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Posts Tagged ‘Simon Doonan’

Simon Doonan: Anna Wintour is ‘This Incredibly Impressive Figure’

Simon Doonan is Barney’s creative ambassador-at-large and has been involved in the fashion world for over 30 years. The man knows things. And in an interview with The New Republic, Doonan showcases his smarts when asked about Anna Wintour, who happens to carry a bit of weight in the fashion industry. Doonan went ahead and offered as much praise as possible:

I see Anna Wintour as being a very heroic figure because she has taken on a leadership role in the fashion universe that is vastly much bigger than it was when she and I and the people of our generation began our careers in fashion. She’s created this role and she inhabits it amazingly.

An amazing hero!

That would seem to be plenty of ass kissing, but why stop there? Doonan added that “The idea of her as a coat-flinging tyrant is not accurate at all,” and said Wintour was “This incredibly impressive figure.” Yes, of course she is.

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Isabella Rossellini’s Animal Instincts

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There are lunches at Michael’s and then there are lunches at Michael’s. Today I joined Isabella Rossellini at Table One and had a fascinating conversation with her about aging, celebrity, fashion and gay geese. Stay with me … these seemingly disparate topics are all connected.  Ostensibly there to talk about Mammas, her new series for Sundance Channel which looks at the ways different creatures use their maternal instincts in nature, Isabella did get around to the topic eventually. Yet, there was no feeling of the usual PR spin to the lunch which was attended by a handful of journalists who sat enthralled by her stories of her days as an actress and model and her charming tales of growing up in Rome as the daughter of iconic actress Ingrid Bergman and director Roberto Rossellini.

“The image I have of myself doesn’t correspond to the image people have of me,” she said. “I live on Long Island and I don’t go to fancy parties and premieres. I don’t like that aspect of celebrity. I never said, ‘When I grow up I want to be a celebrity.’” She didn’t have to.  Between her famous parents, ex-husbands (Martin Scorsese and model Jon Wiedemann), her celebrated career as a model and 14-year run as the face of Lancome before the brand dismissed her in 1996 for being ‘too old,’ and her unforgettable turn as tortured nightclub singer Dorothy Vallens in David Lynch’s Blue Velvet, she secured a permanent spot in our collective consciousness without employing any of the usual contrivances associated with modern celebrity.

Isabella Rossellini and Diane Clehane

When she showed up to join the small group of journos gathered to meet her (I was lucky enough to score the best seat in the house right next to the guest of honor!) the conversation first turned to fashion as Frazier Moore asked her who designed her understated ensemble of a wool tweed cocoon coat,  navy mandarin collared silk jacket, foulard blouse and simple slacks. She gamely removed her coat to reveal the impeccably tailored pieces designed for her by Christina Bomba in Italy. “It’s less expensive than Donna Karan or Dolce & Gabbana, and I like that I can pick the fabric and have it made just for me,” she said. Isabella told us she can’t relate to the fashion-celebrity complex which has turned the red carpet into big business. “When Mama got dressed for the Oscars, she wasn’t solicited by designers. She didn’t have a committee of business people telling her what to wear. She was loyal to one or two Italian designers, and, when they could no longer make dresses for her, the costume designers from her films created something unique.”

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Live From New York, It’s The Barneys Holiday Window Display

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Now here’s a holiday window display we can get behind.

After reliving the 1960′s last year with his “Peace & Love: Have a Hippie Holiday” theme, Barneys New York’s creative director Simon Doonan has cooked up a plan to commemorate timeless New York City-based sketch comedy show “Saturday Night Live” and its 35th anniversary in the department store’s holiday windows this year.

We got a peek at some of Doonan’s sketches of the windows, which will debut on November 19. The windows will include tributes to famous “SNL” sketches like the Coneheads, Chris Kattan‘s Mango and Tina Fey as Sarah Palin.

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“From Roseanne Roseannadanna to The Church Lady to Weekend Update there is an unlimited amount of brilliant material,” Doonan said. “I have always wanted to pay tribute to the genius heritage of ‘SNL.’”

Even “SNL” producer Lorne Michaels agrees the windows will be exciting. “The Barneys Holiday windows are a great New York tradition and I am very excited that ‘SNL’ is going to be the focus of this year’s celebration,” he said.

(Sketches courtesy of Barneys New York)

Celeb Guests Take Over NPR’s “Open Mic”

jasd.jpgThis morning, NPR debuted a new segment, Open Mic, on its “Morning Edition” show.

The premiere of the special series featured designer Jonathan Adler and his husband, Simon Doonan, who serves as creative director for high end department store Barneys. The couple took over the microphone for the seven-minute segment and interviewed each other about their fathers, in a kind of celebration of Father’s Day this weekend.

“Simon and I both have lost our fathers and we thought it was a great opportunity to reflect on what they meant to us and especially what they meant to us in terms of creativity and being gay and all that stuff,” said Adler (pictured at left with Doonan).

Later this month, the Open Mic will be taken over by “In the Heights” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda. The Tony-winning Broadway composer and performer will talk about how songs are written with composer John Kander, who won a Tony this year for the musical “Next to Normal.”

And next month, Open Mic will feature author Neil Gaiman, who will discuss audiobooks.

In Style Attempting to Come Back in Style

071008_13 (1).jpgAfter the sort of lengthy deliberations one usually associates with government run operations WWD is reporting that In Style magazine will finally launch its revamped look in the forthcoming August issue. The magazine has recently attempted to add some juice to the masthead by recruiting the likes of Suzanne Karotkin (formerly Harper’s Bazaar), Patricia Alfonso Tortolani (formerly Allure) and more recently Barneys New York creative director Simon Doonan and stylist Isabel Dupre, but competition in the fashion and celebrity department is increasingly fierce and In Style faces a far more crowded marketplace than when it launched. Says Lynette Harrison Brubaker, group publisher: “Now everyone knows everything about celebrity, so we have to keep more relevant. And it’s not enough to say celebrities are the only stylemakers because there’s 20 people around them in an entourage helping them make choices.”

The re-design will apparently include bigger pictures, bolder headlines and a cheekier “go-girl” tone, along with more runway commentary from editors and celebrities. Also, the magazine and two of its editors (as yet unnamed) will be featured in an upcoming episode of that fashion powerhouse Gossip Girls. Hopefully the clothes will remain on set — a little birdie recently told FBNY that rumor has it some In Style staffers were recently fired for attempting to pawn off office freebies at a tag sale in Long Island.