I’ve recently had the pleasure of corresponding with the lovely Annabel Schofield, an international fashion model of the ’80s who starred in ad campaigns for the likes of Revlon, Gianni Versace, Yves St. Laurent and Levi’s. And yes, you probably remember her from an iconic commercial in which she famously uttered: “Excuse me, are those Bugle Boy jeans you’re wearing?” But there’s much more to Ms. Schofield than meets the eye, including her serial novel The Cherry Alignment, which semi-autobiographically explores the life and times of an actress working in Hollywood in the ’80s and ’90s. In fact, this novel began as a screenplay, and there’s no doubt that it would make the perfect long-overdue HBO series with a focus on the decade of decadence!
In addition to writing and modeling, Ms. Schofield has acted and produced. Starring in films like Solar Crisis and Exit in Red, this Welsh beauty also appeared in the beloved nighttime soap Dallas. Not to mention, she runs her own photographic production company, Bella*Bene Productions. Check out her blog The Cherry Alignment for some amazing insights on 1980s fashion, music and film. Annabel even shared some of her 1980s knowledge with Mirror80 via email for the interview below…
Annabel, thank you so much for being willing to share your ’80s memories with Mirror80! As an international fashion model, you must have traveled quite a bit. Were there any cities that epitomized ’80s cutting edge style at that exciting time?
I honestly think London as far as cutting edge style, due to the New Romantics, the tail end of Punk, Vivienne Westwood, Katherine Hamnett, Body Map, Buffalo style which was created by Ray Petrie and all the resulting street styles. In Paris, things were much more Haute Couture oriented and I really never spent much time in Milan. It always seemed to be about very expensive knitwear whenever I was there! New York was and remains mostly about commerce and big brands, although the emergence of hip hop at the start of the ’80’s ended up influencing leisure wear to this day. But in London we ALL dressed up, both boys and girls all the time; especially for the clubs. I really miss that sartorial creativity. Now it seems that girls just want to show as much flesh as possible.
You participated in ad campaigns for some beloved fashion brands during the 1980s. Who were some of your favorite designers from that decade?
I was obsessed with English designer, Antony Price; I bought my first bespoke dress from him when I started making big modeling money. Also Katharine Hamnett for day wear; I loved Versace, and I was very proud of a St Laurent jacket that I bought. I had a few bits of Kenzo, a stunning Yohji Yamomoto jacket and quite a few pieces by Jean Paul Gaultier. But my primary allegiance was to Azzedine Alaia. An absolute genius who knew how to make a woman look subtly stunning, classy and curvaceous.
You delivered the famous line “Excuse me, are those Bugle Boy jeans you’re wearing?” while driving through the desert in a black Ferrari. Besides being asked to repeat that line on command more than a few times, how else did that iconic commercial impact your career?
Well, it seems to be the only thing anyone remembers! I still get men asking me sureptitiously about it to this day (rather creepy!). I have to tell you, I had NO idea that it was going to be that big. I did half a day’s work – it’s basically one shot of me in close up. I wasn’t allowed to drive the car, although they did allow me to go for a spin with a stunt driver. I guess the resulting residuals allowed me a greater freedom to turn stuff down that I didn’t want to do?
In Solar Crisis, you play a genetically engineered human. Despite all of the drama that surrounds your character, you have such a calming, regal presence on screen. Plus, you rock some of the most stylish space wear since Sigourney Weaver in Alien! What was it like on the set of that film with such a powerhouse cast?
It was amazing – one of my best experiences as an actress – the original director, Richard Sarafian made a stunning and weird film which bears little relation to what was actually released. Sadly, he was replaced. What I remember most was laughing all the time on set. The lines were so pseudo scientific and I was supposed to have an IQ of 1000, so attempting to come out with all this gobbledegook while keep a straight face was a perpetual challenge! It was lovely being surrounded by all those gorgeous, talented men, of course and the costumes were very cool. It really was a joy, I was extremely lucky. Plus wearing flats is always a pleasure!
You played Laurel Ellis on Dallas–a show that featured some signature ’80s fashionand interiors! Any fun wardrobe or set memories you’d like to share?
Oh those clothes were a nightmare! I remember when I first started they were all about listening to me and keeping me natural and lightly made up, but little by little, the shoulder pads got bigger, my hair got higher and my lips got redder. I ended up in a white fur coat, but I started out in jean shorts! I gave up after a while trying to influence fashion on Dallas.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of the interview, which will be posted on Monday… A GREAT BIG THANKS to Annabel Schofield for sharing her fashion expertise and ’80s memories! In the second half of the interview, she discusses some of her favorite ’80s music, actors and night spots, as well as her novel The Cherry Alignment.