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Making the Cut with a Fashion Legend

"The International Best Dressed List: The Official Story" Written by Amy Fine Collins, Introduction by Graydon Carter, Foreword by Carolina Herrera.

"The International Best Dressed List: The Official Story" Written by Amy Fine Collins, Introduction by Graydon Carter, Foreword by Carolina Herrera.

 

Written by fashion legend and longtime Vanity Fair contributor Amy Fine Collins, “The International Best Dressed List: The Official Story”, is a must read! This lavishly illustrated volume presents the complete history of the much-lauded and highly visible International Best-Dressed List (IBDL) launched by Eleanor Lambert, "Godmother of Fashion," in 1940.

Amy Fine Collins, author of The International Best Dressed List: The Official Story. Photographed by Ronald James.

Amy Fine Collins, author of The International Best Dressed List: The Official Story. Photographed by Ronald James.

 

During her interview at Bal Harbour Shops last week hosted at the Stella McCartney boutique, Collins stated that, “We learn from those of another generation and absorb it, so only then can we understand more about the world, about ourselves and simply how to just be.” From this unique mindset, Collins was able to learn what it truly meant to ‘make the cut’ by working with and establishing a life-long relationship with the prodigy herself, Eleanor Lambert.

President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy. Photographed by © Steve Shapiro.

President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy. Photographed by © Steve Shapiro.

 

Many of the photographs in the book showcase how outfits, such as the one seen above on First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, elevated the architecture and the very fabrics of the room they inhabited. Founded by the “Godmother of Fashion”, the ‘Best-Dressed’ list was in part established to stimulate the American fashion industry as the country was on the brinks of war (World War II). Since then, the list has become a shrine for the who’s who of the most glamorous men and women from around the world, the ultimate treasury of fashion inspiration.

Audrey Hepburn in a black dress. Photo credited to Getty Images/George Karger/Pix Inc./The Life Collection.

Audrey Hepburn in a black dress. Photo credited to Getty Images/George Karger/Pix Inc./The Life Collection.

 

When taking a moment to think about her book and legendary fashion icons of the past eight decades, Collins expressed that “they’re (those listed in the book) like my assembly of fascinating people whose fascinating lives were embellished by the fascinating clothes that they wore…the list always reflects the culture of the time, the politics of the time—you can reconstruct what was going on in the world just by looking at who wore what.”

Angelica Huston. Photo credited to Getty Images/Evelyn Hofer.

Anjelica Huston. Photo credited to Getty Images/Evelyn Hofer.

 

Notable Hall of Famers include Anjelica Huston, Audrey Hepburn, President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, Twiggy and Bianca Jagger. Collins noted that her two favorites to date are Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly—as they embody pure timeless fashion.

Twiggy. Photo credited to Getty Images/Justin de Villeneuve.

Twiggy. Photo credited to Getty Images/Justin de Villeneuve.

 

So what happens to the “Best Dressed List” in the age of Instagram? Collins said, “I think people want to become memes.” As a rule, she only wears clothing designed by friends. “Clothing is so personal. The maker has such a connection to his creation. It merges sensibility, stories and narratives.”

 

Visit Books & Books Bal Harbour on Level 3 of Bal Harbour Shops to purchase your copy of one of the most outstanding books on fashion.

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