Publisher's Letter

updated 12/03/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/03/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

Having a good go at people's getups is the most fun one can have with clothes on," says British fashion arbiter Peter York. If that's so, then he and his five fellow judges for our 11th annual Best & Worst Dressed Awards (page 70) must have been in a state of high hilarity as they flipped through stacks of photos and commented pithily on fashion winners and sinners. York enjoyed himself so much, he says, "I'd like to make a job of it."

In many ways he already has. Co-author of the three Sloane Ranger guides, which popularized the ultrasmart ways of Princess Diana and her pre-Palace chums, he has also served as host for a British TV series on style. "Showbiz haberdashery is a wonderful area of study," he declares. "Any sociologist worth his salt should devote years to it."

If not sociology, York and the rest of the PEOPLE panel are certainly well-versed in Hollywood manners and mores. We also recruited Matt Frewer, star of the CBS series Doctor, Doctor; actress-writer Arleen Sorkin, co-host of ABC's America's Funniest People; rising stand-up comedian Rita Rudner; Patrick Norris, costume designer for ABC's thirtysomething; and actress Linnea Quigley, star of the recently released Vice Academy 2.

"Judging was really a lot of fun," says Norris, adding that the process taught a valuable lesson: "It gave me some good insights into what not to do in fashion." Rudner found it "humbling.... Most of the people dressed better than I do," she says. "You could tell that the starlets in their short, tight dresses have never even been in the same room with cellulite."

But Quigley isn't worried about such comparisons—or, for that matter, her own qualifications. "I undress so much in movies," says she, "that I know a lot about what it takes to get dressed."

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