Publisher's Letter

updated 12/16/1991 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/16/1991 AT 01:00 AM EST

SOME YEARS IT HARDLY PAYS TO GET up and get dressed. For the famous, 1991 seems to be one of those years—but that makes it no less fun for readers. "The biggest problem in fashion today is that there are no rules," proclaimed designer Michael Kors after poring over a stack of photos to judge PEOPLE'S 12th annual Best & Worst Dressed Awards (see page 54). "That allows for a lot more comfort but also a lot more mistakes."

The other seven judges on our panel agreed that the stars don't often shine anymore. Between ridiculous getups that scream, "Notice me!" and dirty-clothes disguises, glamor has done a disappearing act.

Rounding out our couture council: syndicated humor-columnist Dave Barry; teen idol Jennie Garth, who plays the sophisticated Kelly on Beverly Hills, 90210; Empty Nest nurse Park Overall; talk show host Jenny Jones; MTV clown Pauly Shore; CNN newsman Wolf Blitzer; and acid-tongued author Julia Phillips (You'll Never Eat Lunch in This Town Again), who noted, "These are incredibly beautiful people who seem to have gone to great lengths to deface themselves."

Kors spotted a pattern. "Recording stars and models are more glamorous than film stars, who want to look serious," he said. "TV stars have the biggest problem because they become famous suddenly. It's hard to develop a style overnight."

Barry was perplexed. "I can't understand why these regular-looking guys keep showing up in this fashion thing," he said. "Anybody who dresses like me, I worry about."

Finally, as an on-the-go actress herself, Overall sympathized with the fashion victims. "It's impossible to hit with a good outfit every single time," she said. "Sometimes you're in a pinch, and you just have to grab whatever fits." However they felt, the judges' comments are fitting.

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