Beautiful People (Paperback) by Simon Doonan
# Paperback: 320 pages
# Publisher: Collins (1 May 2008)
# Language English
# ISBN-10: 0007269544
# ISBN-13: 978-0007269549
Simon Doonan, creative director of Barneys New York, was called by Guy Trebay in The Times “the fox-crazy impresario of Barneys’ notorious windows.” The saying goes, that he has taken the derided window-dresser’s metier from culture’s fringes and moved it front and center. He also writes a column for The New York Observer and has been a regular commentator on several television networks.
Beautiful People goes back to Reading, England, where, born in 1952, Mr. Doonan was raised in a family including his parents and his sister, but also a lobotomized grandmother, a blind aunt with a succession of Seeing Eye dogs and a schizophrenic uncle who kept a souvenir three-inch toenail under the bed. Fearing he would fall victim to the insanity that runs in his family, or, worse, the banality of suburban life, Doonan decamps with his flamboyant best-friend Biddie to London, where they hope to find the Beautiful People, that elusive clan who luxuriate on floor pillowsand amuse each other with bon mots.
Throughout the memoir— a pastiche of anecdotes about family holidays, the tart who lived next door, his first job—Doonan continues his bumbling pursuit of the fabulous life, only to learn, in the end, that perhaps the Beautiful People were the ones he left behind.
The moment, I first started reading Beautiful People I was sure that I was going to love its quirky episodes which at first were just amusing and touching but soon turned out to be moments of hilarious observation that me laughing aloud or had me swallow tears.