The nominees for the 2014 British Style Award are out, and the list is semi-long and moderately diverse, ranging from Amal "Clooney" and FKA twigs to Cara Delevingne (dur) and Ralph Fiennes. Although the denizens of the Fashionista office were universally shocked to hear that neither Alexa Chung nor Harry Styles made the list — probably because they've won in previous years, but more on that later — we're completely divided on who should be named Fashion Queen or King of the British Isles.
And because the public actually has a chance to vote on it, we're going to take this time to try to convince you that our favorites are the right favorites.
Cheryl Wischhover, Beauty Editor At-Large: Amal Clooney
There is a certain it-Brit stylish scruff that women like Kate Moss and Alexa Chung have in abundance. However, England is also the home of impeccable tailoring and regal ladies. The princesses Diana and Kate Middleton fit into this category, and I'd argue that so does Amal Clooney — except a thousand times chicer. Clooney manages to dress like a grown-up and give off the most sophisticated sartorial vibes, all while lounging on a boat in Lake Como or a canal in Venice in Giambattista Valli Haute Couture. Give this woman a style award.
Dhani Mau, Senior Editor: Keira Knightley
Keira Knightley is one of few mainstream celebrities that practically makes me emotional over her red carpet looks. She wears real fashion, often looks better in it than the models, and supports British designers like Erdem. She is the dream girl I want to be.
Eliza Brooke, Associate Editor: Tinie Tempah
Okay, I was going to go with Benedict Cumberbatch partly because he was the only dude to nail every aspect of white tie dressing at the Met Ball this year and mostly because I have a massive crush on him. But as a fashion writer, I can't in good conscience ignore the fact that there are more qualified candidates for this particular award. So I'm getting behind Tinie Tempah, the 25-year-old rapper from London, who absolutely kills it when it comes to suits — think super-saturated oranges and blues and blood red satin. And the olive green coat with a massive fur collar he wore to a recent Burberry men's show? Wes Anderson couldn't dream up something that good. Fashion is for the bold, and Tempah is a total winner on that front.
Danielle Odiamar, Intern: Emma Watson
We’ve all watched Emma Watson transform from frizzy-haired Hermione to a red carpet expert over the years, but 2014 was definitely her best year yet. She made elegance look effortless in simple styles like a white high-necked dress or a button-up worn with a maxi skirt. What best sums up Watson’s relationship with fashion is that she uses it to empower her many other endeavors such as commanding the attention of the entire U.N. as she delivered an impassioned speech on gender equality in an elegant Dior suit. No matter what Watson does she does it with class and style, and I think that deserves an award.
Tyler McCall, Senior Associate Editor: Harry Styles
I don't actually even care who wins this category because last year's winner, and all around British Style Superstar™ Harry Styles, wasn't even nominated. I don't mean to be a conspiracy theorist, but I'm just saying, maybe the British Fashion Council was too intimidated by his dressing prowess to even put him in the same category as the others. I mean, who even is Benedict Cumberbatch, you know what I'm saying?
In conclusion: Harry Styles was robbed.
Fawnia Soo Hoo, Contributor:
Why should Idris Elba win the British Style Award? Because his style outings both on- and off-screen are so seared in my brain, give me heart palpitations-level memorable. He made granny glasses, short sleeve button-downs, and XL sweaters (because that's his size, Donette) look so, so smooth on "The Wire," which is an American show, but whatever. He rocked a full-on rolling rack packed with natty wool overcoats on "Luther." And he made a sea-monster-fighting metal-suit look as hot as a Tom Ford tux while canceling the apocalypse in "Pacific Rim." Elba's been rumored to be the next James Bond for like forever now for a multitude of reasons, including, how dreamy he'd look in a 007 designer tux while swilling a shaken, not stirred martini. Off-screen, he prefers dapper suits by Gucci, Burberry, Prada, and Dior and accessorizes with Louboutin loafers and, once in awhile, a strategically-placed mic wire. Ahem. And, hey, even a member of the BRITISH MONARCHY couldn't contain herself when confronted with the hunky Idris Elba in a tailored suit. If that isn't a vote for Team Elba, I don't know what is.