Make us your home page

Fashion critic Mr. Blackwell dies in L.A. at 86



One of our favorite celeb-watching, invective-spouting brethren, Richard Blackwell (a.k.a. Mr. Blackwell) has died, the AP reports. Our fashion watching will never be the same again.

Tbdmrblackwell102108 Publicist Harlan Boll says the designer died Sunday at Cedars-Sinai in L.A. of complications from an intestinal infection at the age of 86, which is much too young for a man who once called Sharon Stone "an over-the-hill Cruella DeVille."

Before turning to fashion in 1958, Blackwell tried acting, but it was his annual worst-dressed list that brough him fame in 1960, when he called out luminaries like Anna Magnani and Zsa Zsa Gabor.

The list was a major celebrity event every January, although he had turned to issuing it by email instead of announcing it in person the last few years. Even he said he sometimes felt guilty for ridiculing celebs, but like The Juice*, people shouldn't shoot the messenger.

"The list is and was a satirical look at the fashion flops of the year," he said in 1998. "I merely said out loud what others were whispering. ... It's not my intention to hurt the feelings of these people. It's to put down the clothing they're wearing."

Like when he called Madonna "the Bare-Bottomed Bore of Babylon," perhaps? Or maybe when he said Barbra Streisand was "a masculine Bride of Frankenstein," we're thinking. And so, with a heavy heart, we pledge to keep up Mr. Blackwell's mission: To point out  at every opportunity when a celebrity obviously has more money than brains.

[Photo: Getty Images]


[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:06am]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours