Costume Designer Nolan Miller Leaves Behind a Glamorous "Dynasty"
Jun 08, 2012 - by Lester Brathwaite
Emmy-winning costume designer Nolan Miller, best known for his bold-shouldered and heavily-sequined work on that 80s primetime power-bitch hour known as Dynasty, has passed away from complications of lung cancer. He was 79.
Miller met a then-struggling writer-producer Aaron Spelling when he was just a young Hollywood florist in the 50s, where he catered to the likes of Joan Crawford, Lana Turner and Bette Davis.
Those leading ladies and Spelling helped him break into the industry and eventually he went on to design for many of Spelling's shows during the 70s and 80s including Charlie's Angels, The Love Boat and Hart to Hart.
But his greatest achievement is no doubt the over-the-top fashion of Dynasty. Each week Joan Collins, Linda Evans and Diahann Carroll would bitch-slap the foundation off each other wearing only the most opulent ornamentation.
"This is a fantasy for a lifestyle if you were rich, rich, rich," Spelling told Miller. The TV titan never wanted to see Joan and the girls in anything twice and gave Miller an unprecedented costume budget of $35,000 per episode.
Nolan used real fur. He would have Joan and Linda dripping in sables and in Harry Winston jewels that he borrowed, said his longtime business associate Rene Horsch.
The fashions proved so popular that Spelling called for a closed set to keep what the women were wearing under wraps and the show even spawned its own signature line of clothing at Bloomingdale's.