The Art of Doing

Do You Have What It Takes To Be the Most Fabulous You? Simon Doonan Wants to Know

Dressing down is a crime against humanity says Simon Doonan. Advice for the holiday you and beyond.


“Why the hell wouldn’t you want to be one of the fabulous people, the life enhancers, who look interesting and smell luscious and who dare to be gorgeously more fascinating than their neighbors?” Simon Doonan asks, rhetorically of course.

Part-pixie, part-provacateur, Doonan, is Creative-Ambassador-At-Large for Barneys New York, an author, bon vivant, window dresser, fashion and style commentator with the soul of an artist and the DNA of Diana Vreeland.

Although it may be the last thing on our minds as we race out the door to our jobs or important meetings or—gasp—the office holiday party, Doonan encourages us to stop. Think. “Dressing down,” he says, “is a crime against humanity.” (What would he say to the scandalous Silicon Valley hoodie mob?)

Instead, Doonan encourages us to evolve our own brand of unique glamour. “It’s a process of self-discovery,” he told us in an interview for our book

“Reimagine your personal style by uncovering and exaggerating all that is unique about you. Flaunting the idiosyncratic nonconformist that lurks inside of you will leave you feeling gorgeously empowered….” [And he’s not just talking to the ladies here.] “Rule number one: Discover your unique style constants that you will become famous for. Whether it’s your jet-black ponytail, your green tango shoes or your penchant for white fox fur, think of them as your glamorous foundations, unaffected by the fleeting trends of fashion. Now, punctuate these personal trademarks with a shock of the unexpected—giant rose-tinted spectacles, a pair of shiny gold toreador pants, a vintage Pucci poncho. Et voila! The most insanely fabulous you.”

Take that New Year’s Eve!

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