Friday, October 18, 2013

Organic Fashion: Simon Doonan

Keep Fashion weird post
Jeremy Scott T-shirt

Welcome to Organic Fashion, a new Filles on Film feature that spotlights all fashion with no filler. Fast-fashion, a crowded fashion week calendar, and street-style chaos has some fashion lovers wishing for a return to a simpler time when fashion shows weren't mobbed by street style photogs and fashion houses weren't lumped together in such fashion behemoths as Kering and PPR. 

Organic Fashion features everything from slow fashion companies to the shouts and murmurs from fashion insiders.

Dear Fashion Industry,
Beware of privileging the privileged. Keep the door open to the self-invented superfreaks from the crap towns. This is the only way to keep fashion vital and creative. Thanks awfully.Love, 

Simon Doonan, Creative ambassador of Barneys New York and best known for his wildly creative Barneys storefront windows, has come out with a collection of autobiographical essays. The book, Asylum:A Collage of Couture, Reminiscences...and Hysteria, covers the wacky encounters and adventures Doonan has experienced as in insider in the colorful fashion industry.

Last month, Slate featured an excerpt from Doonan's book. In the excerpt, Doonan tells the tale of how he made it out of a small, working-class town in England and start a successful career in fashion in New York City.

At the end of the excerpt, Doonan pens a short open letter to the fashion industry (above). For Doonan, fashion offered a refuge, a place where like-minded "freaks" could come together and work in a creative environment where their freakishness was not only accepted, but embraced. 

Now, the path to a fashion career often starts with an internship. An unpaid internship. The people who are most likely to apply for unpaid internships are those who are already supported financially. In other words, rich kids with rich parents. So where does that leave the the superfreak from a small town in New York City? Probably at a local coffee shop as a barista. 

Fashion is a business. But fashion is a business that relies on creativity. The superfreaks are the ones who keep fashion interesting and fun. Maybe that's why fashion has been a little boring lately. C'mon fashion industry, not all fashion newcomers should come with a trust fund. Take a chance and hire the smart,fat girl.

****Update:Conde Nast ends its internship program in response to lawsuits:Click here to read more about the end of the internship program on NYmag.

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