Simon Doonan, the Creative Ambassador at Large for Barneys New York, has spent his entire career in fashion, so believe him when he says his peers in this multi-billion dollar industry are nuts. Style insiders see patterns and trends everywhere; they have a predilection for theatrical make-up and artfully destroyed clothing; they suffer from outsize personality disorders and illusions of grandeur.
Doonan has witnessed models unable to work for fear of ghosts, gone deep-sea fishing with a couturier pal and his jailbird companion, and watched Anna Wintour remain serenely calm while the ceiling fell down-literally-in the middle of fashion week. But, as Doonan argues, eccentricity and extremism are the foundations of great style, which is why there's no one more suited to the asylum than a truly die-hard fashionista.
In The Asylum: True Tales of Madness From a Life in Fashion-an unabashedly hilarious collection of autobiographical essays now out in paperback-Doonan gives us the inside scoop on the kooky, cut-throat-but always fabulous-fashion world.
Simon Doonan, the Creative Ambassador at Large for Barneys New York, is the author of Gay Men Don't Get Fat, Wacky Chicks, and Nasty. Originally from England, he worked on Savile Row before becoming the creative director for Barneys New York, where he designed legendary window displays for more than 20 years.