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First ladies, Lady Gaga on Vanity Fair Best-Dressed List

They don’t call them first ladies for nothing.

Michelle Obama, France’s Carla Bruni-Sarkozy and the United Kingdom’s Samantha Cameron top Vanity Fair’s International Best-Dressed List for 2010.

“Michelle Obama plays a very important role in fashion right now,” Amy Fine Collins, Vanity Fair special correspondent, told TODAY’s Matt Lauer Tuesday, referring to the U.S. first lady’s mix of designer labels with affordable brands like J. Crew, Talbots and Isaac Mizrahi’s Liz Claiborne. “Carla Bruni-Sarkozy has a sexier, sultrier look. And Samantha Cameron is the first visibly pregnant first lady we’ve had on the list.”

Gaga for GagaCracking the list for the first time in the “Originals” category is the avant-garde Lady Gaga, who is also Vanity Fair’s cover girl for September.

“People who make the list are individuals. They don’t look like everyone else,” Fine Collins explained. “They tend to be fashion leaders, not followers. They set the trends, not follow them.”

As for Gaga specifically, she “reinvented the medium of fashion. She’s included anything and everything into fashion, from telephones to wheelchairs. She’s consistently herself.”

Hollywood also figures prominently on this year’s list — the 71st the magazine has issued — with Carey Mulligan and Javier Bardem making the cut for the first time.

Mulligan, who famously turned down an offer from Vogue’s Anna Wintour to help her choose her Academy Awards outfit, is an original. “She is a Hollywood girl who is not the typical Hollywood type,” Fine Collins said. “She’s adorable and women love her.”

Bardem, who recently married Penelope Cruz in the Bahamas, “cleans up nicely. He wears jeans and T-shirts and looks equally at ease in suits.”

But don’t expect to see “Salt” actress Angelina Jolie on the list this year. Her super-safe fashion choices of black, black and more black from mainstream designers have led fashion watchers to label her with one dreaded word — boring.

NBC Nightly News anchor and managing editor Brian Williams was named to the list for the third time, making him eligible for induction to the Hall of Fame next year. Meanwhile, debuting in the hall this year is soccer star David Beckham (who once gave Lauer the suit off his back after the TODAY star expressed his admiration for it).

And proving that it’s never too late to be fashionable, Alec Baldwin of “30 Rock” re-entered the list — after a 21-year absence.

The late fashion publicist Eleanor Lambert founded the International Best-Dressed List in 1939. Vanity Fair magazine took over the list, now in its 71st year, in 2004.

Several thousand ballots are circulated to designers, retailers, editors, filmmakers, social figures, photographers, former winners and entertainers, with the intention of honoring individuality, chic and originality on the highest level. A small committee oversees the popular vote to ensure balance and categorizes individuals.

Below is Vanity Fair’s complete 2010 Best-Dressed List. For more information, visit Vanity Fair’s website by clicking here.

INTERNATIONAL BEST-DRESSED LIST: WOMENHOPE ATHERTON, artistCARLA BRUNI-SARKOZY, First Lady, France SAMANTHA CAMERON, First Lady, U.K. NORA EPHRON, writer, director DIANE KRUGER, actressH.R.H. CROWN PRINCESS MARY OF DENMARK CAREY MULLIGAN, actressWENDI MURDOCH, movie producer MICHELLE OBAMA, First Lady, U.S.A.TATIANA SANTO DOMINGO, socialite INTERNATIONAL BEST-DRESSED LIST: MENWARIS AHLUWALIA, jeweler, actor ANDRÉ BALAZS, hotelier ALEC BALDWIN, actor JAVIER BARDEM, actorARKI BUSSON, financier H.S.H. PRINCE HEINRICH VON UND ZU FÜRSTENBERGJAY PENSKE, chairman and C.E.O., Mail.com Media Corp.MARTIN SCORSESE, film directorBRIAN WILLIAMS, anchor and managing editor, NBC Nightly News
PHARRELL WILLIAMS, recording artist FASHION PROFESSIONALS TORY BURCH, designer GEORGINA CHAPMAN, co-founder and designer, Marchesa STACEY BENDET EISNER, designer-owner of Alice & Olivia ALBER ELBAZ, designer, creative director, Lanvin CINDI LEIVE, editor in chief, Glamour

ORIGINALS DUCHESS OF ALBA, president of the House of Alba Foundation HELENA BONHAM CARTER, actressLADY GAGA, entertainerJOHN GALLIANO, fashion designer, chief designer at Dior LORRY NEWHOUSE, artist, accessories designer BRUCE WEBER, photographer, filmmaker SIBLINGSANDREW LAUREN, movie producer, actor, DAVID LAUREN, senior V.P. advertising, marketing, and corporate communications, Ralph Lauren, and DYLAN LAUREN, C.E.O. and founder, Dylan’s Candy Bar JULIA RESTOIN-ROITFIELD, art director, and VLADIMIR RESTOIN-ROITFIELD, art dealerCHARLOTTE GAINSBOURG, actress, singer, and LOU DOILLON, model, actressMAGGIE GYLLENHAAL, actress, and JAKE GYLLENHAAL, actor COUPLESPIERRE CASIRAGHI, student, and BEATRICE BORROMEO, writerLIZZIE TISCH, consultant, and JONATHAN TISCH, chairman and C.E.O., Loews Hotels CHRISTY TURLINGTON, model, documentary filmmaker, and ED BURNS, writer, directorDELFINA BLAQUIER, photographer, and NACHO FIGUERAS, polo player HALL OF FAMEDAVID BECKHAM, soccer playerCOUNTESS MARINA CICOGNA, writerH.H. PRINCESS MAFALDA OF HESSE JULIA KOCHALEXANDRA KOTUR, style director, Vogue

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