Monday, October 6, 2008

TV Style Icon: Dorothy Zbornak Was the Chicest GG

To put it in the plainest terms, the other Golden Girls simply tried too hard. The other day I caught a rerun of the show on Lifetime. One of the topics of conversation regarded Blanche keeping the tags on an expensive dress she planned on seducing a man with and then returning to the store the next day. The gold spangly number was on the shorter side and made noise when it moved. It screamed "Look at me! Look at me!" and if you can't do that at least "You can hear me coming."

Rose had on a frock that Laura Ashley's granny would have thought too hausfrau to wear. In fact, Sophia's ratty yellow cardigan elicited more sex appeal. And then there's the inimitable, peerless, urbane Dorothy Zbornak. 

Yes, Miami has a true tropical climate. The summers are hot and humid and the winters are warm and dry. The average temperature in January hovers around 70, but Ms. Zbornak was above flimsy spaghetti strapped dresses and flip flops. 

During the run of the show, from 1985 to 1992, she wore modern, ageless pieces. She understood the importance of the fabric's hand and drape. Her multiple cocoon jackets easily mixed with her harem pants. Neutrals predominated her wardrobe, with the occasional print or pop of color. Dorothy knew how to edit and exercised great restraint...unlike her wear & return, conspicuous consumer housemate Blanche. 

Never did she pile on the accessories. Zbornak's slouchy flat boots (for helping her navigate the daily grind of South Beach), smart purse (large enough for lesson plans, keys, and a hardcover bit of non-fiction), and perfectly sized earrings balanced out her grand frame. And that beautiful silver coif; the perfect compliment to her closet's color story. 

Dorothy's Zbornak's clothes read: highly intelligent, fashion forward, and progressive thinking woman. As the house's voice of reason, it would have been inauthentic for her to wear an acid wash miniskirt or a strapless leather jumpsuit. But I have the most confidence that this Brooklyn babe would have been able to pull it off with great aplomb.

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