Mr. Blackwell in 1988
Mr. Blackwell, a fashion critic known for his annual best- and worst-dressed lists, died yesterday at the age of 86. Born Richard Sylvan Selzer, he had been publishing his lists since 1960, decades before Joan Rivers started hating on bad celebrity outfits on E!. Mr. Blackwell called Camilla Parker-Bowles the "Duchess of Dowdy" and Barbra Streisand a "Masculine Bride of Frankenstein." Of Björk, he said, "She dances in the dark — and dresses there, too." In 1968, he hosted the television show Mr. Blackwell Presents. He tells of his impoverished childhood in his autobiography, From Rags To Bitches. Of his worst-dressed lists, he said in 1998, "It's not my intention to hurt the feelings of these people. It's to put down the clothing they're wearing." Mr. Blackwell's publicist cited complications from an intestinal infection as the cause of death.