Top 13 Fashion Moments on Public Television

Fashion on THIRTEEN

Fashion at Lincoln Center is in full swing, and THIRTEEN is celebrating with two SundayArts specials, sponsored by First Republic Bank: SundayArts Fashion at Lincoln Center Preview (Thursday, Sept. 9, 8 p.m.) and SundayArts Fashion at Lincoln Center Review (Thursday, Sept. 23, 8 p.m.). With the entire city abuzz with talk of hemlines and haute couture, we couldn’t resist presenting our own fashion show. Enjoy Public Television's Top 13 Fashion Moments.
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1. The Empire Waist Strikes Back

Masterpiece: Emma

It is a truth universally acknowledged that empire waist dresses are flattering to all figure types and were considered très chic during Jane Austen’s day. So it’s no surprise that Emma Woodhouse (Romola Garai) glows with Regency-era glamour when she weds Mr. Knightley (Jonny Lee Miller) in Masterpiece’s definitive adaptation of Austen’s classic novel Emma, which premiered on THIRTEEN in 2008.

> Watch the cast and crew talk about the production of Jane Austen’s classic
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2. Jungle Red

Stage on Screen: The Women

Designer Isaac Mizrahi created the stylish costumes for the Roundabout Theatre Company’s hit revival of Clare Boothe Luce’s 1936 comedy The Women. The star-studded cast of this acclaimed Stage on Screen presentation, which aired on THIRTEEN in 2002, featured Kristen Johnston, Cynthia Nixon, Rue McClanahan, Jennifer Tilly, Mary Louise Wilson, Jennifer Coolidge — and a whole lotta Jungle Red nail polish!

> Video Preview
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3. From Rags to Riches

Antiques Roadshow: Campbells Soup Paper Dress

Paper dresses were all the rage in the late 1960s, and according to Antiques Roadshow appraiser Nan Chisholm, they’re “the ultimate symbol of disposability in modern culture.” According to Chisholm, this 1967 Andy Warhol-inspired paper dress, appraised when the Roadshow traveled to Omaha in 2004, could fetch between $2,000 and $3,000 – good news for the owner of the dress, who was previously told it was worth only $40.

> Watch the appraisal
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4. Up and Atom

NOVA: The Elegant Universe

Before an ambassador came to greet him, Albert Einstein is supposed to have remarked, “If they want to see me, here I am. If they want to see my clothes, they can look in my closet.” As this 2003 NOVA episode explains, the science icon focused on physics over fashion (good call!). Yet, anyone who’s been through grade-school science can identify that wild white mane of hair and moustache that are unmistakably Einstein.

> Watch the full program
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5. A Night at the Opera

Great Performances at The Met: The Magic Flute

Flying birds, dancing bears, and other colorful characters strut and fret upon the stage in style in this lavish Metropolitan Opera production of Mozart’s fairytale opera featuring costumes by Tony Award-winning director, designer, and puppet master Julie Taymor ("The Lion King"), originally airing on THIRTEEN in 2007.
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6. When in Rome… or Afghanistan

In the Footsteps of Marco Polo

Embracing local culture is always a smart move when traveling in a foreign land. So when Denis Belliveau and Francis O’Donnell set out to trace Marco Polo’s historic route in this 2008 program, they dress the part—with head coverings at the Western Wall, furry coats and hats in Afghanistan, and those absolutely spectacular beards.

> Watch the full program
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7. Pretty in Pink

Sesame Street: Abby Cadabby

With her pink furry skin, purple and pink sparkle-dusted hairdo, and adorable pastel flower petal dress, Sesame Street’s Abby Cadabby is the ultimate Muppet fashionista. And the girl knows how to accessorize. This fabulously flighty fairy-in-training never leaves home without her magic wand.

> See more stylish Sesame Street characters
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8. It’s All About The Shoes

Franny’s Feet

Franny Fantootsie, the globetrotting heroine of Franny’s Feet, knows all about the power of fabulous footwear. When she dons slippers, she heads to China and learns about baby pandas. In clogs, she is transported to a floating tulip parade in Holland. Space boots take her to the International Space Station, where she learns about gravity. Where would a pair of Manolos take her?

> Check out Franny's latest footwear
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9. It’s a Species Thing

Nature: Beauty of Ugly

The grotesque appearances of hagfish or naked mole rats won’t be inspiring any Paris fashion house’s fall collection, but this episode of Nature from 2007 taught viewers that our idea of style might not apply to other members of the animal kingdom. Even with a two-foot-long nose, elephant seal bulls (pictured here) have their much better looking female counterparts lining up for them during mating season.

> Explore the beauty of nature
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10. Battlefield Couture

Ground War

It’s true, fashion may not have been the focal point of this year’s Ground War’s journey through the history of warfare, but perhaps the series should have paid more attention to suits of armor, British red coats and modern-day desert camouflage. The Roman soldier pictured is sporting a seriously thick and heavy set of duds — perfect for pillaging, plundering and destroying just about any enemy city!

> Watch the complete series
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11. Wardrobe Change

Great Performances at The Met: The Metropolitan Opera Opening Night Gala Starring Renée Fleming

“Much diva dazzle,” The New York Times raved when soprano extraordinaire Renée Fleming hosted The Metropolitan Opera’s opening night gala, which aired on THIRTEEN in 2008. She performed three of her favorite roles and wore Vogue-worthy costumes by designers John Galliano, Christian Lacroix, and Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel. The gala performance marked the first time the renowned designers created costumes for The Met.
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12. One Love, One Hairdo

American Masters: Rebel Music: The Bob Marley Story

The incredible dreads alone were inspirational. In this episode of American Masters, which aired on THIRTEEN in 2001, viewers saw the often turbulent life of the man who rose from poverty to superstardom. Bob Marley remains a musical, religious, political, and fashion icon almost 30 years after his death and the ubiquitous T-shirts bearing his image have blossomed into multiple clothing lines inspired by the reggae rebel.
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13. Brace Yourself

Neal Shapiro’s Suspenders

Groucho Marx had his cigar, Julia Child had her apron and Bill Cosby had his sweaters. And while WNET.ORG’s President & C.E.O.’s trademark suspenders haven’t sparked the next pop-culture craze yet, with a strong endorsement from Neal (maybe Larry King can help out too now that he’s retiring), it’s only a matter of time before suspenders become de rigueur for the well-dressed man.
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Share THIRTEEN's Fashion Slideshow

We hope you enjoyed Public Television's Top 13 Fashion Moments. Be sure to tune-in to THIRTEEN's SundayArts Fashion specials, sponsored by First Republic Bank: SundayArts Fashion at Lincoln Center Preview (Thursday, Sept. 9, 8 p.m.) and SundayArts Fashion at Lincoln Center Review (Thursday, Sept. 23, 8 p.m.).
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  • Donald

    Einstein sported a classic stache look in vogue with the current facial hair trend. E = mc2 (Einstein = mustache comeback)

  • Donald

    I can see Lady Gaga being inspired by the beauty of ugly.

  • Donald


  • BenInBrooklyn

    How could you forget Fred Rogers and his iconic cardigan sweater. It once inspired legions of his fans to participate in “Won’t Your Wear Your Sweater Day” to remember his birthday. Wikipedia also says one of his famous cardigans, knitted by his own mother, is enshrined in the Smithsonian.

  • Pingback: Pink Petals Girl Fashion Set()

  • Darci Mabe

    They say fashion comes back around every 15 to 20 years hope you kept the hats Noodlemen? accessories sold separately camels not included best doc ever In the footsteps of Marco Polo!

  • Andrea Lee

    My faith in these fashion lists is restored since the documentary fashions of this particular trip are recognized, baggy pants and all.