.” Costa’s reaction was stunned silence, while Westwood thought the dress made Cara look like “something from an Egyptian tomb.” Downey liked the design, and ALF complimented, of all things, Cara’s purse.
Corbin Bernsen is a sort of fashion L.A. Law unto himself. “You couldn’t look any better than that,” said Costa. Flo-Jo wasn’t sure about the shoes—”they look all scuffed up”—otherwise she loved the outfit. Tucker thought the laid-back lawyer looked “very L.A.,” where, as she pointed out, “ties are not happening.”
You’d think Sigourney Weaver’s dress would bring the gorillas out of the mist, but not all of our judges went ape. “Fabuous,” declared Costa, yet Tucker thought the outfit looked homemade, and Flo-Jo asked: “Why wear a long dress when you have to stick your leg out of it?”
Westwood couldn’t contain herself when it came to Sean Connery. “I do think he is the best,” she said. Costa praised the casual look and dubbed the dapper Scotsman “very stylish.”
Cathy Lee Crosby’s leopard look hit the spot with Tucker: “It’s fun. It shows every ripple.” Cole said, “I’m not sure she should wear this on the street.” Flo-Jo said she wouldn’t wear it on the street, but she might try wearing it on the track.
Sure, “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” but do they have to dress like this to seek it out? Digging deep, Tucker was able to give Cyndi Lauper a backhanded compliment: “I just think Cyndi’s trying to dress the worst she possibly can, and I think she succeeded.”
Jennifer Grey’s little-girl look did nothing for Flo-Jo or Downey. “Why did she have to shoot the kitchen drapes to make a dress?” moaned Mort. Yet Cole found the dirty dancer’s demeanor “refreshing,” and Costa liked the thrift-shop effect, calling it “a put-on, youthful and a lot of fun.”
Downey said he was “sick of royalty that tries to look like the common folk.” Tucker thought Di looked like an album cover. Flo-Jo, on the other hand, thought she looked more like “a picture in a magazine.” Well?