“You can’t do it of just people wearing sweatpants and pajamas — as good as they may look,” said Graydon Carter of the decision to change the format of International Best Dressed List amid the pandemic.
The list may only be in its second year on Air Mail, the weekly online newsletter he founded in 2019 after departing Vanity Fair (and taking the I.B.D.L. franchise with him), but it’s actually celebrating its 80th anniversary.
That gave Air Mail the opportunity to dig back into the I.B.D.L.’s archives to honor 20 women arbiters of style throughout its history, as opposed to the usual rating of the year’s best dressed.
In pre-pandemic times, readers voted by ballot, and more recently online, but this time they were selected by Carter, Amy Fine Collins, Reinaldo Herrera (husband of Carolina Herrera) and Aimee Bell (a former Vanity Fair editor), who inherited the list from Eleanor Lambert. She founded it in 1940 and ran it until her death in 2003 when it moved to Vanity Fair.
“As we all know, 2020 was a very unusual year and there were few occasions to see people out and about wearing clothes. Most people that we would normally