Monday, November 3, 2008


Most of you gentle readers are already aware of my love for all things 80s, which has been encouraged by the recent release of the first three seasons of Dynasty on DVD. Dynasty is, of course, an example of some of the best television writing ever, bringing us such lines as:

"I am Fallon Carrington Colby, accent on the Carrington."


"I found her caressing my Clenet."

and such riveting dialogue as:

"What kind of refinery?" "A very fine refinery."


"I told you that I had to go away to find a rainbow to paint. Do you remember what you said?"

"Yes, I said: 'There are rainbows in Denver sometimes. Aren't they special enough for you?'"

The craftsmanship of these words is extraordinary.

Anyway, seasons one and two are already part of my DVD collection and, although I don’t own it, I have enjoyed watching parts of season three with my friend Leah. She decided to come to visit me in New York this weekend and we thought that the combination of traditional dressing up for Halloween and the recently released season three of Dynasty warranted a special kind of celebration. We are particularly obsessed with the fashions, hair, and makeup on this show and we wanted to experience what it might be like to be a Dynasty woman. So, for one special night, my humble log home became the Carrington Estate outside of Denver and Leah and I became Dynasty ladies.

We raided our closets and our jewelry boxes and we trolled Salvation Army and Goodwill stores from Maryland to New York to get the look just right.

With so many fabulous Dynasty ladies to choose from, it was difficult to decide which one to impersonate for the evening. In the end, Leah and I settled on becoming Fallon and Alexis, respectively. Fallon is the manipulative and loyal daughter of Blake Carrington (the patriarch of the show):

Alexis is the conniving ex-wife of Blake Carrington who returned to Denver sixteen years after abandoning her children on Blake’s orders (see the rainbow exchange above) to testify against him during his murder trial. She is also Fallon’s mother:

Krystle Carrington, Blake’s wife since 1981, was played by McKenna.

First, we donned our dressing gowns (along with feather slippers and millions of dollars in jewelry, of course):

Then, we curled and combed and teased and brushed and pinned and Aqua Netted our hair into 1980s hairstyles (or as close as we could get):

Next, we piled on the makeup, including blue and gold eye shadow, black eyeliner and mascara, and massive amounts of blush and lipstick.

The Carrington women did not just live lives of leisure, taking money from Blake and/or their various husbands. They were business women in their own right—remember how Alexis ran ColbyCo after Cecil Colby died? You would never see either of them in boring business suits, though. They found ways to incorporate shoulder pads and ruffly blouses into their business attire, adding that fashionable flare that was their trademark.

The original Fallon Carrington Colby:

Leah as Fallon Carrington Colby:

The original Alexis Carrington:

Ken as Alexis Carrington:

When they weren’t plotting to get their oil tankers back from some fictional Middle Eastern country, the Carrington women could be seen having lunch at the St. Dennis, which was apparently the place to see and be seen in 1980s Denver. Lunch at the St. Dennis requires a certain look, though. It is a look that says, “I am wealthy and fashionable, but I don't have to try too hard.”

Fallon demonstrating this look in the 1980s:

Leah's version:

Here, Leah was doing her best to replicate Fallon's usual look of idiocy and/or surprise, much like her expression when she learns that she is pregnant with Jeff's baby:

Alexis in the 1980s:

Ken in 2008:

One of the things that Leah and I do not have in common with the Carrington women is an apparent lack of appetite. You rarely see any of them eat anything. They were always storming away from the breakfast table after a tiff with Blake or Jeff (Fallon’s husband), pushing food around their plates while meeting with Mr. Hess, the private investigator, at the St. Dennis, or chowing down on some caviar before a romantic evening in front of the fireplace. They never ate steak or hamburgers or large chunks of cheese. We were going to have Dynasty-themed food, but then we remembered that the caloric intake on that show looked something like this:

Since we actually do eat—a lot—we snuck a few bites of non-Dynasty food between changes of clothing.

Oh, also, we would like to honor one of the most famous incidents in television history: the catfight. The initiated gentle reader will recall the catfight that took place between Krystle and Alexis at Alexis’ painting studio/house on the Carrington estate when Krystle found out that Alexis fired the shotgun that resulted in Krystle being thrown from her horse and dragged across the grounds until the devastatingly handsome Dr. Toscanni happened upon her crumpled body and got her to the hospital, where they learned that she had miscarried her baby and could never have another one.

In the case of our Dynasty party, Krystle got into a catfight with Fallon instead of Alexis. I think they were fighting over a piece of steak that Krystle stole from Fallon’s plate earlier in the evening.

Of course, it would not be a Dynasty evening without a fabulous and fancy party with some serious taffeta and lace. The originals were difficult to top, though.

Fallon and Jeff Colby in the 1980s:
Alexis in the 1980s:

Unfortunately, Leah-as-Fallon declined to have her evening gown photo included. Something about thinking she looked like a cow…I didn’t see this at all, but I will honor her wishes.

Ken-as-Alexis poured herself into this fabulous off-the-shoulder number and then wasn’t sure if she would be able to make it down the stairs for the party.

All in all, it was an awesome evening and we had lots of fun dressing up for Halloween/the Dynasty Season 3 release. At least Leah and I had fun. Krystle lost interest fairly quickly after she lost the catfight:


Melissa said...

Bravo, bravo. I shall only comment that I regret I was not present to partake in such festivities. And I heard bits about "looking like a cow" and something else about polka-dots. Dear goodness.

Leah said...

I did look like a cow. A big polka-dot cow. Moo.
Splendid job, my dear! I shall paste a link on my blog, as you have done a far superior job in recapping the evening than I ever could.

Ken said...

I'm so glad you ladies enjoyed the post ;-) Now it is Leah's turn to post the photos of her choosing on Facebook.

jessica said...

i am so into that off the shoulder black dress you are wearing, ken. as in, not ironically into. as in, i actually like it. what does this mean?

Mary and Larry Smerk said...

I like the red shirt.

Leah said...

More pictures are up on Facebook! Enjoy if you know how to get there, and if you don't, sad for you ;-).

Ken said...

Jessica--I could probably arrange for you to borrow the fabulous black sheath... ;-)

Mary--that is my very own shirt that I wear in real life! The bow is actually a belt that you tie at the waist that I repurposed for this event.

Davina said...

I'm really not sure even how I ended up on this page, but I'm so glad I did LO.. You girls are fun!! I LOVE that you did this! You both looked really god, and I agree the black off-the-shoulder dress is fabulous and I also like the red and black number. LOL @ the dog playing Krystle!!