You don’t just take Kate Moss’s best-dressed crown and walk away unharmed. Moss, a clotheshorse legend, has spurred some of the most influential trends: menswear-inspired vests, leopard-print jackets, and of course, skinny jeans. So when Agyness Deyn won Tatler magazine’s best-dressed award, a trophy Moss has won the past two years, fashion’s collective eyebrow most definitely raised. To confirm the surprisingly verdict, we put the two offbeat Brits head-to-head. Turns out Deyn does deserve the victory; Moss commmited self-sabotage by cashing in on a Topshop collection and then, alas, actually had to wear the stuff.
After the jump, we take Kate and Agyness to the sartorial cage match.
Casual Attire: Point - Moss
Moss: Huge points here for the sharp black blazer and boots. And the cock-printed T-shirt shows the 34-year-old mother has, if nothing else, not lost her sense of humor. Her classic accessories, gray ostrich bag, and shades balance the look out as well. But shorts over tights? Eh … we expected better.
Deyn: Shown leaving the Chanel pre-fall show, gift bag in hand, the Brit looks thrilled in a leather pants, chunky red sweater, tie-dye sock combo. We love that she’s not always teetering around on heels, though with her, legs why would you need to? But in the end, we’re thinking this look is more eighties nightmare than ‘08’s fantasy.
Cocktail Attire: Point - Deyn
Moss: Bringing her Topshop collection to Barneys, Moss dresses the part in one of her own breezy designs. Black and white, usually tough to screw up, looks frumpy here, even though the sheer dress is tightly belted. The punchy yellow clutch, however, is a fun touch.
Deyn: As Christopher Bailey’s muse, Deyn storms the Seventh on Sale event in a ruffled, skintight Burberry number. The teal color absolutely glows on her, while the silhouette is just offbeat enough to maintain Deyn’s signature whimsy. Bold, black heels and a clutch and bright nails round out the look.
Formal Dress: Point - Tie
Moss: Moss appears in her most successful Topshop look at the Costume Institute Gala. The tiered gown is an understated, beautiful take on the basic black dress. Here, Moss herself grabs the attention, rather than a wild outfit. Soft hair and dangling earrings nicely frame her face. It’s eveningwear, minus the hefty effort and extravagant budget.
Deyn: Always a hit with emerging U.K. designers, Deyn dons a dramatic, floor-sweeping Giles dress to pick up her “Model of the Year” award at the British Fashion awards. Her spiked, bleached hair blends effortlessly with the gown’s punkish glamour. And the sheer sections amp up the tomboyish pixie’s sex appeal.
Party Attire: Point - Tie
Moss: Girl looks like a hot mess, and we mean that in the most loving of ways. She’s having a blast, dancing with friends at the Topshop holiday-range launch party. We wish we were there (mainly to ask her why she had to select the black satin jumpsuit! Why?! Has Marc’s Arabian Nights costume taught us nothing?). The sparkly caplet and diamond bracelets try to redeem the ensemble but can’t.
Deyn: It’s a little bit suburban-mom-goes-to-a-holiday-party (sparkly vest, buttoned-up blouse, tapered plaid pants) with a touch of little bit British ragamuffin (worn-in leather newsboy). Kudos for even thinking of mixing these pieces together; fashion needs less of Rachel Zoe’s predictable formula and more street-chic spontaneity. But the colors, the patterns, the proportions — it’s a little much for us.
Hair: Point - Deyn
Moss: For a tiebreaker, we’re forced to judge the accessory any ensemble depends upon: hair. Last year Moss launched a hair-product line … kinda strange because hers usually looks like it hasn’t been washed in days (but yeah, we think that’s pretty glam too). If only she’d held off and waited to patent her new banged look.
Deyn: Okay, so she didn’t originate the pixie cut. Even Moss tried the look in 2001. But Deyn’s revamped the cute style. Now it’s irreverent and modern and a refreshing departure from the cascading, pale brown locks other catwalkers sport. And waves of fashion-forward girls are following suit.