Sunday, April 26, 2009
R.I.P. Bea Arthur
While she'll likely be better-remembered for Golden Girls, to me Bea Arthur will always be Maude. What a funky show that was--Arthur's bald-eagle hauteur and contemptuous growl put the lip in Liberal and, for a very brief while, made bra-burning, abortion-getting, bonehead-men bashing seem normal, if not strictly necessary, behavior.
What I'd like to highlight, however, is the excellent use of the tunic vest on the part of the show's costumers. This unusual garment was the character's trademark--sleeveless, solid color, open-fronted, running down to the knee. You sometimes see the like in clerical garb or ethnic ceremonial wear (I'm thinking now, without much research, of the Balkans). No matter what its derivation, it's a serious piece of clothing befitting a lady whose physical and political stature did not stoop.