Style Watch

updated 10/21/1991 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/21/1991 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Elizabeth Taylor played the role in the 1950 original, but it was Grace Kelly's real-life wedding dress that inspired the satin-and-lace gown worn by screen newcomer Kimberly Williams in the remake of Father of the Bride, to be released this December. "I needed something that was beautiful, traditional and young," says costume designer Susan Becker. "The closest thing was Grace Kelly's dress. I've always loved the way she looked at her wedding." Becker's design was no lightweight interpretation, though. With a bell-shaped skirt and long cathedral train, the gown was so heavy that a crew member was assigned to help hold it up between takes. When it came to the bridal shoes, however, Williams could take comfort: She walks down the aisle in beaded, satin-and-lace running shoes. Explains Becker: "Her movie father (Steve Martin, in the Spencer Tracy role) owns a sneaker factory."

"We never get credit for it, but what we do greatly influences the fashion industry," says Theoni V. Aldredge, costume designer for Nick & Nora, Broadway's big-buzz coming attraction (Nov. 10). Set in 1937, the musical, inspired by Dashiell Hammett's The Thin Man, brings back old-fashioned Hollywood glamor. It features Nick Charles (Barry Bostwick) in elegant suits with high-nipped waists and wide lapels and wife Nora (Joanna Gleason) in mid-calf-length daytime suits, flowing negligees and spectacular gowns just right for "wealthy people dancing their way through life," as Aldredge puts it. Since fashion designers have already mined the 1960s and '70s, Nick & Nora may inspire a longer look backward. Says theater veteran Aldredge: "Clothes from all periods are in style today. What's lacking is taste."

Holy tent dress! TV's best-dressed working woman and tackiest hausfrau are both pregnant this season. But nobody has to worry that Murphy Brown and Married...with Children's Peg Bundy will be caught in the same maternity clothes. Murphy's Candice Bergen, whose pregnancy will show later this fall, won't wear expecting styles at all. Series designer Bill Hargate will maintain Murphy's "tailored image" with generously cut sweaters and jackets. Outfits for Married's Katey Sagal—herself seven months pregnant—suit Peg's gaudy style. Designer Marti Squyres buys floral-print tops at maternity shops, then "makes them more Peg" by lowering the necklines.

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