Most Stylish New Yorkers 2012: Joan Rivers

Joan Rivers attends Lighthouse International presents the 2009 LightYears Gala Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

Name: Joan Rivers

Occupation: Comedian; TV host; author

Made in Manhattan: Born in Brooklyn, the iconic host of E!'s Fashion Police has remained devoted to New York City's style, despite decades of work in Hollywood. "Women in New York are so much more individual," says Rivers, 79. "They take more chances and they mix, which I love. They'll put a great bag with an insane looking necklace. There's drama in New York." Of course, she admits Parisian style is pretty posh, but adds, "I don't like a city that doesn't use dress shields or deodorant."

Personal Pizzazz: "I love to dress up, just going to the edge of either dramatic or just to the edge of 'Oh what the hell try it," says the star of Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best (season three premieres in early 2013 on We TV). Her most treasured togs: A gold medal jacket with a chinchilla trim by Dolce & Gabbana, two Marchesa cocktail dresses and a black dress with feathers designed by Randi Rahm. "She made it for me when I went to Buckingham Palace. And Prince Charles knighted me Lady of the Chickens!" says Rivers.

Wise Words: "Coco Chanel said something so smart. It's 'Fashion fades. Only style remains the same.' You just need to have the security in yourself. I'm not frightened to say what I like. This looks good on me, so that's what I'm going to wear," she says. For Rivers, that means donning her two most recent scores: A "fabulous" Burberry raincoat that's studded on the sleeves and on the collar, and an "elegant" black Chanel cape, which she calls "perfection."

Beware of Boutiques: "I find it difficult to shop as a celebrity. When I walk into a store, especially if it's a small store, I feel obliged to buy something. It's such a rejection to the person if you walk out. And if they know who you are, it's very difficult, you know?" says Rivers, who nevertheless adores the boutiques on NYC's Madison Avenue as well as a Lexington Avenue shop called Paolo Poggi. She also has a soft spot for bigger stores: Barney's New York ("It's where you go to find all that kind of unusual things"), Bergdorf Goodman ("You going to get great, great, great quality"), and Century 21 ("Leave me alone at Century 21. You just fight your way into bliss").

Smart Selections: "I have a wonderful stylist named Cary Fetman, who does a million celebrities and he also does The Bachelor and The Bachelorette!" says the author of 11 books, including 2012's I Hate Everyone: Starting With Me. "He knows what looks good on me and he's also an age appropriate nut. So maybe I'm not going to have the thigh-high boots [like the Bachelor cast] but I am going to have a gorgeous boot!" Her essentials? "My canvas is always black. I have black turtlenecks, black crewnecks, black scoop necks, black square necks, and all of my bottoms are the black pants. And I go from there. They think I'm an ass in California, but too bad!"

Quote: "The whole point of dressing is to have fun with it."

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