Simon Doonan: An Artist’s Interpretation

We are madly in love with the brilliant work of conceptual photographer Henry Hargreaves. So we sent him our chapter (“How to be the Most Fabulous You”) on Simon Doonan—author, style maven, creative ambassador of Barneys New York and high priest of the gliteratti—and implored Hargreaves to “capture” Doonan.

Hargreaves, who has created a portrait of Queen Elizabeth out of 1400 pieces of toast, a Damien Hirst dot series out of M&M’s and a portrait of himself out of Jello, decided Doonan was best represented with glitter. GENIUS! And since Doonan’s chapter reminded Hargreaves of “that kind of kid-like thinking where anything’s possible,” he glittered his glasses red as an homage to Dorothy’s ruby slippers in The Wizard of Oz.

HOW PERFECT?! Dorothy in her magical slippers envisioned an Emerald City much like Doonan who has not only conjured “emerald cities” in his iconoclastic Barneys windows, but encourages us through our clothes, attitude and very way of being to create “emerald cities” of our selves.

But in the end, just as Dorothy had to look no further than her ruby slippers for what she needed, Doonan tells us that while fashion arbiters may spark our imagination, it is only when we look inside of ourselves and find our most idiosyncratic individuality that we will discover our most fabulous selves. His fashion credo,

“Evolving your own brand of unique glamour is a process of self-discovery. Reimagine your personal style by uncovering and exaggerating all that is unique about you.”

Hargreaves’s art is based on an iconic photograph of Doonan by Roxanne Lowit.

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The Art of Doing Artist’s Interpretation project is a collaboration between us and imaginative artists we’ve chosen to depict the superachievers we interviewed for our upcoming book using excerpts from the book.