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Vanity Fair ranks Rawlings-Blake among best-dressed mayors in world

FashionLocal GovernmentNewspaper and MagazineStephanie Rawlings-BlakeChicago MayorEric GarcettiAlice + Olivia

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake ranks among the world's best when it comes to her sartorial choices, according to Vanity Fair.

It appears those stiletto heels, sleeveless dresses and statement necklaces have caught the attention of the haute couture editors at the trend-setting magazine, which recently ranked her among the top 10 best-dressed mayors in the world.

Rawlings-Blake joins Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti as the only Americans to make the list.

Vanity Fair describes her ensemble choices as "tasteful but feminine." The magazine also mentions her "well-tailored jackets" and "hairdo that's far from dowdy."

Rawlings-Blake said Tuesday that she was excited to learn about the list.

"I'm honored to be recognized by Vanity Fair as one of the best-dressed mayors," she said. "I take a lot of pride in my appearance as a representative of the city of Baltimore, a city with world-class fashion talent and a rich cultural history. And as a serious bargain hunter 'frugalista,' I'm always looking for new ways to step up my game."

Vanity Fair's best-dressed-mayors list recognizes only three women, placing Rawlings-Blake in the cosmopolitan company of the first female mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, and the mayor of Madrid, Ana Botella.

The distinction shouldn't come as a surprise to those who have observed Rawlings-Blake — especially of late.

As recently as last weekend's Baltimore Pride parade, Rawlings-Blake walked down the streets of Baltimore in a sleeveless light-blue Alice + Olivia peplum top, skinny jeans by Serfontaine and a pair of pink peep-toe pumps by Victoria's Secret.

Her appearances on the Sunday morning political talk shows have included bold, beautiful, bejeweled necklaces and flawless makeup.

And in her much-talked-about Preakness ensemble, the mayor turned heads in a metallic dress topped with a Christine A. Moore custom feather-adorned hat.

Last fall, designer and Ellicott City native Danielle DiFerdinando named a new handbag after Rawlings-Blake. DiFerdinando, founder of the Danielle Nicole line of accessories, unveiled the Blake collection during a reception in Baltimore.

"Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has an incredible sense of style. [She's] fashionable and sophisticated," DiFerdinando said Tuesday, adding that the recognition was a feather in the mayor's cap. "Vanity Fair is so highly respected in the industry and around the world."

But the fashionable distinction for the mayor comes on the heels of Travel + Leisure magazine naming Baltimore the nation's third-worst-dressed city.

"I hope it vindicates Baltimore," Rawlings-Blake said. "We have a lot of unique style in this city, and I hope we will start to get the credit we deserve."

Rawlings-Blake attracted public attention over the years after a noticeable weight loss.

"I always try to make the most of myself no matter what size; style doesn't have a dress size," she said. "I will say, getting to a healthy weight on the [body mass index] has made it easier to find deals on the fashions that I love but refuse to pay full price for."

Karen Ciurca-Weiner, manager and buyer for Jones & Jones, a women's boutique in Cross Keys, has noticed the style evolution of Rawlings-Blake.

"Her style over the years has really gotten better," Ciurca-Weiner said. "She's become more youthful. [Weight loss] has certainly made it a lot easier for her to wear the clothes that she has been wearing. She tends to wear clothes that are appropriately form-fitted."

Ciurca-Weiner added: "If you compared her to other mayors, she certainly has a stylish haircut, she's lost weight, she has put herself together nicely. ... She's got a nice, classic, tailored look, but she's always age-appropriate."

johnjwilliams@baltimoresun.com

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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FashionLocal GovernmentNewspaper and MagazineStephanie Rawlings-BlakeChicago MayorEric GarcettiAlice + Olivia
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