The author talks about his favorite fashionistas -- and his new book, "Gay Men Don't Get Fat"

By Kate Hogan
Updated January 06, 2012 08:00 PM
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Neil Rasmus/BFAnyc

Listen up, Hollywood: Simon Doonan wants you to get crazy this red-carpet season. “I’m hoping that we reach some kind of critical period where people do let it rip,” the Barneys creative ambassador-at-large told reporters Thursday. “People always go back to Björk and the swan dress simply because no one’s worn anything that interesting in the intervening years. We haven’t had anything fun like that in ages.”

Though he is a bit bored by the lack of risks on the red carpet, Doonan is excited to watch two rising style stars this season. “Tilda Swinton I’m always looking forward to seeing,” he said. “And Rooney Mara. She’s pretty great. I hope she’s able to take some of that energy and insanity [from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo] onto her red carpet appearances. It’d be terrible if she showed up looking all groomed and appropriate — she’s got to do something crazy.”

Speaking to style editors while promoting his latest book, Gay Men Don’t Get Fat, over breakfast at Barneys New York, Doonan said he doesn’t necessarily believe in defining stars as “best dressed” and “worst dressed,” either.

“I was once on that show Fashion Police and they never invited me back, and I know it’s because I don’t have the ability to say, ‘Oh yes, she looks terrible in that,'” he recalled. “It’s all subjective. If she’s happy and having a good time … I don’t understand that need to kick people to the curb because you’re objectively saying they don’t look right.”

In fact, he’d prefer it if people expressed their true selves even more through their hair, makeup and clothing. “Even if it’s a mullet and Ed Hardy, at least you look like yourself, if that’s who you are,” he said. “If [a woman] has her own look, even if it’s objectively demented, it’s not a bad thing.”

Doonan ruminates on personal style — plus food, relationships and more — in his latest tome (his sixth), which covers the rules gay men often adhere to in a tongue-in-cheek manner. “It’s probably the most demented book I’ve ever written,” he joked. Featuring chapters like, “Moobs and Fat Asses” and “Macaroons Are So Gay,” it’s satire at its best — and most stylish. Find it now on and

–Kate Hogan