Book Review: Simon Doonan’s Eccentric Glamour

April 30, 2008 • Lifestyle


As Second City Style already knows, Simon Doonan is brilliant and hilarious in person – and his latest book, Eccentric Glamour: Creating An Insanely More Fabulous You is equally creative and entertaining. Filled with clever bon mots, outlandish style advice, interviews with well-known glamorous eccentrics, and personal relevations, this book will have you running out to purchase something outrageous and uniquely "you", such as leopard print tango shoes or a deconstructed Comme des Garçons jacket. 

See, Simon’s definition of glamour isn’t quite the classic Old Hollywood model (although there is certainly room for it if it fits into your personal style); instead, he delineates three main categories of Glamorous Eccentrics – the Gypsies, the Existentialists, and the Socialites.

"The Gypsy is the ethereal, poetic, crafty, artsy, bohemian face of eccentric glamour. Though stylish, she privileges sensuality, freedom, and comfort over fashion. Think Julia Roberts in her current mom-living-at-the-beach mode.

The Existentialist is infinitely more severe, dramatic, graphic and intellectual than her wayward Gypsy sister. While the Gypsy is all about the flesh, the Existentialist is all about the mind. Think edgy. Think beatnik. Think Annie Lennox or Chrissie Hynde.

The Socialite is heavy on the gloss, light on the eccentricity.  She radiates old school glamour. She’s laquered, designer clad, high heel addicted, manicured, elegant, and slightly bitchy. Though more normal in her appearance than both the Gypsy and the Existentialist, the Socialite compensates with an irreverent and sparkling wit. She is, in many ways, the conventional center of the spectrum, flanked on either side by the Gypsy and the Existentialist. Think Anna Wintour. Think Jackie O.

Of course, the book goes into much further detail and illustrates each type with many examples and stories from Simon’s own life, and you’re certainly allowed to flit between types – but like Simon says, most women will find they have a "home base" when it comes to fashion and their style identity.

Last but not least, the book does have one message that I personally hope is taken to heart by everyone who reads it – "say no to ho! and resist the tidal wave of porno chic that threatens to engulf Western civilization". I think that’s a message we can all get behind.

– Jacqueline Zenn

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One Response to Book Review: Simon Doonan’s Eccentric Glamour

  1. Tina says:

    Thank for this. I am always looking for new books to read and have a long list I hope to eventually get through. I’ll be addig this one to it.

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