08 June 2012 by

Joan Collins’ Dynasty Dress Designer, Nolan Miller, Dies Aged 79

King of the shoulder pad, Dynasty costume designer Nolan Miller has died aged 79.

The actress and well-known fan of glamour, Joan Collins, tweeted yesterday that ‘My dear friend Nolan Miller died peacefully in his sleep last night. He was a huge part of my life and I will miss him terribly.’

Although not one of the most recognizable names in fashion, Nolan played in a key role in developing the popular overblown style of the 80s, with well co-ordinated accessories, sequins, peplums and lots and LOTS of shoulder padding. The costume budget for Dynasty was $35,000 a week, which Nolan used to create a fashion spectacle on television twenty years before Carrie Bradshaw graced our screens. In an interview with Gary Rutkowski in 2003, he revealed that Dynasty creator Aaron Spelling told him that ‘I never want to see them wear the same thing twice’ and that his brief for the series was to design for ‘a fantasy of a lifestyle – if you were rich, rich, rich this is how you would live’.

Of Dynasty divas Joan Collins, Linda Evans, Stephanie Beacham and Diahann Carroll he said that their look was such that ‘when she walks down the hall, you may not know who she is, but you know she’s rich, and you know you better get out of the way’. A-men to that.

Miller designed over 3000 outfits for the show between 1981 and 1989, and won an Emmy in 1984 for his work. He continued to design for Collins long after Dynasty came to an end – creating the actress’ lilac wedding dress, for her wedding to Percy Gibson, in 2002, amongst many other pieces. In addition, the costumes on Dynasty spawned a line of clothing – ‘The Dynasty Collection’ which Miller designed. He also worked on Charlie’s Angels with Spelling, as well as with a diverse range of stars from Bette Davis to Elizabeth Taylor, and until last year, he designed a line of typically flamboyant jewellery for QVC.

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