San Francisco’s Best Dressed


Denise Hale, Member of International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame

Anyone who cares about style knows all about the annual “International Best Dressed List,” founded in 1940 by Eleanor Lambert, and run since 2004 by Vanity Fair magazine.

The concept of the Best Dressed list originated in 1933 as the “Paris Dressmakers’ List,” when Paris couture houses would list their favorite clients. Eleanor Lambert, a New York publicist, took over the tradition, and gave it a more democratic angle by inviting the world’s leading figures of fashion, society and media to vote for those who should appear on the super-exclusive list.

There have not been many San Franciscans to make the International Best Dressed. Those who come readily to mind include the late Eleanor Christensen de Guigne, Denise Hale, Wilkes Bashford, Ann Getty, Sofia Copolla, Danielle Steel, Vanessa Traina and Victoria Traina.


Tatiana Sorokko

This year, Vanity Fair is further democratizing the list by inviting readers to take part in the voting. Included among the nominees are four names well known to SFLuxe readers: Tatiana Sorokko, Dodie Rosekrans, Trevor Traina and Carlo Mondavi.

Dodie Rosekrans

“Both Tatiana and Dodie, for several years, have been nominees on V.F.’s list,” an insider tells us. “But this particular acknowledgment has eluded them.”

So let’s make sure that our favorite San Francisco tastemakers appear in the September 2009 issue of Vanity Fair – go to www.vf.com/go/bestdressed to register your vote. You can also write-in the names of people who have been overlooked (we can think of a few!)

For further history of the International Best Dressed List, see “Making the Best-Dressed List,” by Eugenia Sheppard, published January 5, 1963 and reprinted by SFLuxe.com.

Photos: Drew Altizer, Thomas J. Gibbons, San Francisco Examiner and San Francisco Chronicle.