FASHION on WEDNESDAY
The Best Dressed Women of 2019
Welcome to our list of the bestdressed women of 2019. Even if you don’t agree with all our choices, we hope you will find some style inspiration here.
Best-dressed lists always divide opinion over who did and didn’t make the cut. But these days, arguably, their very existence could be called to account. Of course, women are more than the sum of their outfits, but we think these lists can be instructive, not only for what they tell us about the way women have chosen to present themselves to the world over the past year, but for what those choices reveal about wider issues. Clothes are part of a whole armoury of tactics that can help or hinder us on our paths, and it’s fascinating to see how they’re deployed here ( just listen to financier Helena Morrissey on the power and the pleasure to be had from fashion).
We’ve avoided the usual roster of red carpeteers who employ armies of stylists, or are paid by specific brands to be ambassadors. There’s nothing wrong with what they do – it’s good business – but it doesn’t necessarily reveal their natural sartorial instincts. That said, there are always those rare performers whose blazing fashion flare shines through, even when the stylists have helped them. Phoebe Waller-bridge, Sienna Miller and Zoë Kravitz: we salute you for your bold statements and natural elegance.
Really, though, this may turn out to be the year when the red carpet finally relinquished its hold on our attention. Too many award shows, so many bland choices – and quite a lot of raging exhibitionist ones – have made this strand of people-watching a dull and/or uncomfortable spectator sport.
Instagram is the new runway, which is where we discovered Marie Donnelly, a sometime art curator and racehorse owner. Her account is private, but she popped up in her couture outfits on other feeds.
If Donnelly occupies the luxe perch on this list, the writer Dana Thomas and superstar retailer Jane Shepherdson are championing the recycling of clothes and the greening of the fashion industry. The fact that so many consumers who, even a year ago, wouldn’t have dreamed of renting clothes or wearing vintage are embracing the concept is the biggest fashion story of the year.
Lisa Armstrong, Head of Fashion