Ask Alexandra: Anna Dello Russo, Fashion Clown or Icon?

Hey Alexandra,
What is your opinion about Anna Dello Russo? Fashion clown or fashion icon?

Dear S,
Can she be both? Because I think she sits right in the middle. You’ve inspired me to create a ven diagram on the subject.

Fashion icons, fashion clowns, fashion advice column, Lady Gaga, Anna Dello Russo

Disclaimer: this chart only identifies whether the listed names have fashion sense that is either iconic, clown-like, or both. I am not endorsing their style or their accomplishments.

Anna Wintour is most definitely iconic with her bob, her sunglasses, and her chic dresses, as is Carine Roitfeld with her hair in the eyes, smoky makeup, and pencil skirts. Daphne Guinness does a great job of looking sophisticated yet borderline insane, and for that reason alone, her style is iconic. And Kate Moss can wear a giant fur vest and Ugg boots, and look cool, so therefore she is iconic.

There is something iconic about Donatella’s signature blond tresses and tight dresses but her “I’ve done too much cocaine” car crash, over-tanned face is very clownlike. Susie Bubble and Anna Dello Russo are iconic in that they have created an eclectic style that is very recognizably their own, but sometimes the insane outfit combinations are bordering on clown costumes (although, they can both get away with it.) And Karl Lagerfeld, well, he is the ultimate fashion icon/fashion clown.

While I love Lady Gaga’s music, her taste is clothing has definitely made her the fashion clown darling of 2011. Andre Leon Talley is an oversized clown, while John Galliano is a clown who went crazy in fancy period costume shop. And BryanBoy is a fashion clown with lots of expensive clothes, but no taste.

This list is not exhaustive, who would you add to it?

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  • Hungstar

    I think Jean Paul Gaultier is another great fashion icon/fashion clown. I love him!

  • S.

    Thanks, for answering to my question :) love your post!

  • Madeleine Gallay

    please add Chanel to your fashion clowns list … in no way is a tormented, addicted artist who also is a master at construction, cut, creativity deserving to be on a fashion clowns list 

    this is one of the nastiest silliest posts I have ever seen

    mocking people for a post?

    nasty work.

  • Anonymous

    I love John Galliano’s work (that is who you are referring to, right?) and I think he is one of the best fashion designers alive today. This has nothing to do with his work (read my disclaimer), its only about the way they dress. And in those respects, Galliano looks a bit like a clown.
    In fact, almost everyone listed here is talented or great at what they do (emphasis on the word “almost”) but that doesn’t exclude them from criticism on how they dress. This is, after all, the fashion industry.
    Alexandra Suhner Isenberg

  • Anonymous

    Totally agree! Although I’d put him more on the icon side…

  • jessica

    isabella blow = middle ground
    daphne guinness = clownkate lanphear = icon

  • Anonymous

    I was going to put Kate Lanphear on there! Totally agree she is an icon. I’d also put Isabella Blow as the middle ground. But I don’t think Daphne Guinness is a clown, although I could be convinced to move her to the middle ground.