Nolan Miller remembered: ‘He loved glamour, he loved old Hollywood’


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After costume designer Nolan Miller -- the man best-known for unleashing the ‘Dynasty’ look on the world -- passed away last week, I found myself researching his career, and getting insight from some of the people he’d worked with, to include in my compatriot Elaine Woo’s obituary of him that appeared in Saturday’s Times.

One of those people was Rachael Stanley, executive director of Costume Designers Guild Local 892, who had worked with Miller on several projects including the television series “The Colbys” and the 1991 movie “Soapdish.’


‘He was just a sweet, dear [man] and always a perfect gentleman,’ Stanley told me. ‘He was always very classy and refined and had a wonderful sense of humor. ... He loved glamour, he loved old Hollywood. He always thought women should always be glamorous and refined and made to look as beautiful as possible. He loved that part of it. Even in his fashion lines, his clothes and his fashion always geared more towards the more refined, polished and glamorous aspects of women’s clothing.’

PHOTOS: The work of Nolan Miller

Eilish Zebrasky, a fellow costume designer -- and friend of Miller’s since the two met on the set of ‘Fantasy Island’ in 1978 -- recalled a similar love of glamour and sense of humor. ‘He could never understand how the look changed when we started dressing people in the grunge,’ Zebrasky said. ‘He didn’t get that at all.’

‘And he was an amazing joke teller. ... I always tell this story about Noli –- I called him Noli -– we were at a formal event and this one lady had this beautiful chiffon dress on but it was quite too short on her -- about four inches [too short] -- and she had on plain black shoes that ruined the whole look.

Nolan turned to me and said: ‘Obviously, she doesn’t have a full-length mirror.’ He believed that everybody had to have a full-length mirror.’



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-- Adam Tschorn