by Alison Bonaguro
So many of us can begrudgingly recall the regrettable things we wore a few decades ago. Stirrup pants, Forenza sweaters backwards, fingerless gloves, Swatch Watches, leg warmers, etc. But not Dolly Parton. She owns her looks — always has — and isn’t the least bit shy about sharing nearly 50 years of her most memorable looks.
She tweeted about the Life in Looks compilation video that Vogue made with Parton earlier this week, and we can’t stop watching.
— Dolly Parton (@DollyParton) October 14, 2020
Parton claims she has never thought of herself as being fashionable. And yet, here we are.
She starts with her Jolene album cover from 1974, and even remembers the women who designed and sewed that particular puffy-sleeved jumpsuit. Then she gets into 1977’s Here You Come Again, recalling that someone encouraged her to have a Marilyn Monroe hair style. And when some country music insiders told her at the time not to pursue any kind of pop crossover, she told them, “I’m not leaving country. I’ll take country with me wherever I go.”
When she shares her look from the premiere of her very first movie in 1980, 9 to 5, Parton recalls wanting to look fancy but not knowing how to dress up like a city girl. Then in 1984, she tried to look her Dolly best on Sly Stallone’s arm. On her 1987 variety show, Dolly, she often was dripping with sequins and sparkles, as she was the night Oprah Winfrey joined her on the show. “Ain’t nothing big about me but my mouth and my boobs,” she said of that particular glamorous gown.
Then there were her fond fashion memories of her Christmas special, her Saturday Night Live look when she was both the host and the musical guest, and her 2005 CMA Awards collaboration with Elton John. That night, she remembers that she was trying to look like John, in what she calls a Little Lord Fauntleroy look. There are also the special events she was proud and flattered to be at: the 2006 Kennedy Center Honors, the 2014 Glastonbury Festival in pants (but pants she said were gauzy and see-through with netted legs.) At the the 2019 Grammy Awards, Parton was there in all her glam glory in a long white gown with bat-wing sleeves standing side by side with her goddaughter Miley Cyrus.
Embedded from www.youtube.com.
Alison makes her living loving country music. She’s based in Chicago, but she’s always leaving her heart in Nashville.