Monday, October 15, 2007

A notable read: Simon Doonan, Confessions of a Window Dresser.

Simon Doonan, the head window dresser at Barney's New York since 1986, was born in Reading, England, a town whose sole distinguishing characteristic was the large biscuit factory that employed the majority of its population, paying English factory workers better wages than the Irish factory workers who did the same job. He made his first rumbles as a window dresser in the London store Nutters, where he featured live rats rummaging through trash cans wearing rhinestone collars. Eventually, he was invited by Tommy Perse to work at the Los Angeles based store, Maxfield, where he designed a host of controversial windows, including babies being kidnapped by coyotes.

Doonan's book is a sharp, comedic biography/history of the visual merchandising industry, including several photographs of his work throughout the past 20 years. Most notable are his windows featuring Tina Brown, (former editor of The New Yorker), Dan Quayle, Queen Elizabeth, Bette Midler, Prince, and Madonna, who he "did 3 times."

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