The Bold and the Beautifulhas finally been forced to call in the police — the fashion police! The 24-year-old CBS sudser, set against the world of haute couture, just won its third best soap Emmy in a row but, let's face it, the show has never been a mover and shaker when it comes to style. In fact, it's always seemed a bit behind the times. That's all changing thanks to Colleen Bell. The L.A. style maven and philanthropist — wed to B&B exec producer Brad Bell — holds the title of Director of Special Projects and is now in charge of giving the soap a major makeover.
"We really need to push the envelope," says Bell. "Brad and I would be watching the show together and I'd see what everyone was wearing and be really bothered by it. B&B should be a benchmark for fashion. People should be tuning in going, 'I can't wait to see what Hope wears today!' We want them saying, 'Did you see Steffy rocking those leather pants?' I saw a need and knew I could fill it. We're overhauling the entire wardrobe department and integrating the clothes, hair and makeup so that B&B is relevant and cool. Every character, including the men, is getting a distinct look."
Both of the show's rival fashion houses — Forrester and Jackie M — will also have a fresh and unique style. "When we see the designers on the show — whether it's Hope or Jackie or Ridge — draping fabric on a mannequin I want that fabric to look like something the character would have chosen. Ridge's designs must be different from Jackie's, which must be different than the young line created by Hope. Our fashion shows will be don't-miss TV. B&B shouldn't be following trends. We should be setting them."
Bell kicked off her B&B campaign by recruiting white-hot designer Monique Lhuillier (Kristen Stewart, Taylor Swift, Jennifer Lopez) to gown the runway models on the show's new opening titles. She also talked leading lady Katherine Kelly Lang (Brooke) into that new, shorter 'do that's been wining raves from the fans. Bell handpicked stylist Danielle King (Ally McBeal) to be the soap's new wardrobe designer and they joined forces for the July 5-6 wedding of Ridge (Ronn Moss) and Taylor (Hunter Tylo). (He's outfitted by Canali; she's in a white tux inspired by Bianca Jagger's iconic look at her 1971 wedding to Mick.)
"America is increasingly fashion-savvy due to all the red-carpet coverage and reality shows like Project Runway," notes Bell. "Viewers can't be fooled. What we hope to do is organize a groundswell of awareness about B&B and get people talking and blogging. A lot of the changes we're making are big. A lot of them are small. And it's all happening without increasing our budget for wardrobe. It might take a while for people to really notice, I think, but people will notice. I was at the Gaultier fashion show in Paris last January and was very inspired by the runway models who were all sporting these beautiful Mohawks. I would love to do something that bold on The Bold and the Beautiful!"
By the way, it's not like Bell was a desperate housewife who needed something to do here. This is one very busy and accomplished lady. Last year, Barack Obama himself appointed her to the President's Advisory Committee on the Arts for the John F. Kennedy Center for The Performing Arts. She was recently elected the group's chairman.