Around 1983, Donna Mills bought a green Jaguar. Donna informed Fred Robbins, "As long as a car got me where I was going, it didn't matter a bit to me what kind it was. I've had okay cars but nothing special, ever. About the time I knew 'Knots Landing' would be a hit, and was asking myself what I would really like to have to celebrate that, I found myself spending a lot of time driving to and from the studio. And I suddenly thought, 'That's it! I'm going to have a very special car, a beautiful car, a Jaguar.'" 

Joan Van Ark told 'TV Guide' in 1989, "I've known Donna through 3 different cars. When she joined the show, she was driving a cherry red Mustang. We all had our 450SL Mercedes and thought it was kind of small town, a high-school cheerleader car, but she liked it. Since then she has had the stars classic dark green Jaguar and what we call the diva car - the beige Jaguar. But, you know, all of them express a part of her personality." 

On the show, Donna played Abby, a bookkeeper at Knots Landing Motors. When Donna first appeared, David Jacobs recalled, "Abby drove up in a Volvo station wagon with 2 kids." Donna remarked, "Abby Ewing is a role model for women. I think she was one of the first characters to successfully juggle her children and a career, and she goes toe-to-toe and doesn't back off." 

Psychiatrist Dr. Gregory Young was working at St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Dayton in 1983 had spent close to 20 years researching 12 styles of personality and wrote his findings in the 1978 book, 'Your Personality And How To Live With It'. Speaking to Barbara Burtoff, Dr. Gregory Young explained, "Why 12 and not 13, or 3 or 3 million? I don't know. 

"What I do know is that since I first began to recognize separate styles in my psychiatric practice, I have encountered only 12 distinct styles. Together with my staff and the personnel of several hospitals, I have identified these same 12 again and again, in persons of all ages, races, ethnic groups, economic levels, educational levels, both sexes. Each style had its fundamental attitudes, strengths and weaknesses."

Barbara told readers, "You won't get results after an hour or two of viewing 'Dallas', 'Dynasty', 'General Hospital' or 'Guiding Light', but if you program yourself to watch on a regular basis, these shows can be used as teaching tools for understanding personality styles. Dr. Young even has some of his patients tuning in between appointments. He keeps video equipment in his office and discusses behavior of the characters at therapy sessions, occasionally with instant show replay. 

"Dr Young says it is productive because the soaps are teeming with emotional conflicts waiting to be resolved and easily identified personality styles. Under 'Influencing Personality', TV examples are Abby on 'Knots Landing', Blake Carrington on 'Dynasty', George Jefferson on 'The Jeffersons', Scotty Baldwin on 'General Hospital' and Jonathan Hart on 'Hart To Hart'. Dr. Young says there is nothing casual about this man or woman. 

"He/she is thorough, systematic, efficient and in need of controlling every aspect of life. A perfectionist, when he/she orders a 3-minute egg and it is cooked 3 minutes and 10 seconds, he/she knows the difference and registers disappointment. If this individual is your friend, you can count on him/her to be a good storyteller, articulate, persuasive and ready to take responsibility and help if you have a problem. 

"This person is so punctual, you can set your watch by him/her. This individual doesn’t know how to kill time. Even leisure hours are programmed to be spent productively. This may wear on your nerves after a while. At work, he/she functions best when allowed to be the team leader or given well-defined responsibilities. He/she can be difficult as the boss, the influencing personality tends to be rigid, inflexible, set in his/her ways of thinking. 

"This person never has small problems, only crises. When something does go wrong, he/she sees it as a catastrophic reminder that he/she is less than perfect. In dating and marriage, the influencing person likes to dominate, manipulate, change your ways. He/she is strongly opinionated and can be a bully. If children have the same personality, friction and conflict are certain."

Donna Mills left in 1989. She recounted, "My character went off to Japan to be the trade ambassador to Japan, and I think she's probably taken over the country by now (2005)." 'Knots Landing' "was born in an altogether different TV era – but it moved with the times, never losing its suburban-1970s soul. Its central characters kept a vestige of their 1960s idealism," Deborah Wilker recognized. Michele Lee offered, "Karen was always an activist. I'd like to say I don't know where she'd be. Most likely she'd be involved with the community politically in some way. I think she could go in many different directions."

"But standard 1980s production costs of about $2 million a show were suddenly too high in the 1990s," Deborah continued. David Jacobs maintained, "I think 'Knots' could run forever. This show wasn't ready to come to an end. If it had, it would have been like someone who was still healthy, but had a heart attack. Like when my grandfather died at 74. He wasn't ready.

"We've never been timely; we've never been trendy. We never cared whether Reagan was president. We never tried to be 'Hill Street (Blues)'. We could have been renewed if we'd take a few hundred thousand dollars off the license fee. We got renewed this year (the last year 1993) because we took a big cut in the fee. That made it hard to tell good stories."

Speaking to 'FYI Television Inc.', Deborah Wilker and 'Gannett News Service', Michele Lee pointed out, "There was just a certain innocence about the show that represented a kind of hope. It was real. There was never anything like it on television. It's not all TV's fault. The viewer has really changed. We're in a different world today. I'm not sure we'll ever see the same ratings shares we saw years ago.

"This cul-de-sac was a microcosm of our society where people just wanted a little bit of what was good in America. We changed as America did. We went through 4 presidencies, and you saw it reflected on the cul-de-sac, whereas on other shows you wouldn't see that. You have to remember that 90% of what we do really relates to people."

Lawrence Kasha added, "We are always asking ourselves could it happen this way. We keep young couples living in tiny apartments. We add drama while characters are doing everyday chores – folding laundry, cleaning the house, preparing lunch, getting their children ready for school. Things happen in the supermarket. You don't see this on the other shows." 

In 1983, an exhibition celebrating the 25 years (1958-1983) of designs by Yves Saint Laurent was held at the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum in New Jersey. In an interview with the 'Asbury Park Press', Yves Saint Laurent enthused, "When I saw the exhibition, I was so struck that the things I designed in 1962 are very close to what I designed in 1982 and 1983. I think what I made in 1962 could be worn now (in 1983) and things made in 1983 could have been worn in 1962."

'Asbury Park Press': What advice would you give to aspiring designers? Should they study fashion design or apprentice and work for an established designer as you did with Dior? 

Yves Saint Laurent: I tell students it's nice to have dreams. But before dreaming comes reality you have to learn the technique, the cuts, the basic things of the work. 

'Asbury Park Press': What percentage of your business is done in the United States? And what about in France? What, if any, impact has the strong U.S. dollar had on your business? 

Yves Saint Laurent: In the United States, it’s one-quarter. We never take France alone. We take France as part of Europe. In Europe, it's a one-quarter, also. Japan is 30% now (in 1983). The impact of the dollar has been excellent for us. It's not because the franc has been devalued. We have a lot of licensed agreements who bring to France royalties. And also, with all the exports we do, we are selling more than ever. 

More American people and other people in the world buy more of our fashions. I have had a very long love story with America. From the beginnings, the Americans were among the first to recognize my work – always. The first person I put into my company when I opened my own couture house with an American was Mack Robinson of Atlanta, a businessman. Then after I had another man important to me in the company, behind the financial end, Richard Salomon, now of Charles of the Ritz. 

Americans really helped me at the beginning, and I will never forget them. This show is my confirmation of my feelings about American people. What is happening today (in 1983) with designers is fashion, and what I'm doing is style. That's where there is the difference. Fashion is like mathematics. It's not just not to make dreams real. It has to be technical. A woman has to be comfortable and elegant and seductive in clothes. 

I have to design 4 collections a year – 2 ready-to-wear and 2 haute couture collections. I have no time to go out for public relations. I work hard. I am a man of work. I spend a lot of time in my house in Paris, in my palace in Morocco, and in my castle in Normandy. I love my friends and go out for lunch and dinners. But most of my time is spent in working. 

My work room is my studio with clothing systems. Other systems are in charge of directing what I do and create, such as a print or a design for a dress or a fabric which is used afterward for bed linens, for towels, for ties, for sweaters, anything that comes under license. In perfuming, I give my own creation in a different way. I decide the name and the scent, such as Options. I did a couture line called Options. I was in the mood for Options and decided to create it. I also do the packaging for the design. 

Worldwide, perfumes excluded, retail sales are $1 billion. Perfume is $400 million. Options, by itself, accounts for retail prices of $200 million. It’s No. 1 today (in 1983). The U.S. is 35% of the world market in perfume. French manufacturing brings to the collection, worldwide, $75 million for ready-to-wear made in France and sold exclusively in our boutiques throughout the world, called Saint Laurent Rive Gauche line. The U.S.A. represents $27 million in those sales. 

It was understood perfumers were mostly employed by companies that create fragrances commissioned by clients such as couturiers Calvin Klein, Yves Saint Laurent and Ralph Lauren. Jean-Claude Ellena told Laren Stover in 1980, "We work as a team. If you don't like anonymity, you leave (and start one own company) … but it is necessary for people to know that perfumers, and not designers, create the perfume."

Blog Archive