The WOW doctrine: We at WOW believe that imagination is second only to good looks… that maximalism has more to offer than minimalism… that when it comes to being OUT we are all OUTCASTS… that the superficial is often the most profound… that today’s underground is tomorrow’s mainstream… and that ugly is the new beautiful…
With that in mind, the criteria for the WOW Best Dressed List is a little different than that of, say, Harper’s Bazaar or Vanity Fair. We don’t fawn over Taylor Swift and her ever-more-annoying squad, or reward Jennifer Anniston for wearing essentially the same black dress down every damn red carpet for the last 20 years. We don’t care about Alexa Chung, Poppy Delevingne, or Karlie Kloss. No, no, no. We have other fish to fry.
The WOW Best Dressed list honors those individuals who truly take it to the edge of fashion… the rule-breakers, style-makers, and no-hostage-takers who make us sit up and take notice. Celebrities, sublebrities, and celebutantes who live without boundaries, without fear, and are without QUESTION the most interesting people in pop culture.
Each year we celebrate the STAUNCH individuals whose personalities ACTUALLY INFORM their look – a novel idea, I know – and the style icons who make us question the very nature of style. It’s about the semiotics of clothing as costume, as emotional armor, as socio-political statements – and THAT’s what gets our juices running. Now, sit back, relax, and enjoy the men and women of the WOW 2015 BEST DRESSED LIST!
Trixie Mattel and Violet Chachki – both arrived on the pop culture stage with fully-formed style and utterly self-aware looks. You may not like Trixie’s beat, but there’s no denying its almost instaneous impact on the drag scene at large. Suddenly, everything is BIGGER! BOLDER! and MORE BONKERS than before! Nobody is painting for the back row anymore, they’re painting for the STORE AROUND THE CORNER! The days of subtle touches and fishy realness are OVER – and I, for one, couldn’t be MORE EXCITED. Violet, too, has changed things for the better – bringing a hitherto forgotten level of chic and finesse to drag. The way she references period looks to create fresh images is in a league by herself. For someone so young to be so skillful is astounding – and makes me wonder what all she has yet to accomplish.
Your spirit animals Taraji P Henson and Nicole Richie.
Instagram stars One-Half Nelson and Lyle XOX– both of whom have a stream-of-concious drag that often veers into Dada-esque territories. Keep your eyes on them.
Caitlyn Jenner and Candis Cayne. Say what you will about Caitlyn being problematic (and there is A LOT to say on the matter, make no mistake), but when Caitlyn and Candis made those first few forays together out in the public eye, there was no mistaking their raw star power. Together, they dazzled. Together, they made us believe the times were changing and a brand new kind of style star had arrived. Whether they’ve lived up that promise or not is debatable…
North West and Prince George – privilege never looked so cheek-squeezingly CUTE. Of course, they are opposite ends of the entitlement spectrum. As the future King of England, George will be brought up to serve his country and live a proper, if not rather staid life, and be the perfect gentleman he was pre-ordained to be. North, by contrast, will most likely be hell on wheels, living a life without structure, stability, accountability and consequence. I predict that after a string of failed marriages to Kingston, Pax, Blanket, David Banda, and Jayden Federline, she and Suri Cruise will start a fashion line of panda leather jackets studded with blood diamonds that will make them even richer and even more debauched. Yeah… I have a feeling it’s gonna be fun watching these two fashion-influencing titans grow up.
The WOW Report Best Dressed Hall of Fame:
Maximalists Domonique Echeverria (of New York) and Daniel Lismore (from London). Both create a context-free tribalism that spins in ever-widening circles of nuttiness. Both manage the almost impossible challenge of being simultaneously elegant and cutting edge at the same time. My GOD, they’re fascinating.
Balooney-tunes British performance artist/party girl Pandemonia and Turner Award-winning artist Grayson Perry – God bless those UK eccentrics.
Two words: Iris. Apfel. Three more words: Fabulous. Phenomenal. Mythic.
New York street style legend Oswald Gomez, whose everything-and-the-kitchen-sink aesthetic embodies everything I love about New York.
Stylish celebuspawn Romeo Beckham and the oh-so-iconic Fran Lebowitz.
Aggressively fashionable K-Pop superstar T.O.P. from BIGBANG and Harry Styles for his nutty, ever-evolving wig-in-a-windstorm hairdo, those tiny blazers that fall just above his hips, and his formidable accessorizing ability.
White-wearing artist/icon Terrance Koh, and performance artist Justin Vivian Bond
and of course, the incomparable Ryan Burke, redefining the concept of beauty for the 21st century. (First and third pic via PatMcGrathreal)