Drama and flamboyance suit image consultant


Among her friends, Annlynn Best is considered "the token dramatic."

How else would you describe a 45-year-old woman who wears hot pink leather, snakeskin and cat suits?

Ms. Best, an image consultant who lives in Cross Keys, knows her attire turns heads -- sometimes approvingly, sometimes not. It doesn't bother her, though, that others may not appreciate her panache.

"I'm usually the most overdressed person at any function," says Ms. Best. "And I'm comfortable that way."

As an image consultant, you help others define their style. How would you describe your own?

I like dramatic clothing. If I have one staple in my wardrobe, it's jackets -- from black suede with stenciling to red leather with lace. But I've toned down considerably. I've switched from the color red, which was my signature for years, to black.

What's your most flamboyant outfit now?

I have a jacket that I've worn just a few times. It works in L.A., but it works in Baltimore only on certain occasions. It's a black jeans jacket with beaded cats and pieces of mirrors on it. It's absolutely wild.

You get odd looks when you wear it here.

Some people look and laugh. Others say, "That's really unusual. I like it."

If you could select your own image consultant, who would it be?

Paloma Picasso. First because she's an artist and second because she's a larger-than-life personality.

L And what would you want her to change about your own closet?

I would ask her to develop a more classic style for me. That's

what I'm working toward anyway.

Where did you get your fashion sense?

I had a mother who was very sophisticated. She was the type who would match the shoes, the handbag and the jewelry. We went to New York twice a year to buy my clothes. I grew up with the sense that there were more fashions than those offered in Baltimore.

Where do you shop in Baltimore?

Jones & Jones, Stuff & Stuff Ltd., and Nordstrom.

For seven years, you were living and working in Maryland and California. How did a bicoastal lifestyle alter your look?

Before I started traveling, I was more interested in a total look. At this point, it's too cumbersome. The first six months I was in California everywhere I went I was overdressed. Now I'm more casual.

You also have a master's in counseling and psychology. If you were to analyze your wardrobe, what would it say about you?

That I'm a little different, that I have an individual style. I'm a gregarious person and that's expressed in the way I dress.

Does your daughter share your fashion sense?

Up until Rosanna was 10, I could buy her complete wardrobe. Then she went through a phase where she was very conservative. Now at 18 she's come to the middle. She's not dramatic, but she's not real preppie.

Do you have a favorite outfit at the moment?

I have this red suede jacket, skirt, shoes and bag that I bought in Florida. It's Latin with red transparent sequins, lace rosebuds and fringe.

How will you dress up for the holidays?

I have quite a few leather suits, but I'm going to have Christmas here this year. Since I'll be in the kitchen a lot, I'll wear a two-piece knit outfit with red, green and gold sequins.

Do you know some dressers? Let us know. Write to Mary Corey, The Baltimore Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278.

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