Julia in fuzzy chaps, a cropped black jacket & black leather underwear, Rachpoot/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images/Getty Images
The notion of ‘Best Dressed’ is elusive and highly subjective. It is not an exact science. It means different things to different people. And anyway, lists which lay claims to the “best in the world” for a specific category, are not only preposterous, they are theoretically impossible. Because no one person or organization can possibly say they scoped out the entire world in search of the ultimate candidates.
Undoubtedly, there are many more worthy souls – they just haven’t made movies, paraded on red carpets, found themselves in gossip columns, been subjects of fashion websites, or enlisted the aid of PR mavens to get their mugs photographed here there and everywhere. So it’s all to be taken with a grain of salt.
I’m not going for sexy. I’m going for unhinged.”Julia Fox
Erykah Badu, photo by Ruth Ossai
That being said, one category in the latest installment of the International Best Dressed List (IBDL) had me scratching my head. Along with FKA Twigs and Erykah Badu, both of whom are celebrated for their eclectic style (without the aid of a stylist I might add) Julia Fox was named as “Best Dressed Originals”.
“It will always continue for eternity. When those of no substance crave public attention through shock, not substance”Ralph Rucci
The “Best Undressed” or “Best Dressed Exhibitionist” is more an apt label based on what I’ve seen of Julia’s constant parade of attention grabbing outfits of such hideousness they hurt the eyes. Many, like the skin baring wedding dress with a black thong that Ms. Fox wore at Sotheby’s Thursday night, leave little or nothing to the imagination.
That is the best Julia could come up with for an evening that celebrates “Visions of America” and an auction titled, CFDA: Defining American Style? Call me old fashioned but I do think that factoring in the idea of appropriate is important, regardless of how rule breaking fashion has become.
“It still feels weird when you are at a cocktail party and you have to look at someone’s panties”Marilyn Kirschner
Diana Vreeland famously said, “Bad taste is better than no taste” but I think there is a limit as to how far one can go when it comes to pushing the envelope and challenging good taste. We are at a time where fashion chaos prevails, there are no rules; anything and everything goes, but shouldn’t there be some parameters?
Julia Fox and Amy Fine Collins – photo by Ruppert Ramsay for BFA
I reached out to Amy Fine Collins, who is part of the governing body of the current IBDL along with Graydon Carter, Reinaldo Herrera, and Aimee Bell, and I asked her to weigh in. This is what she said, “Julia is her own person, and entirely original in her self-presentation. Which is why she was just voted into IBDL ‘23 in the Originals category announced on “The Cut” yesterday. Her take on fashion is reminiscent of early Madonna and early Gaga, but not derivative of either one’s style though perhaps they made hers possible.
Julia is on her way to well-deserved major stardom. It was quite funny to bump into her at Sotheby’s and realize that together we looked like a bride and groom on a wedding cake.”
Julia carries a bodybag as a purse photo by Getty Images
With all due respect, I have a different opinion. Of course we need fashion mavericks that have their own unique style and think out of the box. Those who are adventurous, audacious and bold challenge the status quo and help move fashion forward but if Ms. Fox is being celebrated as “Best Dressed”, we’ve gotten to the point where there are no boundaries any more.
Ponytail pants fetish wear accessorized with Thom Browne bag, photo by Getty Images
I am not a prude. I have seen it all. I want to be surprised, astounded and left speechless, but I don’t want to go to a cocktail party and have to stare at a person’s panties or into their private parts. That is not fashion; it’s just a desperate attempt at grabbing attention. Is it any wonder Julia is considered to be “the most polarizing, divisive person in fashion?”
In December 2022, Emily Kirkpatrick penned an article for “The Cut,” Year in Review, “It was Julia Fox’s Year”. She ends with this sentence, “Because at the end of the day, whether you love her or hate her — are you not entertained?”
Is being “entertained” the same as “best dressed?”
Just be grateful for the black thong…
PATHETIC, and embracing this hideous cry for attention as Best-Dressed is Beyond PATHETIC!!!
Excellent critique. Marilyn. Kudos! Great pics I’d love to see a slide show of just the outfits The show is…
Creative Self-Expression is fascinating!
This might go up twice, but Marilyn, you hit a chord. Thank you as always for your end-of-year summation, inspiration…
Great article! I enjoyed every sentence–so true, unfortunate as it may be. I even learned some new jargon. Hopefully, it…
BRILLIANT!!! The Best Truth I’ve read in years! I am 100% in agreement with you!
Cannot compare to the Creative Genius of Jean Paul Gaultier. His originality, humor, and flair is missing too.
Great article on this amazing woman!
Fabulous article! So well written, and telling of a quality life in fashion that transcends time!
Your All-American, tastefully coordinated look is an expression of your own creativity; not dependent on a designer’s input.
Dear Linda, Thank you so much!!!!
Marilyn ALWAYS GETS IT- AND THENSOME… thanks Marilyn for another great capture.
Beautiful selection Marilyn. It was a great escape!
Always keen and insightful commentary bt Marilyn for the fashion lovers among us. Yes, we need a little spectacular right…