Tuesday, December 10, 2013

More Fashion Eccentrics Please!

A book event at Barney's is unlike other book events.  I saw that Simon Doonan was going to be at the Chicago Barney's for the release of his new book, "The Asylum".  I had read a good review of the book and wanted to go to the event.  The event was not like other book events I've ever attended.  Simon Doonan was sitting at a table on the first floor of Barney's waiting patiently, and oh so stylishly, for people to purchase the book and have it signed.  You really got to spend some time with him.

Now I'm very sad that I had not read "Eccentric Glamour" before attending this event.  I had no idea that Simon Doonan has written so many books.  He is very funny and incredibly observant.  When I talked to him at Barney's I said that I am interested in fashion and have been working toward building a better wardrobe and was kind of looking for a fashion guide.  He said he thought I might be an Existentialist mixed with Socialite based on his tips in "Eccentric Glamour".  You better believe that right after he signed my book I took myself upstairs for a drink at Fred's (if you visit Chicago please visit Clarence at Fred's - he is one of the most interesting people I've ever met) and bought the book on Abebooks right away.

Finally!  A fashion/style book that is NOT telling me I need a little black dress.  A trench.  A pencil skirt.  It is giving me free reign to experiment with fashion and how I want to present myself.  Simon Doonan is a genius.  One of the best pieces of advice in this book is to divide your wardrobe into Work and Fabulous piles and then toss the Work pile.  No, no, he's not saying dress so wildly that no one takes you seriously - instead he is saying have FUN, be DIFFERENT.  Life is too short for everyone to look the same.  Why are you saving your fabulous clothes?  Isn't every day fabulous?  I frequently remind myself that if I buy something, and then keep it in my closet, it doesn't really exist.  Why wait?? Wear it now.

I also enjoyed the interviews in the book.  As with my new favorite blog, "Advanced Style", these people are all saying why are you so worried about what others think of you?  No one is paying you that much attention. I laughed out loud.  I made mental notes.  I have been buying and editing my closet all year.  Now I have a better direction and understand why I like certain pieces better than others.  I'm never going to be a Gypsy.  The tips in this book also will help with my knitting - why am I working on projects that don't fit how I like to dress?

I really wish people would put the fun and joy back into fashion and clothing.  Why do people talk on the phone when they shop?  I consider shopping a hobby and I enjoy every minute of it.  No multitasking.  I applaud when people make an effort.  Even if it's not something I would wear myself at least they are trying!  I highly recommend this book.  It would also make a great gift if you know anyone who likes clothing.  Or someone who might need a push in the eccentric direction!  And eccentric doesn't mean so weird you are wearing a costume.  It means knowing yourself well enough that you can be confident even if you are the most different looking person in the room.  I will for sure read more by Doonan (and, yes, I bought "The Asylum").  Not only does he write about a topic I enjoy, he is a really good writer with a very sharp wit.

Speaking of fashion and design - I just bought a tote from Pine & Plastic.  Andrew Wayne lives on the Northside and was having a trunk show at Milk last Friday.  Wow.  As P. said this guy can move onto to anything he wants - he is an amazing designer.  Before you think "ho-hum a tote bag" I have to tell you the tote is one of the best designed products I have bought recently.  First, it has slim handles that easily fit over my puffy winter coat.  No struggling to keep it on!  Second, it's just deep enough, but not too deep and just wide enough, but not too wide.  It holds gym shoes and gym clothes and looks good and not bulky.  Plus, it has two exterior pockets - one for my phone and one for my train pass.  Andrew realizes that most of the time (if you carry a purse) you would have another bag with you.  So this one can hold all the extras - lunch, a book, gloves, hat, scarf.  I am loving my new bag - it's black and orange and silver.  A little pop after my Doonan read.  I will be keeping my eye on Andrew Wayne to see what he produces next.


Corinne said...

I love Simon Doonan! Was he wearing one of his Liberty of London print shirts? Would have loved to have met him

Sarah Palmer said...

Yes! I love the Liberty prints. And I wish I would have read this article before meeting him. I like floral patterns too!
Maybe he will come back to Chicago!