Angela Lansbury's Clothes

Lansbury in 2016
It isn't easy for anyone on television from the 1980s to look good.

Can you say . . . mullets?!

There are two actresses that succeeded in wearing 1980s/early 1990s garb with aplomb: Gillian Anderson and Angela Lansbury.

The astonishing aspect of Angela Lansbury is how well she dresses no matter the occasion. She has (yes, she is still alive as of April 19, 2017) the impressive ability to look comfortable and stylish. She wears her clothes--they don't wear her.

Even more impressive is that her clothes look timeless. The Golden Girls' actresses wore 1980s dress to the nth degree. They were of obviously high quality but . . . pastel anyone?

In comparison, Lansbury's clothes from Murder, She Wrote to The Mormon Tabernacle Choir to the Academy Awards are something more than mere "trends"--they are extravagant wear for everyday, any day.

The current actress who comes closest to capturing Lansbury (and Anderson's) ability to wear the right clothes for the right occasion regardless of time period is Lucy Liu (Elementary).


FreeLiveFree said...

Well, Gillian Anderson is so flippin' gorgeous I have a hard time seeing her look bad in anything.

I'm embarrassed to say I though MacGuyver's mullet was cool as a kid.

Eugene said...

The male leads in Miami Vice do well in the fashion department. The black business suits favored by Edward James Olmos and Philip Michael Thomas's conservative designer attire wouldn't look out of place today.

Even Don Johnson's pastels hold up well, at least when he keeps his hair short. Hair from the 1980s is like a carbon-dated archeological layer. Same for the cars. The Ferraris don't age. But those big, blocky American cars are dinosaurs

I've noticed that by the early 1990s (The X-Files, for example) both the cars and the fashions were well on their way to correcting for these aesthetic faux pas.

The 1990s was when subtle shifts in technology took over as the dating mechanism. CRT or LCD? Flip phone or smartphone?

Of course, when it comes to fashion that hasn't gone out of style for over half a millennium, the kimono wins hands down. But again, nothing pins down the time period of a Japanese melodrama faster than the hair styles.

Stanley Kubrick got it right in 2001 by giving his astronauts a conservative military look instead of taking his cues from the hipster 1960s.

FreeLiveFree said...

I do have to wonder is it really important if something is dated? Of course, anything looks like the era it was made in. Also, many things we attribute to different eras are from later works. The classic Stetson cowboy hat did not appear until about turn of the century. During most of the Old West era most people wore bowlers.

Of course, some works are more blatant than others. Starsky @ Hutch is more 70s than Rockford Files. Of course, Rockford Files holds up better on the writing too.