Hey, television, I’m supposed to be paying attention to that, too. So, let’s turn our dials back to the prestige TV mini-series era. It’s also the era of fabulous furs, the 1980s, which works out well for us. While many were sweeping in scope, many boiled down to short soap operas with a colossal location shoot budget. And, more importantly, Phoebe Cates. Time to Lace-up the bootstraps and pull out an update.
Lace & Lace II – The Miniseries
Ultimately, these are tales of communication. Communication in an age before Jerry Springer made a sport of on-screen paternity tests. The central character is Lili Lace (Phoebe Cates), who figures out who her parents are after seven and half hours of event television. Lace is about mom, and Lace II is about dad. Lace was one of the highest-rated programs of the season, which is why Lace II was made, though it did not perform quite as well.
Lace – The Furs
Lace may be the more popular one, but they improved the furs for the sequel. Not to say there isn’t some good stuff here. We begin on what I’m cautiously going to say is the best thing in this one: Lili in a lynx fur collar.
Lili is observing the three mom candidates at a funeral. One of whom is Jennifer ‘Pagan’ Trelawney (Brooke Adams), attending in this pretty basic silver fox stole. Vintage ‘30s stuff here.
This is but one framing device for the many, many flashbacks used to tell the story, but it ends with Lili strutting off and lighting up in the back of her limo. I suspect this might be why I’m more fond of this one.
It’s a miniseries, so we delve into the backstory of all the characters, including Lili. Here she wears a pretty basic mouton jacket while tearing up the scenery with a faux French accent and one that will vanish over the course of the series.
Lili’s backstory is her rise to fame and stardom as a movie sex symbol. In this scene, she’s hounded by paparazzi while wearing a lovely silver fox tail wrap. It’s not on screen for long and not well filmed, which is a shame.
Finally, near the end of our multi-hour journey, we arrive at the longest fur shown in the film. That is this white fox fur wrap worn by Pagan.
She’s having a little walk-n-talk with her boyfriend, and they share an explosive smooch. Good chauffeurs are hard to find these days, shame.
Lace II – The Furs
On to the better stuff. Lace II has better furs, with one odd exception we’ll get to in a moment. It opens with Lili and actual, factual mom Judy Hale (Deborah Raffin) in a white fox fur stole. You’ll note Judy didn’t get any fur fashion in the original, and she was played by someone else.
I will note that Lili has a dyed cherry red fox stole that matches her dress, visible for mere seconds when she exits the limo on arrival, and it then vanishes. Definitely a missed opportunity there.
Perhaps Lace II‘s failure was two-fold. It’s (slightly) less flash-back centered, and, for some reason, they put Phoebe Cates in this faux fur coat early on. She’s on a little road trip with mom, who is wearing a real lynx fur coat, and gets into a fender bender with… a parade.
There’s a short scene where Lili vamps for the gawking parade-goers in the faux fur, which is frustrating because I cannot determine what possessed the costume department to use this instead of a real white fox. It’s 1985, for the love of all that’s floofy.
We get some decent shots of Judy’s lynx coat, and we’ll put a pin in that coat for later.
Hey, someone thought doing flashbacks at a funeral is suitable for a repeated beat. Lili lets us down with this funeral outfit, which I believe has some stray hairs somewhere around the shoulder, but hey, I could be wrong.
The faux coat appears yet again, but don’t worry; your patience will be rewarded.
Again, flashback time, for Maxine this time, who briefly shows us this lovely blue fox stroller coat. It’s sadly not shown for long. This is just another example of Hollywood limiting the raw power of blue fox fur on the screen.
Finally, Lili borrows her mom’s coat. Yes, we have achieved Phoebe Cates in a full-length lynx fur coat. This scene bookends yet another flashback, so we see her remove her sunglasses and put them back on.
One of the non-flashback subplots of Lace II is Lili’s romance with a guy who was having the parade thrown for him way back at the start. She once more shows up in the lynx coat in a long sequence where she suggests he act like an idiot; naturally, he does so.
Just Phoebe Cates laughing in a huge lynx coat.
I suppose I’m committed, so here’s Pagan’s maybe mouton, maybe sheared mink, maybe faux fur jacket from the very end.
Humming. Anyway, Lace is another quality, not quantity pick, though you’ll have to cut me some slack with a friggin miniseries. A minuscule ratio is part of the deal when your overall runtime is over three-and-a-half hours each. Still, each installment has excellent fur for Phoebe Cates with a decent selection of supporting fashions.
Lace I Fur Runtime: approx 5:30 minutes
Lace I Film Runtime: 225 minutes
Lace I On-Screen Fur Ratio: 2.50%
Lace II Fur Runtime: approx 7:42 minutes
Lace II Film Runtime: 225 minutes
Lace II On-Screen Fur Ratio: 3.42%
Find-a-Fur: Lace I, 1984
(all times are approximate)
- 1:13:00 – 1:16:10 – lynx collar to silver fox stole
- 2:05:20 – 2:06:15 – mouton
- 2:10:05 – silver fox tail wrap
- 27:40 – 30:29 – white fox wrap
- 1:06:30 – 1:07:05 – mink coat
- 1:15:25 – mink wrap
Find-a-Fur: Lace II, 1985
(all times are approximate)
- 04:51 – 10:05 – white fox stole to white mouton/mink/? to lynx + faux fur
- 1:15:20 – black trim
- 1:20:00 – ”
- 1:26:10 – ”
- 01:55 – dyed fur jacket +
- 08:05 – ”
- 40:10 – blue fox jacket
- 47:40 – ”
- 48:40 – lynx coat
- 54:55 – ”
- 57:00 – 58:45 – ”
- 1:29:20 – end – white mouton/mink/? coat