Simon Says – An Informal Interview with an Informal Media Personality

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How it’s New York: because Simon Doonan lives in NYC. simon doonan

How it’s Irish: because Doonan is a son of Reading, Berkshire, England, with Belfast, Ireland relations.

Simon Doonan – writer (Slate; Confessions of a Window Dresser; Wacky Chicks; Beautiful People; Eccentric Glamour; Gay Men Don’t Get Fat; and Fashion Asylum), bon-vivant, media personality, fashion commentator, window dresser extraordinaire, and creative ambassador for Barneys New York – interrupted his fabulous travels to chat with me.

Suze: What do you wish to do with your designs/creations/critiques? To instruct, to inspire, to shame-into-submission, to tell the truth?

I prefer to celebrate people’s idiosyncrasies and encourage them to be wacky and uninhibited.

SD: My goal is always to liberate people so that they feel confident to express themselves. I never make critical or disdainful remarks. I prefer to celebrate people’s idiosyncrasies and encourage them to be wacky and uninhibited.  [See also Doonan’s yawn over Kim Kardashian’s caboose in “Shocked? Shocked!” Slate – suze]

Suze: Has your Celtic/British background contributed to your personality or outlook?
SD: I think growing up in the UK made me rebellious. I reject conventional ideas. I appreciate designers like Vivienne Westwood and Rei Kawakubo .

Suze: What or who inspired/inspires your personal fashion and style?
SD: I am inspired by people who have their own style and defy convention: Tilda, Gaga, Daphne Guinness, Elvis, Cher…you know who I’m talking about.

Suze: What makes you comfortable?
SD: A cup of tea.

Suze: Could you have had the same career in England, do you think?
SD: I was always a hard worker. [I] Am sure I would have figured something out. Working on the ham counter at Harrods?
Suze: Do you go back? To visit?
SD: My sister lives in London and my husband Jonathan Adler has two stores – one in Knightsbridge one off Portobello – so I come back regularly, but not to Ireland, unfortunately. My closer relatives are no longer in Belfast. I spent every Summer in Bangor growing up. Happy memories!
Suze: Are you treated like the fabulously unorthodox arbiter of fashion and style that you are?
SD: Occasionally. I find it quite hilarious.

Are you going to visit with the visiting royals while they’re here this December? Have not had a call yet. They must have lost my phone number.


Suze: Are you going to visit with the visiting royals while they’re here this December?
SD: Have not had a call yet. They must have lost my phone number.

The Lightening Round:

Suze: Village boutiques or H&M? SD: BOTH!

Suze: House of DVF or Fashion Police? SD: Haven’t seen either. I am too busy watching The Game.

Suze: Texas Hold ‘Em or billiards? SD: ?

Suze: Villeroy & Boch or William Sonoma – or furniture makers in North Carolina?
SD: Jonathanadler.com

Ditch the skinny jeans and the plunging halter and start dressing like a midcentury librarian-slash-Mormon.

Suze: Becoming Nuns or Breaking Amish? SD: How dare you?
[“Ditch the skinny jeans and the plunging halter and start dressing like a midcentury librarian-slash-Mormon.” From “Shocked? Shocked!” Slate – suze]

Suze: Opera or jazz – or R&B? SD: I run the gamut from Perry Como to Sid Vicious.

Suze: Anthony Bourdain or Rachel Ray? SD: I am not very Foodie. I like brown rice and veggies.

Suze: New York Times, Time Out New York – or The Gothamist? SD: NYT

Suze: Writing or television appearances? SD: Writing is more creative, but TV is easier.

Suze: What trend would you like to see return, fashion or otherwise? SD: Bustles…for men.

Suze: What trend do you wish had never happened? SD: I love all trends. The more insane the better.

Suze: What is your FAVORITE activity? SD: Paddleboarding.

Suze: During the holiday season? SD: Paddle-boarding in Florida.

Suze: What is your biggest dream? SD: Dying in my sleep.

And there you have it, folks: a dollop of Doonan! Read more Simon Doonan at simondoonan.com.

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Copyright 2015 New York Irish Arts
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