TODAY   |  August 03, 2010

Vanity Fair reveals 2010’s best dressed

From pop star Lady Gaga to NBC’s own Brian Williams, Vanity Fair’s Amy Fine Collins reveals who made the coveted list of style’s elite.

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This content comes from a Full-Text Transcript of the program.

MATT LAUER, co-host: We're back now at 8:35. And who are the best-dressed stars on the planet? Vanity Fair is out with its annual list. And here to reveal the winners is Amy Fine Collins , special correspondent for Vanity Fair and a best-dressed hall of famer herself. Hi , Amy . Nice to see you.

Ms. AMY FINE COLLINS (Special Correspondent, Vanity Fair): Hi, Matt. Good to be here.

LAUER: Welcome back. Seventy-one years this list has been out there, OK; is -- are there certain characteristics that help a person make the list year after year?

Ms. COLLINS: The important characteristic is to be an individual, not to look like everyone else and to be a style leader, not a follower.

LAUER: So in my experience with the list, when you look at it, these are people who tend to dress in somewhat of a timeless manner as opposed to following every single trend out there.

Ms. COLLINS: That's correct. They set the trends, they don't follow them.

LAUER: And even as I say that, the first person we're going to talk about is -- tends to throw the world of fashion on its ear, we're talking about Lady Gaga . Why did she make the list?

Ms. COLLINS: Lady Gaga 's a newcomer this year. Lady Gaga has reinvented the meaning of fashion just like she's reinvented what music means. She's a brand-new phenomenon. She has turned anything into fashion and everything, a telephone, a wheelchair.

LAUER: Is what we see on Lady Gaga as much fashion as it is costuming? Is there a line that's -- that is blurred between the two?

Ms. COLLINS: Not in her case. I mean, what she's wearing is authentically who she is and what she wants to wear and she wears it in real life and onstage. So she is consistently herself, always.

LAUER: She is an original, there's no question. The next three ladies I'm going to group together simply because they share a role in this world, we're talking about first ladies. Michelle Obama , Carla Bruni -Sarkozy and Samantha Cameron . They have that role in common, but they're different in their style approaches, aren't they?

Ms. COLLINS: Michelle Obama has a very, very important role in fashion now, she's probably the most-watched, the most-imitated, except for maybe Lady Gaga . Carla Bruni has a much sexier, sultrier look, which you can get away with in France , even in her buttoned up, ladylike suits. And Samantha Cameron , she is the first visibly pregnant first lady that we've ever had on the list.

LAUER: And when it comes to their style of dress , I mean, because they're first ladies, most of them err on the side of being conservative.

Ms. COLLINS: Yes, they err on the side of being conservative, although Samantha Cameron has a little tattoo. And Carla Bruni , sometimes we see her in jeans with a guitar.

LAUER: Yeah, I was -- she's got a musician side to her as well. Carey Mulligan ; why did she make the list?

Ms. COLLINS: She's another newcomer, a young one like Gaga . She is a Hollywood girl who is not a cookie-cutter Hollywood type. She's got a pixie-ish look and you can throw anything on her, vintage, avant-garde and she just looks adorable. Young women love her.

LAUER: We saw -- we saw her in the South of France not long ago, she always does look good. Let's move on to the men right now. And congratulations go out to one of our colleagues here at NBC , Brian Williams has made the list I think for the third time.

Ms. COLLINS: For the third time, which means next year he might be eligible for the hall of fame .

LAUER: What do you like about Brian 's style of dress ?

Ms. COLLINS: Well, Brian Williams gives men every night no excuse to look bad. If you want to look good, just follow his example. He is understated, he's elegant, he's all-American, but he still says he likes his fireman's jacket from 1977 .

LAUER: I've seen him wear that. You got to get a picture of that, that's something. By the way, you've also got Javier Bardem here, and you call him a diamond in the rough . Why?

Ms. COLLINS: Why? Because he cleans up nicely. You know, he looks good in his T-shirts and his jeans, but you put him in a nice Italian suit and he's equally at ease.

LAUER: You mentioned that Brian Williams next year has a chance to get into the hall of fame , somebody you're inducting into the hall of fame in terms of fashion this year is soccer star David Beckham . And, you know, he's been here on the show a number of times, every time he comes the studio is filled with every female employee around here. I don't think they're looking at what he's wearing.

Ms. COLLINS: Well, I think you were looking at what he was wearing one year, I understand that he gave you the suit off of his back.

LAUER: I actually -- he actually came here one time and I -- and I admired a suit he was wearing; at the end of the interview, he went up, changed into jeans and gave me the actual suit, so he's a generous guy. Why do you like his style so much?

Ms. COLLINS: Because he is completely comfortable in his own skin and he knows how to look good in a soccer jersey , you put him in a nice designer suit and he is equally happy. I think he likes clothes as much as his wife does.

LAUER: Which is saying something.

Ms. COLLINS: Yes.

LAUER: Well, look, it's a great list. Congratulations to all of the people who've been awarded with the best-dressed label, including Brian Williams . Brian , congratulations. Amy Fine Collins , good to have you here.

Ms. COLLINS: Good to be here. And maybe next year you'll be back on the list, Matt.