The “New” Best Dressed List For 2020

Lookonline launched the “New” Best Dressed” List in 2014. We customarily post in June or July, and I wanted to continue the tradition even in these unprecedented times. Regardless of what is going on in the world, there are celebrated and accomplished individuals whose personal style makes them stand out.

There are many ways to define “best dressed.” It is highly subjective. I always try to steer clear of those who made my past lists. If I do use them, it’s not in the same way. For my latest installment, I am again celebrating diversity and using relevant and topical categories. As always, I want to inject an element of surprise. See below in random order.

See: “New” Best Dressed List for 2019

Best Dressed Former Lawyer: Tamu McPherson

Tamu McPherson

Tamu McPherson is a former lawyer-turned-founder of the website “All The Pretty Birds,” It transformed from a street style website into a community that reaches a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural audience. Like her website, Tamu is continually evolving with the times. Born in Jamaica, Tamu moved to New York to study law. She eventually relocated to Milan, Italy, with her husband and young son. Tamu is one of Milan’s most beloved fashion figures. Tamu’s colorful, eclectic, highly individual dressing echoes her fabulously curated apartment. It was recently featured in Architectural Digest.

Best Dressed in Quarantine: Amy Fine Collins

Amy Fine Collins at home wearing vintage Geoffrey Beene
Photo: Courtesy Amy Fine Collins

Not everyone wears comfy sweats in lockdown. Certainly not Amy Fine Collins. Amy goes in the other direction; she really gets dressed. When the pandemic hit, the International Best Dressed Hall of Famer, and one of the four owners of the list, began wearing rediscovered pieces from her vast Geoffrey Beene archive. Fine Collins was a muse of the late designer. She describes the exercise as therapeutic and nostalgic, a reminder of Mr. Beene’s enduring beauty and modernity.

Best Dressed in Silicon Valley: Matt Jacobson

Matt Jacobson

Not every Silicon Valley billionaire dresses in hoodies and jeans like Mark Zuckerberg. Matt Jacobson, head of market development at Facebook and second in command to Zuckerberg, is the company’s shining example of style. Matt is partial to Thom Browne’s suits and Vicki Turbeville’s Native American sterling and turquoise bracelets. The Facebook honcho is very precise when it comes to every detail that comprises his look; finding the right tie can take an inordinate amount of time.

Best Dressed Fashion Stylist: Jane Hsiang

Jane Hsiang wears Francisco Costa for Calvin Klein
Photo: Wing Shya

Ms. Hsiang is an international fashion stylist/fashion consultant. For 12 years, Jane was the Editorial Director, ELLE, Asia-Pacific Editions. Jane resides in Hong Kong and has lived and worked in New York, Paris, and Rome, where she served as Mr. Valentino’s 1st assistant at Valentino Couture.

I met Jane in the ’70s when we were both fashion editors at Harper’s Bazaar. Jane, a former model, was the epitome of chic then, and she is now. Her style is minimal, classic, and modern. Last year, Jane was named “Fashion Icon of the Year” by Marie Claire, China Edition. Jane is working on her memoirs about her life in fashion.

Best Dressed Dressed Down: Hailey Baldwin Bieber

Hailey Baldwin Beiber

The pandemic is forcing us to become more casual. For many, like Hailey Baldwin Bieber, it’s a way of life that needs no justification. There’s an art to dressing down, and Hailey has mastered that art. In true L.A. style, Hailey always looks sporty and relaxed when out and about, but at the same time, she is always well put together.

The secret is in the balance of high and low, an understanding of proportion, and impeccable grooming. Also, accessories are key: having a cache of statement sunglasses, handbags, and just the right sneakers and loafers pull the look together. But, it’s not just about having designer labels. Knowing how to use them while adding plenty of attitude doesn’t hurt either!

Best Dressed Mother & Daughter: Marievic & Genevieve

Genevieve & Marievic wearing Prada and Comme des Garcons

Marievic is a French-born visual artist currently living and working in New York City. During the pandemic, Marievic returned to Paris to be close to her mother, Genevieve. Every day, the stylish duo socially distanced and posed in front of Paris’s empty storefronts. They dressed in exceptional designer pieces (Comme des Garcons, Prada, Yohji Yamamoto, Balenciaga, Junya Watanabe) from Genevieve’s closet. Each location is carefully selected in keeping with the mood of the ensembles. That daily ritual morphed into an art project, “Avenue Montaigne”

Best Dressed Couturier: Ralph Rucci

Ralph Rucci

Ralph Rucci is known for his exacting attention to details, precise cuts, carefully chosen fabrics, and perfectly placed seams. The couturier is always seeking rare, special, and unique. Ralph’s couturier techniques have a monastic quality; his stripped-down reduction of decoration continually sets Rucci apart. Ralph’s wardrobe, predicated on luxurious wardrobe basics, is a reflection of his desire to rigorously pare down and simplify in the best and most distinctive way possible. Among Ralph’s signatures are crisp white shirts, perfectly cut pants, jeans, his beloved vintage Elsa Peretti belt, and a black alligator jacket of his design

Best Dressed Congresswoman: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Fashion is not Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s primary focus, but she has a strong fashion persona. AOC relies on a minimal, clean-lined wardrobe. Her sleek hair is worn straight or pulled back in a low bun. Ocasio-Cortez is known to add a red lip and manicured red nails as a punctuation mark. Last year, she traveled to cities across the country with Bernie Sanders in support of the President’s bid. With her sophisticated urban style, there’s no mistaking what city Alexandria represents.

Best Dressed Congresswoman: Rep. Ilhan Omar

Rep. Ilhan Omar

Rep. Omar is the U.S. Representative for Minnesota’s 5th congressional district since 2019. She was part of a historically diverse freshman class in the 116th U.S. Congress. The Kenya born Muslim was sworn in holding the Quran. She is first to wear a hajib following a 181-year ban on headwear. For this politician, the traditional head and neck covering symbolizes power, liberation, beauty, and resistance. Ilan’s wardrobes of hajibs are often paired with smart, well-tailored jackets and trousers. East meets West at its best.

Best Dressed on the Red Carpet: Zoe Kravitz

Zoe Kravitz wearing Saint Laurent at the British Academy Film Awards

The 2020 Red Carpet season came to an abrupt end in March, but it was long enough for Zoe Kravitz to assert her dominance. Regardless of the event (the SAG Awards, the Golden Globes, the British Academy Film Awards, the Oscars), Zoe was understated and exquisite. She wore Anthony Vaccarello for Saint Laurent three times and Oscar de la Renta once. The gowns were utterly different, but similar in that they were long and lean and did not overpower Zoe’s tiny frame. The stunning actress never over-accessorized and always looked like herself without trying too hard. Standing 5’2”, Zoe is a commanding presence. She is proof height isn’t everything.

Best Dressed American Physician & Diplomat: Dr. Deborah Birx

Dr. Deborah Birx

Dr. Birx, the American physician and Coronavirus Response Coordinator for the White House, was first introduced to us through her daily televised briefings. The doctor’s unmistakable flair for fashion is always in evidence. Dr. Birx quickly became an unwitting style star owing to her inventive usage of scarves. Scarves of all sizes, shapes, colors, and patterns accessorized the doctor’s classic shirtdresses, cardigans, and well-cut jackets. She proves just how versatile a scarf is by even using them as face masks. Talk about an essential worker.

Best Dressed Singer/Songwriter: Alicia Keyes

Alicia Keyes

Alicia Keyes is an extraordinary talent, a woman of great beauty with or without makeup, and she possesses an enormous personal style. For two years in a row, Alicia hosted the Grammy Awards. She wowed with her numerous wardrobe changes. The 39 times multiple Grammy winner is not only a singer and songwriter but also a humanitarian, philanthropist, and social activist.

When the star debuted her new song, “A Perfect Way to Die”, via live video at the 2020 BET Awards last month, she sang with her piano in an empty street. At the end of the song, Alicia knelt, and the camera panned up to reveal the names of dozens of people whose lives had been lost. It was an emotional moment. Alicia’s fierce black leather trench coat and black leather pants hit the right note.

Best Dressed Scientist: Kizzmekia Corbett Ph.D.

Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett

Dr. Corbett is a research fellow at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. The 34-year-old scientist leads a team running first stage clinical trials of a vaccine to fight against COVID-19. If successful, the vaccine could be ready for patients by early to mid-2021. Dr. Corbett’s work and research also inform Dr. Anthony Fauci. Corbett’s job is to make sure the science falls in line with product development.

While Dr. Corbett has an obvious flair for fashion, her white lab coat that is the brilliant scientist’s signature piece of clothing.

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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.

1 Comment
  1. I enjoy your articles and read them all happily. The above and last article was/is OFFENSIVE for very obvious reasons.

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