Vanity Fair Published Their 2012 International Best Dressed List the Other Day
A lesson in bland, by Vanity Fair.
Vanity Fair runs an annual International Best Dressed list, which a lot of people seem to care a lot about. Why? I have no idea. It isn't really a fashion magazine, it's a society magazine punctuated with amazing political articles which, presumably, the people who buy it for the gatefold "Young Hollywood" cover, don't read.
Even though all the clothes Vanity Fair feature are safer than Ryan Seacrest presenting the Kids' Choice Awards, it has somehow become the sartorial bible for a whole group of blandly dressed weekend golfers and trophy wives.
The most recent list came out last week and these hallowed few made it to the top ten. Let's look at how the other half are going to be dressing for the next year.
10 – MORLEY SAFER
According to a Google image search, Morley (he hosts American news show 60 Minutes, to save you the Wikipedia trip) has been wearing literally the same thing every day since the dawn of photography. The man has the kind, gentle eyes of a TV-movie grandpa, so I don't want to be too mean, but does wearing the same suit every day for 60 years really warrant a place on a best dressed list? Maybe it's like a lifetime achievement sympathy thing. Or just because the aging banker contingent of Vanity Fair readers need a reference point to claw some good vibes back into their wardrobe, rather than the dead-behind-eyes, power look they've been sporting for their entire professional career.
9 – FAN BINGBING
You would have thought that the fashion editor of a global magazine would have at least learned how to fake being interested in fashion by now. If fashion is about anything, it's supposedly about taking risks (the most inconsequential risks known to man). This picture isn't very exciting/risky/funny/anything. In fact, it looks like a shot from one of those $600 photo-shoots offered to high school girls by scam model agencies.
8 – ALICIA KEYS
Alicia Keys; singer, actress, and public advocate of tassle-fringed jeans, trilbies and one-piece leather crop-tops, clocks in at number seven.
7 – TOM BRADY
Until today, Tom Brady was just another name I occasionally stumbled across on the internet, with no consideration of who the man really is, what he does, or how influential his style is to a entire class of rich, unbelievably badly dressed men. I've always felt massively out of place at all the charity galas and fundraisers I'm constantly getting invited to by Condé Nast socialites. Obviously I'm just not putting nearly enough thought into my straw bowler hat and grunger-chain game.
6 – COLIN AND LIVIA FIRTH
I think I'm starting to get what's going on with this list. On the surface it just seems like a whole load of mediocre celebrities dressed in boring clothes, but this addition makes me think Vanity Fair has to be fucking with us somehow. There's no way Chiswick's celebrity canapé couple could be number six on anyone's best dressed list, regardless of background, taste, or eyesight. What's your game, guys? Are you subversively mocking the mundane tastes of your target reader? Having a little in-office hoo-ha at the expense of your advertisers?
5 – JAY-Z
I wonder if Jigga's going to be seeking an injunction against his name being included in any more of these lists. Being named the second-best man in a depressingly long list of awfully dressed trustafarian hedge-fund managers is nearly enough to destroy all the credibility he has left after getting a hard-on in public and taking fashion tips from Kanye West.
4 – LEA SEYDOUX
Yeah, she's a babe, but if that means every beautiful Vanity Fair-reading French woman who looks on the right side of crazy is going to start dressing like a waifish Italian man, I'll be very upset.
3 – BILL CUNNINGHAM
I actually quite like the way Bill Cunningham dresses—it's cool he's got a signature outfit that isn't just a ridiculously expensive suit. I mean, I know it's still suit-ish, but at least the guy's trying something new. I can imagine his signature winter outfit fitting in nicely somewhere in an early Mobb Deep video, too, which is pretty admirable for an 83-year-old white guy.
2 – JESSICA CHASTAIN
Taste is entirely subjective, I get that—it's why steampunk and Kasabian are allowed to exist—but this look is so inoffensive, I can't imagine it even falls into any taste spectrum. If beige was a lifestyle choice and you were interviewing for an accounting job at a suburban law firm, this is the look you'd go with.
1 – KATE MIDDLETON
I'm a fully paid-up member of the Kate brigade. Remember the first time Reiss sold out of that dress she was wearing nationwide? All me. Gosh, I don't what it is. I guess I just adore how she's fooled half the world into thinking that dressing like a middle-aged headmistress looks good on an attractive 30-year-old woman. Innovative, daring, and a deserving winner!
Follow Jamie on Twitter: @jamie_clifton