The Asylum: A collage of couture reminiscences...and hysteria

The Asylum A collage of couture reminiscences and hysteria Simon Doonan the David Sedaris of the style universe The Boston Globe pens a hilarious collection of autobiographical essays in this bitingly funny valentine to the fashion industry

  • Title: The Asylum: A collage of couture reminiscences...and hysteria
  • Author: Simon Doonan
  • ISBN: 9780399161896
  • Page: 130
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Simon Doonan, the David Sedaris of the style universe The Boston Globe , pens a hilarious collection of autobiographical essays in this bitingly funny valentine to the fashion industry.
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      Published :2018-010-26T03:41:23+00:00

    899 Comment

    • Leonel says:

      luhathoughts/2013You want to learn about the ins and outs of fashion? Read Simon Doonan's "The Asylum." Before I started reading the book, I thought this was fiction, but really the book is a collection of essays about Mr. Doonan's experience working in the fashion industry. (He has been responsible for Barney's windows for the past 20+years) I thought the book would be fluff, to be honest, but it is insightful, witty, and he talks about a lot of truths. It was like spending a nice afternoon at [...]

    • Alvin says:

      I actually don't care a fig about the fashion world, but reading Doonan's zippy prose is always fun.

    • Pamela says:

      I wanted to read his book because I heard the author talking about it on NPR. In the interview, Mr. Doingn was hilarious and charming. The book itself, may be great to someone who is into fashion and knows who all the people are that he talks about; it was less interesting for a non-fashionista like me. The parts that aren't all about big names in the fashion world were sometimes very amusing. The line where he's talking about "plus size" women and refers to a model with measurements of 35-26-36 [...]

    • Crystal says:

      I didn't make it through this one - it was a lot of name-dropping and just didn't hold my interest. Not enough fashion, too much gossip, I suppose.

    • Julie says:

      This is a hysterical look at the fashion world from the ever-entertaining, Simon Doonan. Clearly he loves his work, fashion, and the crazy creative people who inhabit his space. I appreciated the look at fashion from an insiders perspective, and his ability to present it with a light heart. I've read other fashion books lately where the authors take themselves and their work far too seriously, as if every day they are making life and death critical to the survival of the world. Doonan, on the ot [...]

    • Erin says:

      ARC for review.A hodgepodge of reminiscing from Mr. Doonan (and, I suppose, the statutorily required amount of kissing Anna Wintour's ass - I'm guessing there's some sort of word count requirement of praise in order to keep one's job in fashion), but entertaining (as I knew it would be within the first few pages by comparing two unlike things by saying they have as much in common as "Big Ange and Mrs. Petraeus" - and he even misspelled the general's wife's name, as he did TONS of his pop culture [...]

    • Tayla says:

      Anyone who loves and follows fashion will really enjoy this collection of essays. Doonan's insights are fascinating and in turn poignant and utterly hysterical. You'll learn and you'll laugh and I don't know what more you can ask for from a book than that.

    • Mollie says:

      Simon Doonan's book of observations and musings on the fashion world is fun to read.

    • A says:

      I LOVE fashion. I've worked in fashion a little bit, I read fashion industry magazines, watch fashion shows and movies, etc. I also love the author and really enjoyed his autobiographical book "confessions of a window dresser." Unfortunately I had to abandon "Asylum." It was too glib and manic. I felt like the author was guarding himself with accelerator-to-the- floor zaniness. I wished he could have slowed it down. The guy is a charming genius in real life, who has accomplished amazing things f [...]

    • Clove Pulido says:

      As a fashion student, I found his writing very amusing and I feel like these stories are just industry gold when bringing up subjects that include famous designers, models, and his own experiences. Overall, there is a good takeaway from each story in this book that focuses on issues like the AIDS epidemic, depression, the link between creativity and suffering or coming from a ugly neighborhoods as refugees that enter the safe haven that is fashion where these so called "crazy" people are welcome [...]

    • Peggy Hayes says:

      I laughed out loud but it is not for the faint of heart. Foul language abounds, but it is part of the humor. I loved his colorful descriptions of people and pop culture.

    • Sheng says:

      The Asylum is an autobiography of sorts of Simon Doonan, fashion consultant and analyst, where he gathers all of his ridiculous experiences in the fashion industry and compiles all of them into a book with anachronistic chapters. Several big names in the industry are referenced here including Michael Kors, Anna Wintour, Kate Moss and the late Alexander McQueen.I am someone who clearly has neither much interest nor knowledge in the world of fashion. I picked up this book hoping for some outlandis [...]

    • V. Briceland says:

      In his books of essays, Simon Doonan has proven he can be both tremendously funny and touching. His determination to be iconoclastic and outré without being offensive or—heaven forbid—mean renders him into an eccentric little darling, a compact and lovable example of walking drollery free of spite.Some of his essays in The Asylum are laugh-out-loud funny. But as always with Doonan's books, it's difficult to anticipate what one will be getting from chapter to chapter. He simply tells stories [...]

    • Suzinnebarrett says:

      Simon Doonan is an extremely entertaining personality who first made his mark by way of his wildly creative windows for Barney's. In this breezily entertaining and often hilarious fashion memoir, a wide array of portraits are included. Of course, names are dropped all over the place: Karl Lagerfeld, Tom Ford, Diana Vreeland, John Galliano, Suzy Menkes Kate Moss and Anna Wintour. What makes this so fun is Simon Doonan's inside and very on point observations. I especially enjoyed his riffs on Karl [...]

    • Melanie Ting says:

      Simon Doonan acknowledges upfront that the fashion world is certifiably crazy, and doesn't apologize for any of the tales that follow. In his opinion, the only bad thing to be is safe and boring! In a world where an ugly toenail is major faux pas, he names names and tells tales but always with indulgence and a warped kindness. With hysterically funny lines like "faster than chicken vindaloo through a senior citizen," Doonan is always amusing but his breakneck narration is occasionally hard to fo [...]

    • Thirstyicon says:

      Simon Doonan is a breath of fresh air and extremely amusing! I recommend this book to anyone who thinks they care about fashion. Once again, Simon is asking where are the punks, the losers, the weirdos, The Creative Types in fashion!!! The book is basically a collection of essays all related to the fashion industry and the various people in it. Everyone from Anna and Andre to McQueen and Rei Kawakubo are at least mentioned. It helps if you've read his earlier books, but is certainly not necessar [...]

    • Mandy says:

      Doonan is a bitchy fashionista David Sedaris. Fashion is for freaks, he argues, and here he lovingly recalls the crap town slags and man repellant ensembles he has known. The reader comes away with a collection of Bon mots from Doonan's Irish grandfather ("Her bladder is way too near her eyeballs"; "That bastard has long pockets and short arms") and revered designers ("A little bad taste is like a nice splash of paprika"; "That's like a woman without lovers asking for the Pill"). Doonan occasion [...]

    • Bibliovixen says:

      I don't follow fashion very closely. Jeans and tshirts are my speed. However, I like the cut of a beautiful coat (Tom Ford used to do gorgeous kimono jackets back in the day!) and the way some designers whirl colors together that just stun you with brilliance. I also appreciate a designer that doesn't take the whole fashion world too seriously, being able to see the ludicrous, the imaginative, the creativeness, the humor. Simon Doonan writes in the same manner that he talks about the world of fa [...]

    • Cynthisa says:

      Not nearly as funny as David Sedaris. Erudite and witty enough, but disjointed and mostly hot air. Like a latte that's all foam and froth, nothing actually drinkable. For example, he ends a story about his purportedly haunted, wreck of an apartment by saying how great it ended up after he and "his husband" filled it with all kinds of "amazing color" via pieces by Joathan Adler. Uh, HELLO!!! His husband IS Jonathan Adler, so wtf!?! Is he just playing coy or what??? Not appreciated, dude.

    • J.E. Anckorn says:

      "A little bad taste is like a nice splash of paprika," Diana Vreeland is quoted as having said in this book. In some chapters the spice is too cloying, in others too light, but overall this book is a well-seasoned romp that's dishy without being bitchy.If you've read many fashion memoirs then some of the anecdotes will be familiar, but they're lovingly and wittily told, and the parts that touch on the author's own life are a pleasure to read.Brava!

    • Claire Kennedy says:

      Although this is a lot off-kilter, it's a riot. This guy knows how to write so that it's just hilarious. Maybe it's just me, but I can literally see all the messes, shenanigans, and mishaps as they happen. I relate. With everything that can go wrong in a fashion show it's a wonder they go off as well as they do. It's just so hilarious to hear it from the inside! This isn't going to be an important book ever, but for a hilarious light read, it's priceless!

    • Meagan says:

      Parts of this book I enjoyed, parts of this book were a bit before my time, parts were harder to understand because of differences in culture, and the parts that were before my time and in a completely different culture kind of completely lost me sometimes.I feel like this book would be easier to relate to for someone who was older or had a good understanding of British culture about 50 years ago.

    • Pam Mooney says:

      I loved this fun witty book on the fashion industry. I like a book that makes me laugh and an author that can laugh along with me. I enjoyed the current and historical takes on the nuances of fashion as well as the down right dirty issues that come in to play. A book that can only be written by a fashion insider who speaks the language and has worked along side the best and worst of those involved.

    • Yolanda Mccarthy says:

      This book is a must read for all of my fashion addicted friends out there (and you know who you are!!)Simon Doonan is so very funny (and married to Jonathan Adler!) and the book is a great behind-the-scenes peek into the crazy world of fashion. I especially loved the chapters on Anna Wintour and Karl Lagerfeld!Take this book to the pool and enjoy an afternoon in the sun . . . Thank me later <3

    • Julie Stout says:

      Simon is a full-on genius. I loved the trip down memory lane with him remembering the way fashion was in the mid 80's and early 90's before it all became so mainstream and blown up by the media. Simon has the most articulate and beautiful way of expressing these sentiments. I also felt some sadness for the loss of all the creatives who died of AIDS, very nicely memorialized by Simon. Doonan is a class act!

    • Iva says:

      I picked this up because Doonan recommended one of my favorite books this year: Slaves of Solitude by Patrick Hamilton. (Doonan was a "guest" author recommending his favorite books on Barnes and Nobles' website.) I was highly entertained by his experiences of the New York fashion world. He knew and worked with all the big names. This collection of essays are filled with wit and good observations about much more than fashion.

    • Sascha says:

      This book is essentially anecdotes from the fashion industry served up with the wit and charm that Doonan always delivers. I am a huge fan and for anyone that has followed Doonan's career from The Observer to Slate will appreciate this book, and learning more about this author's foray into the "Asylum" of fashion.

    • Tanya says:

      Thank GAWD I finally found a good book to read! Finished in about a day. Don't necessarily warm to Doonan on TV, but he gives good bitchy writing.My favorite passage was when he trashed The Devil Wears Prada and then said he liked trash, just good trash, like Valley of the Dolls or Scruples.Bless.

    • Astrid Johnson says:

      I won this book from a GoodReads giveaway and made an effort to finish. I will say parts of it were very entertaining and informative. I just don't usually have a desire to get into the whole homosexual lifestyle or details.

    • Dav says:

      An incredibly entertaining ride through the world of fashion, with tributes to Ms Wintour and Alexander McQueen and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth herself. Anyone with just an inkling of love for fashion should read this!!!

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