Mr. Richard Blackwell, the acerbic designer whose annual worst-dressed list skewered the fashion felonies of celebrities from Zsa Zsa Gabor to Britney Spears, died in Los Angeles of complications from an intestinal infection yesterday. He was 86.
Blackwell issued his first tongue-in-cheek criticism of Hollywood fashion disasters for 1960. Year after year, he would take Hollywood’s reigning stars and other celebrities to task for failing to dress in what he thought was the way they should.
Here are some examples:
Madonna: "The Bare-Bottomed Bore of Babylon."
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."
Lindsay Lohan: "From adorable to deplorable."
Patti Davis: "Packs all the glamour of an old, worn-out sneaker."
Ann-Margret: "A Hells Angel escapee who invaded the Ziegfeld Follies on a rainy night."
Camilla Parker-Bowles: "The Duchess of Dowdy."
Bjork: "She dances in the dark — and dresses there, too."
Spears: "Her bra-topped collection of Madonna rejects are pure fashion overkill."
"The list is and was a satirical look at the fashion flops of the year," he said in 1998. "I merely said out loud what others were whispering. … It’s not my intention to hurt the feelings of these people. It’s to put down the clothing they’re wearing."
He is survived by Robert Spencer, his partner of nearly 60 years.