Wednesday, July 01, 2015

In the Market Report: Menswear Shows

Welcome to a "Brave New World"

Louis Vuitton Spring Summer 2016 Menswear
All photos: Style.com

The Council of Fashion Designers of America (www.cfda.com) will be launching New York Fashion Week: Men’s, “a standalone showcase for American men’s fashion” on July 13th, with the Spring/Summer 2016 collections. There is no question that this is an exciting time for men’s fashion. The European menswear collections for Spring/Summer 2016, which began in London and ended in Paris on Monday, were testament to an ongoing antidisestablishmentarianism, and gender bending ambiguity, where lines continue to be blurred between masculine and feminine. On Friday, the Supreme Court came down with the decision to legalize same-sex marriages throughout the country, and Caitlyn Jenner made news and history with her recent ‘outing’ . Welcome to a “ Brave New World”!

Many designers are not only continuing to break with tradition and think out of the box, but are forging ahead with the sort of technical innovation and painstaking, artisanal workmanship one normally associates with couture. This was exemplified by Thom Browne, who lavishly decorated his (almost) otherwise traditional grey and navy three-piece suits with Japanese landscapes, blossoms, dragons, and Rei Kawakubo, whose Comme des Garcons Homme Plus “Broken Tailoring” collection, was all about “breaking down the art of tailoring” (“tearing it down to build it up” was how she explained it).


Closeup of scarf at neck at Hermes

And while the runways had their share of dandies, rock stars, safari, So Cal surfers, and grunge, those are just labels; there is not just one road to follow or just one trend. However, some trends were hard to ignore: the constant appearance of boy scout tied scarves at the neck, and an embrace of bare sandals and open toed footwear. Which means that like us gals, you guys will seriously need to schedule those pedicures this coming Spring/Summer. Then again, you could always wear socks with your sandals (another big trend), or follow Maison Margiela’s lead, and cover your toes with opaque toe peds.


Sandals with a suit at Marc Jacobs

But, most importantly, just as in women’s fashion there was truly something for everyone. Point/Counterpoint. For everything that was highly experimental, there was something conservative and classically traditional. I thought that the best way to illustrate this point and show the yin yang dichotomy that exists, is by taking some of the ‘sacred’, classic, time worn menswear staples (which were all over the runways in one form or another), and show how they were translated by designers who were unapologetically traditional if not mainstream, versus those who pushed the envelope and re imagined them; in some cases, rendering them almost unrecognizable (the ‘profane’, if you will, depending on your point of view).


The Balmacaan 


Raf Simons & Margaret Howell



The Baseball Jacket 


Saint Laurent & Paul & Joe



The Crew Neck Sweater 


Ami & Dries Van Noten



The Breton Striped top 


Officine Generale & Alexander McQueen 



The Three Piece Suit


Thom Browne & Ralph Lauren


The Tuxedo


Ralph Lauren & Saint Laurent



The Biker Jacket


Ralph Lauren & Gucci


Morning Stripes


Dunhill & Commes des Garcons Homme


The Belted Trench


Lanvin & Gucci


The Field Jacket


Belstaff & Balmain



The Two Button Sport Jacket and Jeans


Brunello Cucinelli & Junya Watanabe




The Hooded Parka


Joseph & Y3






- Marilyn Kirschner

Friday, June 26, 2015

New York Fashion Cool-Aid™ "Paraiba Star" Gets Glowing Reviews


Paraiba Star of the Ocean Necklace
(Click on image for full size view)

I spent Wednesday night in the company of a rare and unusual beauty. No, I wasn't at a party with the latest young Insta-model; the beauty was of the inanimate kind in the form of an incredible jewel. This almost 200 carat (191.87 to be exact) Paraiba Tourmaline from Brazil was listed in October 2009 as the Guinness World Record holder for largest cut Paraiba Tourmaline and became known as "Ethereal Carolina Divine Paraiba." In late 2013 it was set in a necklace designed by Moneca Kaufmann of Kaufmann de Suisse Jewelers (of Montreal and Palm Beach, Fl) to become the Paraiba Star of the Ocean Jewels Necklace, which is how it remains to this day.



The necklace was on view, courtesy of Art Bodega Magazine at Astro Gallery of Gems, on 38th and Fifth Avenue, for only one night as part of a world tour, where I met its designer and got to hear a bit about its history. The ultra unique, bluish green, glowing, luminescent stone (for every 10,000 diamonds mined, only one Pairaiba Tourmaline turns up) is currently owned by Vincent Boucher, a Montreal Financier and CEO of Billionaire Business Inc. Ms. Kaufmann had previously designed jewelry for various gemstones that he had brought to her. With this one she helped him file for its GIA (Gemological Institute of America) certification. When he asked her to design a piece of jewelry to showcase it, she was initially stymied. "First, I was thinking about it as the king of the gemstones and I tried to make it into a lion" she said. "I didn't like it at all. Then I got inspired by the sea."


Holly Signorelli, Moneca Kaufmann

One look at the necklace in the case definitely brings to mind the Caribbean! The piece itself, although majestic, is also whimsical and includes a large yellow diamond directly above the show-stopping tourmaline. White and pink diamonds, and other pave colored stones are woven in a chain of turtles, crabs, fish, octopus and various sea creatures, all leading to the spectacular luminescent pendant enveloped in a multi-colored shell design.



The price of the necklace:  it's been appraised between $15 and $25M-- which is really a steal since the second largest Paraiba Tourmaline (62.12 carats set in a solitaire platinum ring) was valued at $10M.   Interestingly, that one is also for sale and being offered on ebay.com at a "bargain" price of $4M-- it is said to be owned by  "Hollywood Royalty who only wore it once on the red carpet," albeit Royalty who is now going through a divorce necessitating the quick sale.  I'm wondering who could be the current owner?   Mariah Carey comes to mind

I've noticed quite a few celebs wearing Paraiba Tourmalines lately including Taylor Swift whose earrings matched her teal high-low Grammys dress, Emily Blunt at the Golden Globes (Lorraine Schwartz earrings and bracelet adding contrast to her white dress); in a large cabochon ring on Paula Patton; earrings on Lea Michele, Salma Hayek and America Ferrare. Speaking of celebs, as part of its tour, the necklace was recently on display at the Cannes Film Festival and will go next to the casino at Monte Carlo and finally on to Dubai, which I think could be the locale with its best chance for a sale. Apparently there are a few people so wealthy there that they encase valuable gems or jewelry in a case and display it in their homes! Maybe they are the one-half percenters; those even wealthier than the one-percenters. HA

Since this event was for the current Summer 2015 issue of Art Bodega, several of those featured in its pages attended. Those included L.A. Dawson, who wrote "The Stone Cold Truth About Style" on the magazine's last page, about (you-guessed-it) precious stones, and Holly Signorelli, author of "Do You Know Where Your Money is?" with a several page lifestyle spread. Dawson's article featured turquoise stones which she also sported at the event, in earrings contrasting with her coral dress, while Signorelli wore a scuba inspired dress in black and teal, perhaps also inspired by the ocean theme.

I spoke with Gisela A. Reis, a Sales and Marketing Professional at Astro Gallery about the museum-like store and their clientele. "We get people of all ages and all nationalities, tourists, locals, and celebrities such as Cameron Diaz, who was on the guest list " she said. "We have items for just a few dollars and all the way up!" She remarked that she'd like to see security camera footage of the gallery after closing, musing that much like "Night At The Museum" perhaps the dinosaur skeleton and other featured creatures move around. She gave me the gallery's list of stones and their properties which is quite extensive. For Tourmaline (of all colors) it reads: Dispels fear, negativity, and grief. Promotes healthy environment, tranquil sleep, balance in relationship, self-expression. Eases compulsiveness. All of which got me musing on who should own this special necklace.

Tourmaline (along with Opal) is the birthstone for October. I immediately realized whose birthday just happens to be in that month? Yes, I'd like to think that I just saved Kanye West hours of trouble trying to decide what to gift Kim with this year. This is the absolute perfect gift for her! Not only is it her birthstone (check), she loves things that look like Elizabeth Taylor would have worn them (check), it's a one-of-a-kind item (check), it's blue for the boy that they're expecting and can double as a "push present" ie. gift to the mother for a new baby (check), not to mention all of the properties just stated above about Tourmaline ("easing Impulsiveness" may even help Kanye resist those grandstanding "moments" that he's famous for).

There you go Mr. West, I got you covered with the perfect baby mama/birthday gift! If you can blow $25K on champagne in one night drinking with Drake, Future and 2 Chainz, you can certainly afford this bauble for your "one and only." No need to thank me...just send along my 15% finder's fee!




- Laurel Marcus

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

New York Fashion Cool-Aid™

Fordham's Fashion Law Institute First To Have New Degrees All Sewn Up


Susan Scafidi, DVF, Steven Kolb & Stephen Freedman
(Click images for larger views)
All photos Laurel Marcus

"I'm sure you wondered why I called you all here today" began Professor Susan Scafidi early Monday morning,fresh off a business trip to Milan. Despite her introductory statement, Scafidi, the creator of the Fashion Law Institute at Fordham University was not investigating a murder mystery but rather launching a new educational initiative: the world's first academic degrees in fashion law. With CFDA President Diane (pronounced Dee-anne) Von Furstenberg (the CFDA is a large supporter of the Fashion Law Institute) as well as Provost of Fordham University Stephen Freedman, the announcement was made at a press breakfast at Fordham's beautiful new building next to Lincoln Center.



"Today is the last step in taking away the question mark after the words "Fashion Law" and replacing it with an exclamation point" Scafidi continued. This initiative, five years in the making, means that those who already have a general law degree can get a Master of Laws or LL.M in Fashion Law. For those without a law degree but involved in the fashion business as designers, executives or other fashion industry professionals, the new Master of Studies in Law, or M.S.L. will offer a specialization in fashion law in order to educate those who would benefit from this knowledge. "In this new era of transparency we would like to open this (information) up and I'm very excited to do that today."


Susan & Diane

In this mutual admiration society, Von Furstenberg was touted by Susan as the "patron saint" of Fordham (a Jesuit school) while, in turn, DVF was quick to sing Scafidi's praises. "None of this would have happened without Susan's passion--she's passionate about both fashion and law," The Queen of the Wrap Dress (there were two women present wearing the same chain link design, in a black & white iteration) mentioned that 25% of the world is involved in some aspect of the fashion business: "It's an industry that reaches everyone at every level and although there are some frivolous aspects of the business, it IS important as it gives a lot of jobs to a lot of people. Although the idea of fashion law seems obvious, somebody had to think about it and somebody had to make it happen and that's Susan. And, Fordham is not a bad home," DVF said. While Scafidi agreed about the location of the university, she none the less lamented the loss of her former neighbor. "It is the best location but I'll miss having Fashion Week here" she said.

The reason for the five year wait for these degrees to be made possible, according to Provost Stephen Freedman, is that it "took a while to get the State of New York to realize that these programs are good." Von Furstenberg chimed in by adding that these programs are "extremely valuable" and may prevent designers from "losing their Intellectual Property and their names."

"So many young designers are so desperate to make a deal that they'll just sign their life away," Von Furstenberg added emphasizing the need for this type of knowledge at the early stages so that designers learn to protect their interests. The University plans to award scholarships to those who can't afford the $53K for the yearlong (two semesters) program, or even the discounted 25% off for the fashion industry ("Who never pay retail" quips Scafidi. Applications are available and classes will begin in the fall. Specialized courses will include Fashion Law & Finance, Fashion Ethics, Sustainability, & Development, Licensing, Fashion Modeling Law, Fashion Law Practicum and Fashion Retail Law.

As for why this is so important now, Von Furstenberg spoke of Eleanor Lambert who founded the CFDA in 1962. "Fifty years ago there was a lot of fashion but no designers were recognized the way they were in Europe. Eleanor Lambert was a publicist who made the world aware of Oscar de la Renta, Bill Blass, and Halston. Before that the law didn't address it because it didn't exist."

As for the bureaucracy involved in getting this initiative to fruition, DVF (admitting she finds the subject of law to be "the most boring thing in the world") said "Susan is absolutely relentless. She has an idea and she fights for it. She makes it happen." Stephen Freedman looked at Diane: "You're pretty relentless yourself!" he said. "Not anymore," she replied and departed shortly thereafter to attend a funeral at St. Patrick's Cathedral.

Other attendees at the press breakfast included Designer and Author Jeffrey Banks; Anna Dalla Val, VP of Intellectual Property, Ralph Lauren Corporation; Steven Kolb, CEO, CFDA; Gary Wassner, Co-CEO, Hilldun/Co-Founder & Chairman, Interluxe, and several Fordham University Faculty Members.

"I'd like to think that having a LL.M. in Fashion Law will become the Sine Qua Non of the fashion industry" said Scafidi, as she urged us to help ourselves to more coffee on the way out. I realized sadly that all the caffeine in the world would not make me half as energetic as either of those two exceptional women.




- Laurel Marcus

Monday, June 22, 2015

In the Market Report

Let’s Hear It for the Red, White, & Blue

There’s no denying the fresh, classic and unapologetically all American appeal of red, white, & blue. Even though admittedly, with July 4th looming in the near future, it may seem obvious and clichéd -- if not a bit corny. But. like anything else, when something is done particularly well it always looks good and never loses its appeal (as the following examples perfectly illustrate). And besides, what’s so bad about a little ‘corn’ every now and then?

Victoria Beckham resort 2016

As soon as I saw the model wearing that perfect slouchy red cashmere v neck sweater tucked into hip slung dark denim roll cuff jeans, accessorized with the sturdy yet feminine white pointy toed sling backs, (on the runway of Victoria Beckham’s recent resort 2016 presentation), I immediately thought, “what a chic way to look on July 4th! Her fresh take on a classic standby was simple, straight forward and easy to duplicate by simply taking distinctive wardrobe basics you already own (in red, white, and blue), and moving them around (the combinations are almost endless).


Derek Lam resort 2016

Derek Lam is a designer known for his love of eased up and luxurious American sportswear. While I wouldn’t say red, white & blue was a recurring theme within his resort 2016 collection, (which was inspired by the off court style and the long athletic limbs of basketball players; notably those of Kareem Abdul-Jabbal’s), one red and white oversized gingham check puffer jacket shown over matching drawstring shorts and a navy cropped top, looked darn good.

Moncler Gamme Bleu     

Thom Browne has long been an advocate of great American (and British) sportswear, though his aesthetic can best be described as subverted preppy (or preppy with a twist). He loves to take what is basic and classic and make it "unbasic" and "unclassic". His menswear 2016 spring collection for Moncler Gamme Bleu, which was just shown in Milan, was inspired by rowing team uniforms (‘think’ Oxford vs. Cambridge). Broken into 4 color groups, the one in red, white, & blue was a standout.

Tom Browne resort 2016 collection

His eponymous resort 2016 collection for women (shown here in New York), was filled with his signature finely tailored jackets and coats, button down oxford shirts, rubberized tweeds, pleated skirts, ribbon trims, polo shirts, and scarf prints, (and accessorized with his handsome handbags and spiffy bi color brogues and boots). While it began with a group of pastels, it also included quite a bit of navy, white, and red. This combination came by way of tartan plaids, button down shirtdresses, and a group of white waffle knits edged in wide stripes of red and navy.



Saint James Naval 11 striped breton top

And speaking of stripes, it goes without saying that they are not only patriotic in an obvious way, but always right on point and a perennial favorite. The iconic Breton striped t shirt is a beloved wardrobe work horse, and you can’t get more authentic than the Saint James Naval ll unisex boat neck top (saint-james.com, $135). Saint James recently collaborated with J.Crew, for their good looking wool Nauplie sweater, available in ivory with navy, or red with navy stripes, $299.00, jcrew.com. J. Crew’s ¾ sleeve sailor stripe tee with beaded side detail, $59.50, is another good choice.


Baja Vintage t-shirt 

Along those same lines, if you click on to zady.com, you will find Le Mont St. Michel’s classic red and white striped sailor stripe top, $95, as well as Jungmaven’s Baja Vintage t shirt, $96. Pre-shrunk, made of soft, durable hemp, and complimented with red and blue stripes using 100% natural dyes, it is directly inspired by The Declaration of Independence, which was written on hemp (it is sized for men XS- L). Also worth noting is A.L.C’s Robinson cut out neckline sweater in navy and white stripes, ($325, intermix.com), and Saint Laurent’s navy and red striped cotton long sleeved top, $650, netaporter.com.


Ashish blue white striped embellished long sleeved breton

If you want something a bit more unusual (and dressed up), check out Ashish Gupta’s hand embellished striped silk georgette tops that are interesting riffs on the classic cotton Breton striped pullover. The short sleeved red and white sequined ‘t- shirt’ is edged in gold sequins, clear beads, and faux pearls, and the navy and white striped sequined top has long sleeves (both are $1775 from  netaporter.com). I love them downplayed with jeans (white, dark wash, deconstructed), but you can also pair them with Ashish’s navy all over sequined cotton shorts ($1270). They don’t call him ‘The King of Sequins’ for nothing!


American flag scarf

And if you really want to show your stripes (and stars), how about adding an American flag scarf? Needless to say, they abound, but a few good choices are Gap’s oversized lightweight star printed navy and white scarf, (currently on sale for $23.96, gap.com), and the Rustic American Flag Scarf, ($25, scarves.com).





- Marilyn Kirschner

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

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


Click images for larger views

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 Gainsborough and Lou Doillon


Lou Doillon & Charlotte Gainsborough

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 Gainsborough, (her father is the late Serge Gainsborough, 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 www.underoursky.com. 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 (www.paddle8.com) 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

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- Marilyn Kirschner