One could say Nolan Miller did more for the shoulder pad than Farrah Fawcett and Pamela Anderson did for the one-piece swimsuit. In actuality, and in retrospect, Nolan Miller was a product of his time and of his industry, and a consummate professional.
Famed Hollywood Pygmalion, Nolan Miller, concocted the stuff of dreams for legions of TV fans. He skillfully extracted the fashion trends, distilled their iconography, and unleashed what is seen today as the Nolan Miller look… or “Dynasty style,” if you will.
Yes, the Reagan Years (1980-1988) didn’t pass unnoticed — nor did the world’s obsession with anything and everything American! The American dream, as seen through the televised 80’s prime-time dramas, was all about glamour and the ubiquitous shoulder pads. Excess was in, and if a little bit was good, more was better!
As over the top as this particular fashion style reads today, it actuality reflected how the ‘Rich and Famous’ dressed for red carpet affairs or fancy dinner parties. Look back at the work of Gianfranco Ferré or Gianni Versace, Pierre Cardin or Thierry Mugler, James Galanos or Bill Blass — you’ll see the same.
What Nolan Miller brought to the table, with the support of his greatest ally Aaron Spelling, was a dose of old school Hollywood fantasy. Aaron Spelling cared so much about his Dynasty cast appearance, that he gave Nolan Miller a whopping $35,000 per episode to make the fantasy real. Miller used the most exclusive furs, silks, and embroiderers for his costumes… nothing was done half-way.
Nolan Miller became a favorite couturier of the Hollywood elite, leaving an indelible mark in fashion history. Nolan Miller (January 8, 1933 – June 6, 2012), né Nolan Bertrandoff Miller, was a Texas native, who moved westward to make a name for himself. As lady luck would have it, she introduced this little unknown to a few key Hollywood key players with whom he struck a close friendship. And the rest is some of Hollywood history…
These Old Broads (2001) (TV)
Dynasty: The Reunion (1991) (TV)
Peter Gunn (1989) (TV)
Skin Deep (1989)
Malice in Wonderland (1985) (TV)
Hollywood Wives (1985) (TV miniseries)
The Colbys (1985) (TV)
Making of a Male Model (1983) (TV)
Hotel (1983) (TV)
Don’t Go to Sleep (1982) (TV)
Bare Essence (1982) (TV)
Paper Dolls (1982) (TV)
T.J. Hooker (1982) (TV)
Dynasty (1981) (TV)
Rest in peace, Mr. Miller. Thank you for allowing us to dream big!