The Fine Art Of Slander From A Pro

Simon Doonan, fashion, Barneys
That’s me being very professional interviewing Simon Doonan. Click here to watch the video montage–yes, I’m in a video montage. I feel like a 90’s movie star!

I can tell you who that guy is. No, not the one in the photo above. You know, the one who was in the Super Bowl ad ten years ago, played an extra in one of Tom Cruise’s worst movies and just got his big break as the best friend on a new Showtime series. I can probably tell you who he’s married to and what’s he’s starring in next.

Oh, but I can’t remember to drop off my husband’s shirts at the dry cleaners. It drives him crazy…and I don’t blame him.

The amount of useless pop culture knowledge I have swimming around in my brain is staggering. Especially when it comes to entertainment and fashion.

So when I had a chance to meet Simon Doonan at Barneys a few weeks ago, needless to say, I was pretty psyched.

Ok, so you might not know who Simon is–or maybe you do–I don’t mean to imply you don’t live and die for fashion like I do. But unless you started out your career with an internship in visual at Neiman Marcus like I did, you might not understand why this man and I were destined to be besties…even if he didn’t think so.

Here’s a quickie for those of you who don’t know Simon: He’s super famous in the fashion world for being a window dresser, author, media personality, and creative ambassador for the mothership aka. Barneys New York. And he just happens to be married to Jonathan Adler.

So I’ll admit, after having pneumonia for 5 weeks leading up to the interview, I wasn’t feeling on top of my journalistic game. Honestly, Simon’s book signing, which is why he was hitting up his Chicago stomping grounds–to promote The Asylum: A collage of couture reminiscences…and hysteria, his latest book–was my first outing in forever, not including drop off and pick up at preschool.

So I threw on lots of colors, stripes and patterns–something I thought Simon would appreciate since he’s known for being a snappy dresser himself–put makeup and pushed my almost healthy ass through the way-too heavy doors of the *Rush Street entrance at Barneys.

Simon didn’t disappoint. Dressed in a flashy floral dress shirt, blazer and jeans, I asked him how he managed to making fun of the very fashion industry that he works with in his new book. You know what he said? “I think my book is a love letter to the fashion world. There’s nothing in it that I wouldn’t say to someone’s face–it’s all very cheeky and fun. [Talking about someone]It’s all about the tone. I’m never disdainful or critical. I always encourage people to have fun. Life is for living, so I think the tone of my book is celebratory. And the first person I’d make fun of is myself.”

He’s right. It’s much easier hearing that you need to rethink your look (which he actually told one bizarrely dressed woman who was getting his autograph) when he’s more than willing to make fun of himself!  So what did I learn from Simon? Have fun with fashion and don’t take yourself so seriously! Well, no one’s ever accused me of that. I’m pretty sure if Simon truly got to know me well, he’d love me to death–and make fun of me relentlessly.

*Side note: Why the hell did they make the front doors at Barneys so heavy? So the teeny, tiny women who shop there have to second guess whether or not they should actually be going in in the first place? Someone in the marketing department as well as the architect should be fired!

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