Even if he hadn’t dedicated this new book to “all the straight women,” Doonan, who is perhaps most known for his creative work on Barney’s windows, would have won us all over by the end of the first page. Doonan is woman’s dream gay BFF, funny, fashionable, catty but also self-deprecating and a keen observer of social mores. His latest book is bit of a hodgepodge, part fashion guide, part humorous memoir, part manifesto for all things fabulous.
When this book was first announced last summer it was assumed that it would be a diet guide modeled after the wildly popular “French Women Don’t Get Fat” but this book is actually more of a tongue-in-cheek (and chic) lifestyle guide. Just as Mireille Guiliano showed why the French woman should be admired and followed, Doonan does the same with gay men promoting them as neat, trim, fashionable and keenly attuned to thr bedt things in life. He does it all with his own quirky style. The book is stuffed full of bon mots and aphorisms that would do Oscar Wilde proud. “Dreams, let’s face it, are just nightmares with better accessories and decor” is just one example. Doonan can get poignant too, such as when he recalls his experience in working on the Marilyn Monroe auction for Christie’s. Under Doonan’s breezy, superficial exterior there is soft and tender heart which occasionally makes its way onto the page.
There’s no denying that Doonan is a witty writer, sharp, catty and incisive. At times the book is almost too much of a bonbon, eschewing substance in favor of style. But just when you think you’ve had a little too much, he turns again, showing that there is a vulnerability beneath all the fabulousness. In these days of stress and severity, we can all use a good laugh and Doonan provides plenty of them. The book, published by Blue Rider Press, comes out January 5, 2012. Order now for a guaranteed grin after the holidays are over.