Secrets of today

By | July 23, 2012

Dasha Zhukova and Alexa Chung

A look at the best-dressed ladies of the moment

It wouldnbe too outrageous to say that personal style has reached its saturation point. Between the glut of outfit-a-day blogs, Instagrams, runway reality shows, mass-market designer collabs, and the Web sites that go with them, itnot difficult to find oneself overwhelmed, not to mention overdressed.
Yet at a time when personal style is anything but personal, there are still those zeitgeisty influences like Dasha Zhukova and Alexa Chung who, without trying to, anticipate what—next and set the tone for the look du jour. They have the ability to seamlessly navigate a sea of sartorial options and come out looking ravishing, rather than ravaged. They know their way around the mix-and-match and the photogenic pose. Whether theycrossing a street clutching a Starbucks cup or holding forth on the red carpet, the reaction they elicit is always a distinct combination of envy and awe.
Dasha Zhukova and Alexa ChungWe all have our favorites, but regardless of whether you consider yourself a member of Team Tilda or Team Beyonce (if you spend time considering such things), itundeniable that each of these style stars has, as the legendary Bazaar editor Diana Vreeland would say, .”Defined as attractive combination of vitality and glamour,”this ephemeral quality, which the original editrix also ascribed to racehorses, may explain why Sarah Jessica Parker can throw a full-length Jil Sander jacket over a cream Rochas gown and channel Deeda Blair, or how Kate Moss has made jeans the ultimate chic staple, topping them off with a fringed motorcycle jacket or nouveau grunge plaid and wild fur. Indeed, where Katejeans go, the world follows. Which leads us to the next point in today s expression of pizzazz: the ability to mix and match to hit the perfect dressed-undressed balance and to incorporate unexpected elements to great effect.
Dasha Zhukova and Alexa ChungOn the red carpet, for instance, the stars seem to be lightening up, dressing in pale hues for night instead of the traditional black. The duchess formerly known as Kate Middleton never looked better than when she wore an ivory Roland Mouret gown (which showed just the right amount of leg) in May.
That white is the new black was further proved by Gwyneth Paltrowcaped Tom Ford getup at the Oscars, where it trumped many an over-the-top taffeta confection. And MonacoCharlotte Casiraghi has also been a notable proponent of the cape crusade —people are still talking about the glamorous powder blue version by Giambattista Valli she wore to her uncle Prince Albertwedding reception last summer. The heroic garment does not generally evoke sleek minimalism, but on the backs of Paltrow and Casiraghi, it did just that. Lauren Santo Domingobow-bedecked ensemble from Oscar de la Renta pulled off a similarly unlikely hat trick. Its uncanny how LSD managed to sport a fabulous pouf sleeve the size of a ham hock and make it memorable for all the right reasons.