Totals. Totally. Totes. Funny words from fashion's funny man, and Barneys creative director, Simon Doonan. Fab was lucky enough to catch Mr. Doonan on a sunshiny day promoting his new book Eccentric Glamour at the Barneys store in San Francisco. As you can see, he practices what he preaches wearing a Moschino jacket yelling the words "Good Taste Doesn't Exist" and a tie that whispers "Fashion is full of chic!" As Simon puts it, "These are all Franco Moschino-isms. He was a genius and a very innovative guy. Not bad for English as a second language." Enough said.
Simon was very calm, friendly, and, of course, witty, and was happy to spill some beans for yours truly. I left the store feeling super inspired to wear my wackiest things and throw all regularity to the wind. I guess Simon has that effect on people.
What jump started this book?
I was horrified by these two trends. One was the slut trend and one was the gun-shy celebrity. So between the super-conservative celebs, who were just wearing prom gowns, and the super-slutty woman, the regular gal on the street wasn't getting any inspiration. The answer is eccentricity. Glamour and eccentricity. It's about looking inside and not looking like everyone else. It's against conformity. If everyone else has it, you don't want it. When people tend to look the same, the It bag, the fake hair, the fake tan — it can make everyone look very similar. It's about working on your own look.
To read the rest of our exclusive interview with Simon and to see more behind the seams pics,
Who are some designers you have your eye on?
I think Phillip Lim is incredibly talented. The Rodarte girls are great. They've gone from being very avant-garde to a place where they're making stuff people cannot just admire but wear. Alexander Wang, the usual suspects. I love Scott Sternberg who does Band of Outsiders — I wear a lot of his clothes myself.
My favorite book of yours is Wacky Chicks. If you were to do a sequel, are there any women you would add to your list?
I would love to do Wacky Chicks Two. That book is now over five years old and a lot of the women in it are median ages, in their 40s and 50s, so there's a whole new generation of wacksters. Amy Winehouse. I strongly disagree with her drug taking — I mean it's insane — but when I was that age I was a mess, too. I think she's triggering a whole movement of eccentricity where people don't want to look like everyone else. She says it's groovy to look completely different and insane; she pulled that beehive out of no where and has her own look. She should be applauded. Because everyone was getting the Kelly Clarkson makeover, everyone ended up looking like pop princesses. What's that about?
That wasn't what we were used to in music. We're used to Annie Lennox, Grace Jones, Siouxsie Sioux — provocative girls who all look different from each other.
Was there anyone on the Oscars red carpet that stood out to you?
Tilda Swinton — she's interviewed in my book. Tilda's genius. I think it's sad that people can't step back and be like: well, that isn't my cup of tea. That whole idea of the fashion police has affected everybody, people have become hypercritical, it's very high school. Everyone's in a tissy about it, it's ridiculous. Instead of just saying, why not?