As you know, the criteria for the WOW Best Dressed List is a little different than that of, say, People’s or Vanity Fair’s. We don’t fawn over Taylor Swift’s award show choices or reward the Duchess of Cambridge for playing it safe. We don’t care about Alexa Chung, Jenna Lyons, or Karolina Kurkova. And sure, Kerry Washington is pretty and her outfits (both on-screen and on the red carpet) are amaaaazing, but would she really dress like that without a phalanx of stylists at her beck and call?
At WOW, we honor the people whose style comes from within, whose look is a reflection of their personality. We pay homage to the people who disregard fashion trends, or bend them to suit their needs. We bow down to the rule-breakers, style-makers, and no-hostage-takers who truly take it to the edge of fashion. For us, it’s less about actual style-setters and more about the people who make us question the very nature of style.
Here is the 2014 World of Wonder Best Dressed List:
Surrealist drag queens Ryan Burke and MILK. Ryan seemed to be operating on an entirely different playing field than the rest of the world this year, testing the very limits of style and, in the process, showing us the blueprints for the future of beauty. And MILK. What can we say about the RuPaul’s Drag Race season six standout? That he continued to marched boldly forward to his own looney beat? That he kept us all amused and intrigued? That he’s one of the most interesting queens ON THE PLANET? Yes, yes, all this and more.
Maximalists Domonique Echeverria (of New York) and Daniel Lismore (from London). Both created a context-free tribalism that spun on its own mania, and managed to be both elegant and cutting edge. My GOD, they’re fascinating.
The Victorian funereal chic of Oswald Cobblepot (yes, I realize he’s just a character on television, but WHAT A CHARACTER!) and the jolie laide urban rococo of FKA Twigs.
Suddenly too-too glamorous: Alaska Thunderfuck and the not-to-be-ignored Kylie Jenner. Both underdogs. Both style Phoenixes. Alaska, who just keeps getting more iconic with each and every photo shoot. And Kylie, the forgotten Jenner sister, who spends her time in the shadows slowly morphing into a truly interesting 21st century beauty. I think she’s INFINITELY more interesting than sister Kendall, don’t you?
The breathtaking perfection of the Solange wedding party. “Nuff said.
Sartorial independents Jared Leto and Harry Styles. Neither is afraid to stray from the pack. Neither is afraid to start their own trends. Do they always work? No. But their fashion missteps are usually more interesting than most men’s fashion triumphs.
Biddy chic: General Hospital’s Constance Towers and ’50s-starlet Anne Jeffries. Always elegant. Always pulled together. THAT’S how you age, my friends. With wrinkles and ruffles and diamonds and chignons and an indomitable never-say-quit spirit. Love these two.
Lifetime achievement: Harry Brant and Vida McConaughey. Yes, Harry (age 18) and Vida (age 4) have consistently dressed better than you their entire life and are honored with the prestigious World of Wonder Lifetime Achievements in Fashion Award. May you both continue to inspire shock and awe all the days of your lives.
Forever Icon: Kembra Pfhaler. The stunning lead singer of the legendary glam–punk bank The Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black, who “blurs the line between life and art, pleasure and pain, and terror and beauty” as Wikipedia says. A fascinating, fascinating woman.
(Photos: Instagram, Pacific Coast News)