BootLeg Betty

BetteBack – Friday, January 12, 1990: Fashion critic Mr. Blackwell saves special barbs for Bette and Barbara

THE INTELLIGENCER/RECORD
Fashion critic Mr. Blackwell lists his picks for 1989
Friday, January 12, 1990

LOS ANGELES – Fashion critic Mr.’ Blackwell, who has ripped into the wardrobes of celebrities for three decades, put LaToya Jackson atop his worst-dressed roll this week because he considers her more freak than chic.

“In leather and chains, she’s Cher for the 1990s,” said the outspoken oracle of style. “If I had her face and body I’d stay in bed all day.”

The acid-tongued critic also flung 1989 fashion darts at Roseanne Barr, Demi Moore, Kim Basinger, Princess Anne, Emily Lloyd, Cher, Daryl Hannah and Paula Abdul and, in a tie for 10th, Madonna and Sandra Bernhard.

“The finalists were a parade of terrors that make The Joker in ‘Batman’ look positively conservative by comparison,”
said Blackwell, a designer. “Ninety-nine percent of these people could be mistaken for a bag lady,” The year’s uncontested fashion frump, however, was singer Grace Jones: “Darth Vader-sS&M fantasy in a Martian bird cage.”

His Top 10 list of Fabulous Fashion Independents included first lady Barbara Bush, actress Oeena Davis, Ivan* Trump,
actress Angela Lansbury, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, entertainer Liza Minnelli, television personality Barbara Walters, Vanity Fair editor Tina Brown, Princess Diana and Jacqueline Onassis.

Special barbs were aimed at Barbra Streisand and Bette Midler, perennia, Blackwell favorites who have been on his
worst-dressed list so often they are now lifetime holders of the dishonor.

“We don’t have any star-status people anymore—the Elizabeth Taylors,” he saw. “Poor Bette Midler, she’s helpless. Why bother? And Barbra Streisand, she’s on some kick for visual self-deitruction.”

“1 don’t know how she has a mirror in the house.”
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