Legendary Dynasty Designer Nolan Miller Dead At 79

If you’re old enough to have seen Krystal and Alexis thrash around in the reflecting pool then you’ll probably shed a sequin tear over the news that Nolan Miller, the designer who slapped reams of taffeta and sky-high shoulder pads on the ladies of Dynasty, died of lung cancer on Wednesday. He was 79.

Miller’s iconic ensembles helped define the show’s ridiculously opulent aesthetic—and set the standard for fashion for much of the 1980s.

With a weekly wardrobe budget of $35,000, Mr. Miller designed some 3,000 outfits for “Dynasty,” which was on the air from 1981 to 1989.

“I never want to see them wearing the same outfit twice,” he said.

Though forever linked to that nighttime soap, Miller also designed costumes for dozens of movies and TV shows, including Charlie’s Angels, The Love Boat, Gilligan’s Island and The Addams Family. (He designed Morticia’s infamous shroudlike black gown.)

He also dressed Golden Age divas like Elizabeth Taylor, Barbara Stanwyck and Joan Crawford, the model for wicked Alexis Carrington’s vampy style. Alexis herself, Joan Collins, tweeted about his passing: “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. Rest now NM.”

Below, some of Miller’s Dynasty designs:



Photos: ABC

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  • Hyhybt

    Why was Morticia’s gown “infamous?”

  • Karl

    Sad news…
    Nolan Miller defined the 80s for me, the outrageous fashions, the unashamed glamour….I regularly watch re-runs of Dynasty, the Love Boat and of course Charlies Angels [ for which he designed three times as many outfits for season four than previous seasons ] all the time.
    He loved glamour and opulence, and I admired him for that. He left a true Hollywood legacy and wont be forgotten.

  • Max lee

    @Hyhybt: it may had to do with the dress being so tight for that time period?

  • Red Assault

    Wait… you mean a gay guy designed those horrific shoulder-padded, over-fluffed, poofy, putrid and just plain ghastly fumigation tents the women wore on Dynasty?

    I figured they used those because all the gay men refused to work with Joan Collins and they had to go to a camping supply place and make do.

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