Clothes tend to mirror the soul—or at least the personality. In this, PEOPLE’S fifth annual exercise in soul-searching, we have assembled a gallery of the best-and worst-dressed people in the world, those whose style—or lack of it—has influenced the way the rest of us dress. The Olympics had its fashion effect this year on star-spangled beach and leisure wear, but that’s just one way Americans have looked homeward. Fashions from the American past have rebounded. Check out screen-star Daryl Hannah and her Fabulous Fifties debutante dress, worn with sunglasses and white gloves up to the elbows—very Marilyn Monroe, very…retro. Or outrageous singer Cyndi Lauper, whose neon-graffiti style is Technicolor punk. Simon Le Bon of rock’s Duran Duran often favors “defiance” dressing—the teen-gang style of the ’50s that now has found its way into dozens of off-the-rack, street-wear jeans lines. Inescapably, there’s Michael Jackson, whose sequined military-band outfits have shown up on Paris runways and spawned budget-conscious teen-wear ensembles that come complete with one flashy glove. It’s been quite a year. Our subjects dress to thrill—with results that are sometimes sublime, often ridiculous and occasionally downright astonishing.
Understatement is definitely not her bag. The futuristic and androgynous look is. Singer Grace Jones scores high points with space-age matador hats, lots of leather and jungle spandex. A 21st-century knockout.
When it comes to casual chic, British actor Jeremy Irons is the real thing. Jeremy snazzes up his British threads with Americanisms like scruffy sneaks and shades. A step removed from his classic Brides-headwear, perhaps, but Irons’ own reserve brings to dressing down a sense of dressing up.
His golden locks come out of a bottle, but that’s the only flashy stroke in 47-year-old artist David Hockney’s preppy painter look.
She’s so unusual, that loony but lovable Cyndi Lauper. No one wears tulle head wraps and junk gems with more pizzazz.
When it comes to high dramatic fashion and drop-dead chic, it’s hard to beat Raquel Welch. She always looks expensively turned out, and that in itself is a turn-on. Is her taste a tad too young for a 44-year-old? Nahhh. Raquel, don’t ever stop.
When these batty British chanteurs come out of their closets, there’s no telling what they’ll have on. Boy George has androgynized the world with his geisha-girl makeup and plain old chutzpa. As for Marilyn, he’s no drag either.
Daryl Hannah makes quite a Splash with her knock-’em-out evening gown. She’s a fin fatale in or out of water.
When she’s not bare, who cares? Please, Bo, no more sweats. And let’s update those sweet little peasant skirts, huh?
Despite a deep fondness for Hawaiian shirts, Bill Murray (with buddy Dan Aykroyd) is a style buster.
Simon Le Bon looks like Elvis cleaned up. Duran Duran’s lead singer is gorgeous, girls, and knows it.
This woman needs help. What could possess Barbara Walters to make like the Gabor girls out on a toot?
C’mon, Gerry, the most prominent woman in U.S. politics doesn’t have to look so…democratic. The wrinkled raincoat, the print dresses, the mix and match. We cast our vote for a fashion consultant.
It’s thumbs up for Michael Jackson’s Sgt. Pepper costumes. From his shiny black locks to his gleaming white socks, he’s scored a victory.
No one can accuse aspiring actress Eleanor Mondale of being on the fritz. With her fancy graffitied frock and starlet cut, Daddy’s little girl, 24, is our candidate for “Most Improved.”
Actress Patti Davis, daughter of you know who, is one sorry sight in her spangled fright gown. Leave one-shouldered togas to Nancy, dearest.
These two look like Thoroughbreds ambling in from the Outback. In their outsize greatcoats, actor Bryan Brown and his actress Mrs., Rachel Ward, are Down Under’s most dapper duo.
Although they are fit to be tied, Billy Joel sans cravat leads the way in pop star mufti. As for his Uptown Girl, supermodel Christie Brinkley, who cares what she wears? She always looks sensational.
When Jack Nicholson and girlfriend Anjelica Huston do the town, they do it like sleek continentals. She, in her exquisitely wrinkled linen jacket, and he, with his binocs and boating blazer, are one veddy chilly combo.
With her padre’s burning black eyes and a proud senorita carriage, Paloma Picasso is stunning in her strapless lace gown. Her husband, playwright Rafael Lopez Sanchez, adds a dash of European flash. Olé!
What this acting twosome needs is his ‘n’ her dressers. What has happened to Goldie Hawn since 1982 (see cover)? Goldie should tame her penchant for animal prints and relocate her puny purse. Kurt Russell could do himself a favor by cleaning up his third-rate stud duds.
Scarlett O’Hara in the family way didn’t dress any better than Mick Jagger’s girl, Jerry Hall. A Texas belle, Hall knows lace and décolletage keep folks from tummy fixatin’.
Now that America’s sex kitten is going to have a kitten of her own, she’s shed crotch-high minis and scanty thong suits. But who’s kidding whom? Even in her maternity smock, Pia Zadora plays the pouty sexpot to the end.
Low marks for Mrs. Bernard Shaw. You’d think a well-heeled heiress would know better. Sorry, Patty, but that over-the-fanny maternity blouse has got to go.
Princess Di, toujour demure, breezed through her second pregnancy in girlish sailor suits. Points for her royal cover-ups. But shame on you, Di. You must have snitched that hat from your mum-in-law’s closet.
Only Nastassja Kinski would flaunt her bulging belly so brazenly. No low profile for this free spirit.
What worked for Betty Grable doesn’t do for 9-year-olds. If E.T. saw Drew Barrymore with that feathered froufrou on her head, he’d quite understandably scream with fright. Drew, honey, stick to more fashionable frills and those lacy little-girl dresses you wear so well.
Emmanuel (Webster) Lewis may wear a toddler size four, but he’s no babe in the woods when it comes to dressing. In his cool white summer tux, Lewis, 13, looks mighty sharp, all 3’6″ of him. Here’s looking at you, kid.
His mama, Yoko Ono, sports plain tinted goggles to hide from a curious public. But Sean Lennon, 8, faces the world with way-out winged specs. Let’s hear it for the boy.