Every year the fashion industry proclaims its best-dressed lists, top-heavy with social moths and moguls. For most of us, however, those famous figures in television, movies, music, politics and the arts are the real trend setters. This fall PEOPLE cast a cool eye on the world’s hot dressers, consulting a panel of experts—designers Geoffrey Beene and Michaele Vollbracht, model agency heads Eileen Ford and Nina Blanchard, Language of Clothes author Alison Lurie and writer Truman Capote—to come up with the fashion year’s biggest winners and sinners.
FASHION’S ROYAL FLUSH
No matter that she spent half the year pregnant. In maternity styles, the Princess of Wales remained a spectacularly visible trend setter, making PEOPLE’S list for the second year in a row. The expectant Di favored elegant evening cloaks and low-cut velvet gowns trimmed in lace. Since son William’s christening, however, Princess Diana has been trying to regain her 21-year-old’s figure. “She is beautiful,” says Beene, but not perfect: “Her hats have to go.”
He may be married and a father now, but—in fashion terms anyway—Prince Charles is hardly domesticated. If anything, Diana seems to have spruced up her husband’s already impeccable image. Thanks to his wife’s hairdresser, Charles now parts his hair higher on the left—the better to disguise his bald patch. And no more greasy stuff—the future king of England now fancies a blow-dried look. As for Charles’ classic Savile Row wardrobe: “If he can’t be well dressed,” asks Eileen Ford, “who can?”
Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid star Steve Martin did—but only to promote the film. Otherwise, Steve, 37, is anything but wild and crazy in his natty $600 three-piece suits from Giorgio’s on Rodeo Drive, $180 silk shirts and snappy fedoras. Martin started dressing for success early—at age 10, when he donned bow tie, vest and straw hat to sell guidebooks at Disneyland. Today Beene raves about Martin’s fluid look: “I love the way his clothes move with him.”
Nothing but a contract dispute could ever come between Brooke Shields and her Calvins, though in The Blue Lagoon she dressed even more casually. The 17-year-old may even spend much of her next film, Sahara, in a burnoose. But offscreen, Brooke endlessly loves drop-dead gowns like the chiffon number (right) by Bill Blass. “Her clothes tell us,” observes Lurie, “that she is a luxury item.”
“I don’t want to keep Pam Ewing’s clothes,” says Victoria Principal of her but-toned-up Dallas character, “because she and I wouldn’t dress the same way off the set.” Indeed, away from the cameras Principal, 32, wriggles her hard-to-fit figure (size three on the bottom and five on top) into sultry classics by Norma Kamali and Halston. And though she says she’s “not much of a shopper,” Victoria succumbs to the occasional splurge. “I don’t know how it happens,” she sighs. “My car just drives itself to Neiman Marcus.”
As Jane Wyman’s moneygrubbing grandson on Falcon Crest, Lorenzo Lamas, 24, sports menswear by Italian designer Giorgio Armani. Unlike Principal, he dresses the same away from his CBS series, opting also for Ralph Lauren. The 6’2″, 180-pound son of Fernando Lamas and Arlene Dahl is, exults Vollbracht, “terrific and sexy—perfect for the times.”
TV NETWORK NEWSFLASH
Diane Sawyer, the eye-widening co-anchor (with Bill Kurtis) of CBS’ Morning News, was a former Junior Miss (1963) and Nixon White House staffer. Now she arises at 3 a.m., dons a green or blue Armani silk blouse, a Zoran knit sweater and a tailored Calvin Klein skirt (“interspersed with $12 bargains”) before heading to the studio. “I wear clothes that don’t distract on the air,” she says. But at night, confesses Diane, 36, “I like see-through tops and clingy silks by de la Renta. I’m really nostalgic for Marilyn Monroe.”
Among TV anchormen, ABC’s London-based fashion plate Peter Jennings, 45, claims he no longer can afford his Savile Row tailor; now he gets his suits made (for between $200 and $400) wherever he happens to be on assignment (recently, the Far East). Still, Beene calls him “meticulous.” Insists Jennings: “I’m really sloppy off the air.” His favorite outfit: “a pair of shorts I stole from a doorman in Calcutta.”
SUPER FREAK CHIC
In her Bride of Frankenstein coif, ultra-new-wavey T-shirt and “battered” black-and-blue makeup, shock rocker Nina Hagen makes last year’s winner in this category, the Plasmatics’ Wendy O. Williams, look like Mother Teresa. Hagen, 27, left East Germany six years ago to invade the West. Her wardrobe includes German war helmets and lots of black leather, picked up at secondhand shops. “I love to make up my baby daughter Cosma Shiva’s face like mine, dress up and go out,” Hagen laughs. “People ask if we are from another planet.”
Lurie says Rick James, 32, “dresses to shock and dismay.” When performing, James favors skintight sequined outfits. Offstage, he often spends $15,000 on leather in a single outing, on everything from cowboy outfits to bomber jackets. “You could,” Rick admits, “call me a clothesaholic.”
She may be hot, but E.T.‘s Drew Barrymore, 7, still dresses like any kid. Well, almost. John’s granddaughter spends most of her time roughhousing in Oshkosh overalls, but for dress-up she doesn’t seem to mind when Mom puts ribbons in her hair. “It’s difficult,” observes Beene, “for beautiful children not to look good in clothes.”
Ryan O’Neal’s son, Griffin, is seen around town in polo shirts, preppy stretch belts and chinos. “I pick out my own clothes,” explains the 17-year-old star of The Escape Artist. “But sometimes Tatum, Farrah or my dad throws in an idea.” Vollbracht describes Griffin’s look in two loaded words: “Hollywood elitist.”
BEST-SELLERS WITH STYLE
She sleeps in an extra-large, V-neck Jockey shirt, but otherwise the author of the fashion-drenched Scruples and Princess Daisy dresses the part. Judith Krantz, 54, wrote her upcoming Mistral’s Daughter in an Adolfo jogging suit, and her closets are crammed with St. Laurents and Kenzos. “She does wonders with herself,” applauds Blanchard. “I just wish she would change her hair.”
Jogging suits are not for Tom Wolfe. The 51-year-old author of Radical Chic is always impeccably turned out in The Right Stuff. He has done more to promote the antebellum white suit than any writer since Mark Twain. Facing a deadline, Wolfe once donned a turtleneck and khakis, knowing he’d be forced to finish his manuscript because he could “never leave the house looking like that.” “Tom,” purrs Capote, “is total camp.”
He receives his biggest bravos in tight tights and ballet slippers. But away from the footlights, Mikhail Baryshnikov, 34, wins equally warm applause from fashion arbiters for his dashingly eclectic wardrobe. Misha still hangs out in T-shirts, cowboy boots and Levi’s, but—as American Ballet Theatre’s artistic director—he also spiffs up in suits by Valentino, Armani and Versace. Raves Nina Blanchard, “He’s glorious.”
Another hot dresser in the art world is 30-year-old Manhattan gallery owner Mary Boone, who wheels and deals in pricey Armani suits and gowns by Norma Kamali. At around 5′, Boone also leaves her mark wearing shoes of iguana and python, her favorite skins, with three-inch heels.
Baseball star Steve Garvey, 33, doesn’t own a single pair of Dodger blue jeans. This may not connect with his robustly clean all-American image, but Steve is a hit in well-polished loafers and Ralph Lauren and Lacoste shirts in every color made. The dressy Garvey suits up in navy blue with a pink shirt and matching pink silk handkerchief. “He’s beautifully groomed,” says Blanchard, “but a bit sedate.”
Nothing sedate about pro golf’s blond bombshell, Jan Stephenson—on the links or off. Sporting hot pants, she was once barred from a clubhouse in Australia. Last year she stirred a ruckus for provocatively posing in a boudoir for a golf magazine. A perfect size 4, Jan, 30, has her trademark flouncy microminis and clingy tops made just for her in Japan. And guess what, fans. Once photographed in an outfit, Jan never wears it again.
Even after they were sentenced to jail, two of the world’s most stylish defendants never let down their standards. Allowed to wear her own clothes during a 17-day prison stay outside Naples for failing to report $180,000 to Italian tax authorities, Sophia Loren padded around her pink cell wearing fancy silk shirts and jeans.
Earlier, Claus von Bülow, 55, had been found guilty in Newport of trying to murder his rich, socialite wife, Sunny. During the much-publicized trial, the dapper Dane shed his snazzy crocodile shoes and jaunty tweed suits for more conservative camel’s hair coats, sober businessman hats and double-breasted dark suits—the patrician look he continues to affect while appealing his conviction.
In movie terms, at least, 1982 has been a drag. Even E.T. was gussied up in Mommy’s clothes by Drew Barrymore. And that’s not all. In the upcoming Tootsie, Dustin Hoffman, 45, portraying an unemployed actor who finds work as an actress, is padded to near-Partonesque proportions with a four-pound silicone bosom, painted up with thin layers of makeup and forced to hobble around in two-inch-high heels. “I had no idea Dustin could look so attractive,” coos Capote. “I’m kinda cute,” agrees Hoffman, “but thank God I’m too old for a mini. There’d be more leg to shave.”
In hubby Blake Edwards’ Victor/Victoria, 47-year-old Julie Andrews went the other way; she wore tailored suits and tails as a woman playing a man playing a woman. Again, Truman approves: “At last Julie has found her proper costume.”
Like his alter egotist in Rocky III, Sylvester Stallone has at last learned to wear his heavyweight success comfortably. Gone are the crotch-hugging pants, open-to-the-waist shirts and gold chains that the Italian Stallion favored in 1979 (left). These days a sleeker (from 201 down to 163 pounds) Stallone, 35, can carry off custom-made Italian suits and shirts and pricey silk ties. Geoffrey Beene, for one, mourns the transformation. “Maybe he is too much improved,” he says. “He lost some of his natural charisma.”
OUR FIRST HALL OF FAME
Whether or not they are tasteful hardly matters; some celebrities have been making fashion waves so regularly and for so long that PEOPLE is canonizing them in our first Hall of Fame. Of course, Nancy Reagan was voted into the International Best Dressed Hall of Fame, but she hasn’t been content to rest on her laurels. Not only has the First Lady set a new standard for Washington elegance with her clothes by Galanos and Adolfo, but she also dared to defy convention by appearing at a Paris reception last June in black satin knickers (left). Not to be outdone, the President turned up at Versailles in a bright-blue glen plaid suit (far left) that all but blinded his French hosts. “He should burn that plaid suit,” grumbles Ford. “Otherwise he is very well dressed. And Nancy puts herself together magnificently.”
Bette Midler deserves to share this honor with the Reagans, but for very different reasons. During the past decade she has been the leading exponent of what she calls “trash with flash.” Admirer Michaele Vollbracht puts it this way: “Everything that’s bad about her is good.” The Divine Miss M stole this year’s Academy Awards telecast even though she was only a presenter. As she spilled out of her ruffled gold lame Kamali (below), she told some 350 million viewers, “Bet you didn’t think it was possible to be overdressed for this affair, right?” When it comes to Bette’s fashions, however, nothing succeeds like excess.
FOUR PHENOMENAL FLOPS
In a limo after dining at Elaine’s, Ordinary People Oscar winner Tim Hutton, 22, sounded a fashion note—torn-at-the-knee jeans, crumpled shirt and a scruffy beard—more final than Taps. Sniffs Truman: “He looks like he’s on his way to prison for life.” U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Jeane Kirkpatrick is dowdy even for a former academic. According to Lurie, she is “bunchy, rumpled. It looks like she found her clothes at a rummage sale.” True, Al Haig, former Secretary of State (and Kirkpatrick’s ideological antagonist), was a better dresser, but look what happened to him. And then there’s Alexander Godunov. He was fired from the ABT (by best-dressed Baryshnikov, no less), though not for his fashion mistakes. At least girlfriend Jackie Bisset seems to like Godunov’s uniform of black leather jackets, black jeans and black shirts open to show plenty of chest and a dangling gold cross. “If he bothers to wear a shirt,” snaps Ford, “the least he could do is button it.” After her disputed Golden Globe as best new star for Butterfly, Pia Zadora, 26, seemed to be angling for Tops in Tack when she showed up at Cannes in a bun-baring bikini. Lurie says: “She sometimes looks like a waitress in one of those ice-cream parlors where they have poodles on the napkins.” Poor Pia isn’t Beene’s bag, either. “She is,” he declares, “the ultimate in bad taste.”