Last night, Vanity Fair hosted a cocktail party in celebration of its 2016 International Best-Dressed List along with Saks Fifth Avenue at the retailer’s New York flagship. The list, which has had a 76-year run, and counting, was released in the glossy’s October issue and featured an eclectic lineup of royals, celebrities, socialites, and beyond, from the “real” Queen Elizabeth II to the “pretender” Helen Mirren to Tilda Swinton to two stars in the must-see Broadway show Hamilton and many more. So, what goes in to determining who gets a coveted honor? Vanity Fair’s special correspondent Amy Fine Collins broke it down for us.
“We’re looking at people who are style leaders, have influence in fashion, and are very visible,” said Collins, who wore an Elizabeth Kennedy dress in an effort to “support new designers.” “They need to have a distinctive style and not just have a head-to-toe straight-off-the-runway look.” As far as who Collins is loving on the style front these days? “Tilda Swinton, who made our list this year. She’s fantastic. And we put the Queen of England on it this year, too. I think she’s dressed appropriately for her profession and standing.”
Vanity Fair’s editor Graydon Carter, Aimee Bell, Saks Fifth Avenue’s chief merchant Tracy Margolies, and its president Marc Metrick welcomed guests at the store’s newly renovated fourth floor, which is the first of many renovations to come. The floor is home to the collections of designers like Marc Jacobs, Brunello Cucinelli, Moncler, and Michael Kors, among others. “This is going to be the unveil that just started tonight. We figured out what’s a good synergy, and for us, this is all about lifestyle dressing, mixing, and what she wants, so celebrating best-dressed was the right way to introduce this concept,” said Metrick on choosing the floor for this event.
Guests who came out for the shindig included Diane Kruger, Georgina Chapman, Victor Cruz, Monica Lewinsky, Gayle King, John and Lizzie Tisch, Don Lemon, and Leona Lewis, who’s starring in Cats on Broadway. “I actually did a piece for Vanity Fair on the Cats‘ Grizabella makeup, so it’s nice to come out and do something a bit social that doesn’t involve dressing up as a cat.” The singer has been in the production for the past four months and finishes up in three weeks. “Broadway people are the hardest working people I know. It’s given me an amazing work ethic—it’s been incredible, “said Lewis, who wore Rosie Assoulin. “I went to see The Color Purple the other night and Heather Headley was amazing. She gave me great advice after the show. She’s so inspirational.”