The New Best Dressed List For 2015

     The notion of ‘Best Dressed’ is elusive and highly subjective. It means different things to different people, (it even means different things to me at times). And it means different things depending on the context it’s put in. And while everyone has an off day (well, almost everyone), the following 21 have been consistent within their own individual styles. I could have selected more, but 21 seemed like a good number. I suppose you could call them, “The 21 Club”.

I purposely steered clear of those who made my past lists because they would invariably be on my lists every year so I suppose you can consider them to be my “Hall of Famers” (and if I did use them again, it was not in the same way). Please see The 2014 New Best Dress List . I also prefer to vary my categories from year to year.

This year there are more men included than before (about one third) and it’s hardly coincidental, since men are undeniably the true style stars. In addition, there is a constant blurring of the lines between what is masculine and a trend towards gender bending or genderless fashion. As Lazaro Hernandez of Proenza Schouler observed, “The distinction between man and woman is disappearing, aesthetically at least. This is a big facet of our culture right now”.

It would be presumptuous to title this “Best Dressed in the World” because I am certain there are people as, if not more worthy, of the honor than the ones mentioned, but I have to rely on those who are in my radar. And speaking about lists, I’ve sometimes been tempted to do a Most Beautiful List (everyone seems to do them, a la People Magazine). But for me, beauty (which is both inside and out), is not simply about possessing certain God given assets (though that doesn’t hurt). It’s about the entire package: how you present yourself to the world. In other words, the ones on my New Best Dressed Lists.  I could not agree more with Iris Apfel, who observed that it’s far more important to possess great personal style, than physical beauty. After all, beauty fades, but style is forever.

In completely random order:

Best Dressed Media Powerhouse: Anna Wintour

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What sets her apart: Named as one of the Hollywood Reporter’s 35 Most Powerful People in Media, Anna’s style is intimidatingly powerful and commensurate with her stature.   While she has access to anything she wants, she wisely steers clear of obvious trends du jour in favor of a look that can best be summed up as..well, very Anna Wintour. Among her signatures: that meticulous every hair in place bob, her sunglasses, a wardrobe of fabulous coats, furs, fur trims, Chanel tweed skirt suits, sheaths, waist defining dresses and skirts that go from knee length to ankle length, tall boots on a heel in the winter and flesh toned sandals in warmer months, and her Georgian collet necklaces (she often wears three or four).

Best Dressed Step-Sisters: Charlotte Gainsbourg and Lou Doillon

Lou Doillon & Charlotte Gainsbourg

What sets them apart: What do you get when a British actress and fashion icon (Jane Birkin) has two daughters from two separate marriages?

The answer is: Charlotte Gainsbourg, (her father is the late Serge Gainsbourg, an iconic French singer, songwriter, pianist, film composer poet, painter, screenwriter, writer, actor and director), and Lou Doillion (her father is Jacques Doillon, an acclaimed French director and writer).

They are not only talented and accomplished actresses, singers, and musicians, but bona fide style icons in their own right, and they personify a look that is instinctive, casual, hard to duplicate, and Parisian to the core.

Best Dressed Indie Pop Singer/Songwriter: Lykke- Li

What sets her apart: The Swedish born artist and visionary’s spare and minimalist on and off stage style can best be described as unapologetically anti-fashion, timeless and androgynous. (She has described it as “strong, empowering, flattering” and “always with a dash of Bowie”). Almost entirely all black, it could easily rival that of the chicest fashion editor.

Best Dressed Maximalist: Lisa Eisner

What sets her apart: This Renaissance woman is a former fashion editor, a photojournalist, filmmaker, actress, writer, publisher (and muse to Tom Ford). She has an arty, eclectic personal style that is all about more is more. For her, it’s all about statement making jewelry (she has a particular fondness for turquoise and brass), and in fact, a few years ago, she started to design her own line of chunky, tribal looking jewelry.

Best Dressed Toddler: Baby North West

What sets her apart: Unequivocally, baby North is Kim and Kanye’s best collaboration to date, and boy oh boy, does she have attitude! Forget saccharin sweet pastels and flowers (traditionally seen on many other little girls). The two year old’s seriously chic wardrobe (bearing labels from the likes of Alexander Wang and Givenchy) is based around black and white and includes the hippest biker jackets, nail head adorned turtlenecks, and impeccably tailored blazers, always worn with her hair in a bun. Should a clothing line be in her future, a perfect name would be “North by North West”.

Best Dressed Tomboy: Caroline de Maigret

What sets her apart: This French music producer / model / actress’s natural beauty (offset by her long hair and girlish bangs) is a perfect counterpoint to her wardrobe, which is comprised of decidedly tomboyish button down shirts, sweaters, oversized blazers, overcoats, trousers, and jumpsuits; routinely accessorized with trainers, men’s oxfords, boots, or classic high heeled pumps.

Best Dressed Royal: Queen of Qatar Sheika Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned

What sets her apart: Her Royal Highness Sheikha Mozah, the second of three wives of Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani (former Emir of the State of Qatar), was named as one of Forbes Magazine’s 100 Most Powerful Women in 2010. As for her chic, elegant, personal style: she eschews fussy patterns in favor of monochromatic solids, and in keeping with Qatar’s strict modesty rules, she always matches her covered up, custom made haute couture ensembles with her trademark turbans. Oh, and did I mention that she loves Valentino Couture so much, the Qatar Royal family bought the company back in 2012?

Best Dressed Fashion Magazine News Director: Jane Keltner de Valle

What sets her apart: Glamour Magazine’s Fashion News Director has a look that is unapologetically uptown and elegantly feminine; a perfect mix of classic American with a dose of Parisian chic. Relying on a palette of black, white, midnight, and pale neutrals, she eschews trends and opts for those things that suit her particular style. She favors skirts over pants which she generally pairs with a classic, perfectly fitting black turtleneck, crisp cotton button down, or silk blouse. Her accessories: lady like pumps and hand held bags. Her trusty Delvaux Le Brilliant satchel is proof that there is no better way to rev up an otherwise neutral wardrobe, than to add a touch of red.

Best Dressed Creative Couple: Sofia Sanchez de Betak and Alexandre de Betak

What sets them apart: Argentinian born Sofia Sanchez Barrenechea wears many hats as an art director, graphic designer, and founder of The part time model and social fixture undeniably found her perfect match when she met fellow “all around aesthete”, renowned event producer, Alexandre de Betak. Their weekend wedding on a deserted beach in Patagonia last December, was hailed as “The wedding of the year”, and together, (with their finely honed aesthetic based on a collective knowledge and love of fashion, art, travel, etc.), they’ve been happily collaborating ever since. This past February, they even curated Paddle 8’s ( first ever jewelry and watch auction, which was appropriately called “The Perfect Match”.

Best Dressed Stylist: Anya Ziourova

What sets her apart: With a tall lanky frame that could rival a top high fashion model, (which she was before becoming a stylist and fashion consultant), Anya can wear anything. You can count on her to be one of the first wearing THE looks of the season by THE designers the season. But to her credit, she is a good editor when it comes to her own choices.

Best Dressed Bride: Solange Knowles

What sets her apart: When Solange married Alan Ferguson in New Orleans last year, she gloriously broke the rules. She had the entire wedding party (which included sister Beyonce and Jay Z) dress in white (or some variation). Solange, (wearing a Stephane Rolland low cut ivory jumpsuit), and her husband to be, (wearing a white Lanvin suit), rode vintage white bikes on the streets of the French Quarter to get to their wedding ceremony, which was held at the Marigny Opera House. And for the actual nuptials, she wore an undeniably chic, minimal, covered up, and decidedly untraditional white cape dress designed by Humberto Leon for Kenzo.

Best Dressed On The Social Circuit: Polina Proshkina

What sets her apart:  The former model has a wonderful eye for fashion and knows what suits her. She obviously does her homework before attending any one of the many high profile soirees on her calendar, and it’s impossible not to notice her given her well-considered ensembles that are more often than not, bold, sculptural, architectural, and art inspired.

Best Dressed Dandy: Hamish Bowles

What sets him apart: Vogue’s European Editor-at-Large (not to mention museum curator, couture collector, author and icon in the word of fashion and interior design) favors impeccably tailored pantsuits, loves mixing patterns, and is not afraid of color. And he almost always adds a playful element of surprise (a large flower pinned to his lapel for instance) to give his outfit a whimsical twist, a sense of humor, and some personality.

Best Dressed Guitarist/ Music producer: Nile Rodgers

What sets him apart: The award winning musician (who fronts the legendary band appropriately named, ‘Chic’) has a love of elegant tailoring. His uniform most always consists of an impeccably tailored suit, played out in a palette of monochromatic neutral colors (black, white, gray, navy), and more often than not, he tops off the look (and his signature dreadlocks) with a Kangol beret or cotton bandana.

Best Dressed Rockefeller: Indre Rockefeller

What sets her apart: Her personal style can best be described as sophisticated, artistic, eclectic, unique, and out of the ordinary. She is the walking embodiment of Delpozo, the Spanish based pret a couture luxury brand designed by Josep Font, which could not be more apropos, since she is its US President.

Best Dressed Male Editor-in-Chief: Stefano Tonchi

What sets him apart: When you look up the word “debonair” in the dictionary, there is a picture of Stefano Tonchi next to it. Flawlessly groomed and impeccably turned out, he always looks as though he stepped out of the pages of a fashion magazine, and with his formal correctness, he manages to look dressed up, even when he is going ‘casual’ (though ‘Dressed Down Fridays’ don’t really seem to exist in his vocabulary).

Best Dressed Former First Lady: Carla Bruni-Sarkozy

What sets her apart: The Italian-French singer-songwriter, former model, and face of Bulgari, who is married to former French president Nicolas Sarkozy, is known for her elegant, understated, achingly French style. She favors little black dresses (with hemlines that demurely hit at her knee); perfectly tailored pantsuits; and jeans, t shirts, and blazers. Her accessories of choice are Roger Vivier’s simple yet luxurious handbags, and flats (or low heeled pumps or boots). At 5’9” (her husband stands at 5’6”), she does not really need high heels anyway.

Best Dressed Red Carpet ‘Newbie’: Dakota Johnson

What sets her apart: Regardless of the fact that the daughter of Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson has had several acting roles under her belt, the 25 year old was a relative unknown until she was tapped to star as Anastasia Steele in “Fifty Shades of Grey” earlier this year. But she has handled her numerous appearances on high profile red carpets (movie premiers, award shows, Paris fashion week, the Met Gala) like a seasoned pro, and has been faultless in her choices. Favoring designs that completely suit her (with their unfussy clean lines, and accessories kept to a minimum), she has managed to look appropriately young, hip, modern, and elegant, whether opting for a sleek black off the shoulder Dior jumpsuit while attending the show during Paris Fashion Week last season; long, lacquer red and one shouldered (Saint Laurent) at the Academy Awards; short strapless and all over mirrored (Chanel Haute Couture), at the Met Ball.

Best Dressed Peacock: Di Mondo

What sets him apart: A man about town and country, Di Mondo (born Edmundo Huerta), is always ready for his close up. Once referred to as the “Most photographed man in New York”, (“It’s Di Mondo’s World” by Alexandra Jacobs, Fashion & Style, The New York Times, August 20th, 2014), he is both a fashion aficionado and an art enthusiast and exemplifies Oscar Wilde’s assertion: “One should either be a work of art, or wear a work of art”. He attends all the high profile happenings and galas, and you can always count on him to be perfectly put together and completely color coordinated from head to toe, regardless of the occasion. He also knows when to tone it down a bit (well, sort of).

Best Dressed Fictional Character: Amal Clooney

What sets her apart: The accomplished and brilliant human rights lawyer and law professor is also the ravishingly beautiful wife of George Clooney. Possessed of enviably mile long legs, fabulous hair, and radiant smile, she has a designer outfit to compliment every occasion of her glamorous, globetrotting, fairytale life. Wait. What? You mean she really exists? LOL

Photo Credits:

Marilyn Kirschner

I am a long time fashion editor with 40+ years of experience. As senior market of Harper's Bazaar for 21 years I met and worked with every major fashion designer in the world and covered all of the collections in Paris, London, Milan and New York. I was responsible for overall content, finding and pulling in the best clothes out there, and for formulating ideas and stories.

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