Breakfast and Books With Barneys’ Simon Doonan

By  January 16, 2012


Barneys’ Creative Ambassador, Simon Doonan celebrated the launch of his latest book, Gay Men Don’t Get Fat, with a breakfast at the Genes@Co-Op Café within the walls of the famous flagship. Guests sat at the long touchpad table and browsed through The Window before he read aloud a passage from the humorous lifestyle guide.

Doonan admitted that though he doesn’t really have the “helpful gene,” he hammered out the 250-page tome in a matter of six months, touching on all kinds of topics including how gays are really the chosen people of fashion, not French women. The book provides tongue-in-cheek insight on how to truly live a lavish lifestyle, regardless of sexuality, size, or age, along with an education on gay English slang.

“There’s a chapter on gays’ secret language that was around London called polari,” he explained.  “And the chapter features a very useful word— I’ve been trying for years to have Americans adopt it. Naff is used to describe someone or something that is really tragic and dreary and doesn’t have any style.”

Doonan described fashion as a landscape and how all parts good and bad created a subjective juxtaposition and advised everyone to be more daring when it comes to their personal style. He also invited celebs to let it rip on the red carpet in fearless fashions this award season.

“I’m sick of hearing about Bjork and her swan dress because nobody has worn anything that risky in years. That was so many years ago. Tilda Swinton in We Need to Talk About Kevin was incredible. And [Rooney Mara]; I hope that she takes all that edge and energy and implant it on the red carpet and not show up all prim and appropriate,” Doonan recommended.

He also pointed out that style icons and fashion icons were not one in the same but some celebrities could fall into multiple categories. Male style icons are harder to come by, but Doonan cited Cee Lo Green as one reminiscent of disco legend Sylvester.

“There are either high fashion icons, like Daphne Guinness or Tilda Swinton who define fashion. Then there are popular style icons, which Paris Hilton is in a way that Marilyn Monroe was the American style icon; people dyed their hair blonde in order to look like them. Then there are celebrity fashion or red carpet icons that wear fashion and have somebody else pick it out,” he clarified. “I think Lady Gaga falls into all categories – she’s red carpet, she’s high fashion, and she’s popular. Nicki Minaj is another who falls under all categories, too. The fact they are so playful with their personal style is great. I especiallylove that picture of Nicki Minaj and Anna Wintour sitting together at a fashion show. With fashion being a landscape, it’s great to see [Nicki Minaj] as her date for the fashion show.”

Gay Men Don’t Get Fat is available at Barneys.com for $24.95.