Friday, January 27, 2012

The Charming Man in the Floral Shirt

Simon signing books at Barney's, San Francisco, last Saturday. 

When I heard that Simon Doonan would be at Barney's to sign his new book, Gay Men Don't Get Fat, I made sure I was there to meet this funny and wise man in person and hopefully do a mini interview for BV. I've laughed out loud reading his columns on Slate. And The New York Times calls him "A post-feminist writer cloaked in the drag of a sly fashion insider." Just reading the book's dedication page proves it: "I dedicate this book to the straight women of the world, whose lives seem insanely more complicated than my own and whose shoes must surely hurt like hell. I feel your pain, girls!" 

Simon and moi. 

I purchased my copy and stood in the short line with barely enough time to nervously formulate my questions. I did come up with two passable ones: 

BV: What's one item that you like to wear because it has meaning for you?
Simon: I always wear a floral print shirt. When the day is grey it brightens things up. 

BV: What's one item that would not be considered classically elegant, but you have it anyway because you like it?
Simon: My Ed Hardy iPhone cover. (He pulled out his phone in a candy pink case with white skulls  and Ed Hardy's signature scrawl.) Simon added: You're not going to find this at Barney's, but I like it because it's such a contrast to everything else. 

Simon was so charming and calm, I felt like he would've given me all day to chat to with him. But I sensed the pressure of people in line behind me so I kept it quick. Perhaps someday I'll have the chance for a longer conversation with him. 

Simon's a prolific writer, next on my list is Eccentric Glamour: 
Creating an Insanely More Fabulous You
A quote from this book: "Eccentric Glamour, a unique personal style, 
is every woman's birthright. Conformity is the only crime 
and dressing-down is the only faux-pas." Yes!

The premise of GMDGF is there are two categories of food, gay and straight and it's important to combine them for a balanced healthy diet. If you order a steak (very straight), don't order the side of potatoes (again, straight). Instead order the organic mixed field greens salad (gay). And the gayest food of all are Laduree macaroons. At the signing they thoughtfully served these beautiful macaroons (how do they do those colors?) and champagne. Gay and gay and divine. I had one of each macaroon with a sparkling flute of bubbly. The green was the best, rosemary with dark chocolate.  The server was so cute and he sweetly kept offering so I couldn't say no. However hubby Matt was not the least bit interested in even a nibble. How very straight of him.

Funny floral Simon. The once window dresser is now the featured star.  
For some fun, take a look at Simon's website and click on "Random Scribblings". You'll see a word cloud. I clicked on "Smiling" and this is what I learned: "If someone is snapping your picture, for God's sake, say, "Thursday" and not "Cheese." The word "Thursday" puts your lips, tongue and teeth through a miraculous series of animated articulations, all of which are fascinating and camera-friendly."

Every girl needs as many gay friends as possible for the real dish on personal style. Or as Simon puts it in GMDGF, "We fags are a bottomless source of killer tips." So much to learn! And so fun. 


  1. Great post Lesa! And you look FAB in your new Christmas fur collar. You belong in the fashionable set! Matt and macaroons -- that I can't see. ;-) Simon's bon mots are right on point - all I could think about is Peaches and his royal quips.

  2. You forgot to mention lesbian food, epitomized by Cafe del Soul!
    I'm envious of your Simon Doonan encounter.

  3. Tipsy, you tipped me off about Simon's latest book. Thank you!
    Readers, Tipsy wrote about Simon and lesbian food so funnily here:

  4. What a cute guy, and what a sense of humor. I will check out Simon's website for sure.