BetteBack 1974: Bette Midler And David Bowie Finally Arrive! Both Make Blackwell’s Worst Dresses List!

Dover Times Reporter
Singer ahead of some famous folks on worst dressed list
January 4, 1974

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Singer Bette Midler is No. 1 on Mr. Blackwell‘s list of the 10 worst dressed women of 1973. No. 10 is a man: rock music star David Bowie.

For only the second time in 14 years of issuing the list, Blackwell included a man.

The designer explained, “If they want to face the public as a woman, they deserve to make the list.” He described Bowie as “a cross between Joan Crawford and Marlene Deitrich doing a glitter revival of ‘New Faces’.”

The other man who made the list in another decade is comedian Milton Berle. Berle dressed as a woman on his weekly television show to earn that title.

The 1973 list also includes such persons as Britain’s Princess Anne and Jacqueline Onassis.

Blackwell, saving his most cutting remarks for Miss Midler, told a news conference in the drawing room of his mansion Thursday, “She looks like she took pot luck in a laundromat.

The worst dressed, named by Blackwell in order of ranking from one to 10, were: Miss Midler, Princess Anne, actress Racquel Welch, tennis star Billie Jean King, Mrs. Onassis, actresses Elke Sommer and Sarah Miles, the Andrews Sisters, actress Liv Ullman and Bowie.

The designer criticized Mrs. Onassis for her casual wardrobe.

“I’d like to see her in a dress. I’m tired of $5,000 worth of T-shirts,” he chided.

He called Princess Anne’s wedding dress dull and declared she “makes her mother, the Queen, look fashionable, and that takes some doing.”

Miss Welch, who was No. 1 on the worst dressed list last year, dropped to No. 3, but not because Blackwell likes her taste any better. “She looks worse, but she’s become less important,” he said. (Mister D: Ouch!)

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