By New Times
By Robrt L. Pela and Amy Silverman
By Katrina Montgomery
By Kathleen Vanesian
By Monica Alonzo
By Benjamin Leatherman
By Robrt L. Pela
By Katrina Montgomery
Here's a Scottsdale paradox: Many of its most fashionable residents sport clothing purchased elsewhere — meaning New York, Los Angeles, Paris, and Milan. Enter Barneys, the chic New York department store that landed here last month. The name alone is guaranteed to make the heart of any fashionista (or fashionister) beat faster, and shoe freaks may just keel over: 5,000 square feet are devoted to women's shoes. Plus, more than 100 designers, retailers, and artists turned store mannequins into works of art especially for the event, including students from New School for the Arts and Barneys' own Simon Doonan. Barneys isn't the only fashion-forward game in town, although it gets the prize for Most Welcome Addition. Along with the local boutiques that keep the fashion fires burning, Scottsdale hosted not one but two fashion weeks this fall (Phoenix's took place last month, at the Valley Ho; Scottsdale's is November 5 to 7 and features more than two dozen runway shows, scottsdalefashionweek.com). And last but not least, cheap/chic H&M has just opened a store at Fashion Square. So pull on those Prada pants — it's time to shop.
Scottsdale Fashion Square: 4500 N. Scottsdale Rd.
Barneys New York: 602-337-6000, barneys.com
H&M: 480-607-8374, HM.com
Q&A:Simon Doonan, creative director with Barneys New York
What is your idea of earthly happiness?
Kayaking on the creek near the weekend beach house on Shelter Island [New York] that I share with my longtime significant other Jonathan Adler. Most people would be surprised at how crunchy and lesbian and outdoorsy we are, at least on weekends.
Who are your favorite characters in history?
Who doesn't love Marie Antoinette and, before her, Louis the Sun King. Those French royals knew the importance of looking fierce and fabulous and showing off a little.
If they were alive today they would be competing on So You Think You Can Dance.
Who are your favorite heroes and heroines in real life today?
I admire people who do hands on charity stuff and alleviate suffering, like Tom from Tom's shoes, and my friend Lee Blake: she started a great charity called Keep A Child Alive, helping Africans gain access to HIV drugs.
Who is your favorite painter?
I am a bit of an old fart when it comes to art. The new trendy conceptual stuff does not turn me on. If I had billions of dollars I would buy a Braque and a Wilfredo Lam.
Who is your favorite musician?
I am not very high-brow. I love pop music — Adam Lambert, Lady Gaga, Beyoncé . . . Bring it on! But the most talented dude on Earth is Stevie Wonder. I have loved him since he was Little Stevie Wonder singing, "Uptight . . . Everything is all right!"
What is the quality you most admire in a man?
A great sense of humor. A man can have a million character flaws but I can forgive them all if he is funny.
What is the quality you most admire in a woman?
Decisiveness and toughness. I like women who don't take any BS. Pussy Galore!!! Emma Peel! Anyone who rocks a jumpsuit.
How would you define "style"?
Great style needs to have a component of originality, something unexpected. Don't follow trends . . . Invent them!
Who would you have liked to be, other than yourself?
Sammy Davis Jr. He was so groovy and he had great style and he could sing and dance. And he was petite, just like me. I own one of his original evening shirts with a little ruffle and big stand-up collar. The Candy Man can . . . It's so true!
Why a Barneys in Scottsdale?
It is long overdue. This is a marriage which should have happened years ago.
Do you have any favorite Scottsdale spots?
I am just getting to know the scene. My pals Bill Dougherty and Beth McRae have promised to take me to the Tee Pee for a down home Mexican fiesta. I cannot wait.
Anything else you would like to add?
I am dying to meet Steve Nash. Yes, I am much sportier than you would think.
MY TOWN: Lisa Sette
Longtime Scottsdale gallerist Lisa Sette names Ella Fitzgerald and Maria Callas as people whose style she admires. "It was about what they accomplished," she says, "especially as they grew into their 40s and 50s — how beautiful they were when they were doing what they were known for doing."
Sette says her life and her work are intertwined; as a result, she spends a lot of time entertaining out-of-town artists. "One of the most exquisite places is Roka Akor," she says. "It's sort of this surprise, where the outside of the building is — well, generic is putting it kindly, and whoever designed the inside really got it. And for a gallery owner to say this about a place with no art on the wall." She also likes Grazie Pizzeria.