During a recent appearance at Barneys in Scottsdale, Simon Doonan (famed former window dresser for the upscale department store and currently its creative amabassador-at-large) signed his latest book, a humorous diet dissertation, Gay Men Don't Get Fat.
As a crowd of ladies and a few well-dressed gents stood in line munching macaroons and sipping sparkling water or champagne, groups of devotees rubbed elbows with the diminutive Doonan, who was dressed in a signature floral shirt and immaculately tailored jacket.
Those looking for a five-step plan to shed pounds might not find a collection of ass-kicking workouts in Doonan's personal stories, but the riff on Mireille Giroux's French Women Don't Get Fat might succeed in burning calories with a few good laughs.
For instance, Doonan recounts the happenings at an Italian barbecue party where he bonds over a bun-free burger and tart-tongued bitchiness with a Carine Roitfeld type as Tommy Bahama-shirted straights inhale ungodly quantities of guacamole. The scene serves as a jumping off point for Doonan's contention that foods fit into two categories, gay and straight, and he comes to the conclusion that "Gay men are French women ... with penises."
Brimming with equally amusing anecdotes about his childhood, adventures with his husband, interior designer and potter Jonathan Adler, and the preservation of prissiness to name a few, Doonan further posits the superiority of he and his fellow gays in the realms of fashion, taste, and, as one might guess due to choosing lighter, healthier foods, physical appearance.
Seeing Doonan up close when finally reaching his signing table, which was situated between the jewelry and beauty departments and topped with a small vase of pink peonies, all of the above were true. The man of the hour was lightly tanned, svelte, and enjoyably chatty, mentioning a visit with Paolo Soleri, and the impressive fashion archives at the Phoenix Art Museum.
Knowing that those moments chatting with the fashion icon would be brief, the quick question of choice spat forth: Simon, if there's one thing to buy this spring season, what is it?
"I'm loving the '20s right now," Doonan replied, suggesting that a summer cloche would be a becoming, timely accessory, and not too much of a splurge.
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Easy enough. Now for embracing his life philosophy of Go Go Fabulosity... (See page 141.)