This morning I had the pleasure of having breakfast at -- no not Tiffany's -- BARNEYS
. In the techno-chic-interactive GENES @ CO-OP cafe that opened just last November on the eighth floor, Simon Doonan -- Creative Ambassador-at-Large and prized visionary at BARNEYS -- hosted an exclusive book-reading, introducing his latest title Gay Men Don't Get Fat
, an absolute IT book; and not just for gay men, but especially women looking for a bit of raunchy, witty humor.
It was my first encounter with Doonan, but it was instantly clear why he is so special. Yes he's tiny and adorable; but beyond that, he's exceptionally knowledgeable in all-things fashion and culture. And unexpectedly, he's the absolute opposite of snide. His playfulness and tongue-in-cheek humor is delightful and refreshing for such an esteemed figure -- he's charming and sophisticated, and he doesn't dabble in petty fashion criticism.
He strays away from putting people and style under the ultra-condescending microscope, opting instead for a kinder, more all-encompassing macro perspective. As he sees it, the fashion horizon is a "jigsaw puzzle"; and this is perhaps the reason he has had such a trailblazing career -- he sees the bigger picture, and pieces it all together. "I love all of it", Doonan professed. "I don't understand that need to kick people to the curb because you're subjectively saying...that they don't look right. It's really about self-expression...and I gravitate to that".
As for the book itself, Doonan demystifies all that is gay, including his certainty that gay men are actually french women; hence, gay men are the “chosen people” when it comes to style. Ultimately, where the book really shines is in its unabashed play on stereotypes and it's waggish, yet comical discourse. "I love stereotypes" explained Doonan. "Sweeping generalizations and everything that's [politcally incorrect]…in a way, you sort of diffuse [stereotypes], if you throw them around".
While the book largely heralds cultural subversion, it's also a perfect reminder for the new year that fashion needn't always be uncomfortably serious and critical -- it can be fun, risky, and whatever you make of it. And most importantly, every gal needs a token gay man in her life, and not just for fashion - for EVERYTHING.
Start your year off with a few laughs and the best secrets to looking and feeling fabulous -- get your copy today in print via BARNEYS
, or digitally via AMAZON