It’s not my job: Simon Doonan, the fashion guru, got the test on Microsoft Windows.

BILL KURTIS wired: now, some people may not be called fashion science, but these people don’t need, like some of us on Easter Sunday to clear up the Croatian bar should be what to wear.


Simon Doonan is one of the fashion experts in the fashion world, but he started working for Barney’s men’s boutique, with Windows open.

(archive broadcast archive)

SIMON DOONAN: well, when I went to barney in the mid-1980s, my boss told me to make the Windows a talking point. So, you know, that was when they called Margaret thatcher the iron lady. So I put her in an S&M outfit, drew a cartoon, put her in the window to iron, and listened to Metallica– you know, in the dunghouse.

SAGAL: you can – I mean, how do they sell clothes? People see S&M Margaret Thatcher, and then they walk into Barneys and say, I want one of them?

DOONAN: again and again. It’s just men.

SAGAL: really?


SAGAL: you’re the creative ambassador for Barney. What does that mean?

DOONAN: that means I can put on the window frame.

SAGAL: oh, you are.


DOONAN: I’m wearing my belt right now. I played it specifically for this purpose.

Sager: does it have MEDALS and ribbons like the classic ambassador?

DOONAN: it does. But I think you have to be very fat to be an appropriate ambassador, aren’t you? Just like a window frame looks much better on a fat constitution.


SAGAL: how – when people ask you about fashion advice, I’m sure they have to. What do you tell them?

DOONAN: well, I actually gave horrible advice.

SAGAL: yes.

DOONAN: I was reckless. Just like I’m not one of those gay people who can help. Do you understand?


DOONAN: you know, like “the weird eyes of a mediocre person”. I really auditioned that show and they turned me down because they said you didn’t have enough help.


DOONAN: they showed me a picture of m fish and a Metallica T-shirt. I said he looked great. What’s the matter? Like, I don’t — I see the clothes are nonverbal communication. They’re anthropology, they’re not you – I want to change, which makes me useless in providing advice. So, without any useful advice, I usually tell people, you know, go out and buy a blue strip wig. Or go home and put all your reasonable work clothes in good faith and put on the party clothes. If you can build an identifiable signature appearance, that’s your bingo. Honey, you’ve done it.

MAZ JOBRANI: what if your wife doesn’t let you leave the house with your signature appearance?


DOONAN: did you wear that leopard print jumpsuit?


SAGAL: ok, Simon Doonan, we’ll invite you to play this game here, we’ll call…

KURTIS: fatal system error. Please restart.

SAGAL: since you started designing beautiful, weird and useful Windows, we think we’ll ask you about clunky, bad and annoying Windows– Microsoft Windows. Answer two of these three questions correctly, and you’ll win an award from one of our listeners, Carl Carl’s voice mail. Bill, who is Simon Doonan working for?

KURTIS: Hannah Shulman, San Francisco, California.

SAGAL: ok. Ready to do this, Simon?

DOONAN: yes, I’m technically totally stupid, so it would be fun.

SAGAL: it should be. Began. Now, like many well-known brands, people have tried to take advantage of Windows’ popularity. Which of these are Windows brand products you can buy in Japan? A, in burger king 7’s Windows 7 Whopper – count them – seven all-beef patties; B, Windows brand underwear; Or C, Windows of your house?

DOONAN: I’m going to go with B, because I like underwear, fire pans, pajamas and so on. So let’s go to B together.

Saigle: I like them too, but before I give you the answer, do you think Windows underwear will work? Do you have small Windows? I mean…

DOONAN: you know, a good underwear screams a small aperture, doesn’t it?

SAGAL: that’s true.


SAGAL: so you chose a Windows bra. Oh, that would be. This is the real Windows 7 Whopper with seven whole beef patties.



SAGAL: I know, but that’s one thing. Second question, you have two more chances, Simon. If you have problems using Microsoft Windows, and you have dialed a help line somewhere in the world, where might you get help? A, A 5-year-old boy; B. computers running Microsoft Windows; C, Bill Gates himself, but only on Tuesday and Friday?

DOONAN: well, C is ridiculous. I’ll go with C, because it would be great, wouldn’t it?


SAGAL: it might be great – I don’t think you need to do that, but some people like to choose which one might be true.


Sager: it’s just a choice. You don’t have to do that.

DOONAN: well, you know fashion people are totally stupid.

SAGAL: that’s right.

DOONAN: I want to leave a message.

SAGAL: I think – I understand that instinct.


SAGAL: would you choose Bill Gates?

DOONAN: yes, bill.

SAGAL: I won’t tell you what you say, but it’s a 5-year-old boy.


DOONAN: are you kidding?

SAGAL: five year old Ayan Qureshi from Coventry, England, passed the Microsoft exam and is now a certified Windows IT expert who is qualified to help. Finally, back in 2009, in order to learn about Windows 7, Microsoft encouraged people to do things that we didn’t assume. A, host A family party themed on Windows 7; B, get a face tattoo of Windows 7; Or C, holding a neighbor hostage until he or she downloads and installs it?

DOONAN: I’m going to go with A, because it’s A little tupperware, isn’t it?

SAGAL: that’s true. You’re right.


POUNDSTONE: let’s go.


SAGAL: there’s actually an exciting video that shows how such a family gathering can be done, and we can’t recommend it high enough. It is surprising to see a version of Microsoft that thinks people might talk to each other. Bill, what did Simon doonan do with our test?

Curitis: you know, Simon is an excellent window dresser. Simon, you did a good job. thank you


Sager: that’s very diplomatic.

JOBRANI: it’s the best way to say you’re lost.

SAGAL: yeah, I know. We’re just going to skip the whole thing. That’s funny.

Curity: you tried very well.

SAGAL: Simon Doonan’s latest work is now in paperback. It is called “asylum: crazy living in the real tail”. Simon, thank you so much for joining us.

POUNDSTONE: thanks, Simon.

SAGAL: it’s really interesting to talk to you. See you later.


DOONAN: thank you.


Hank Williams :(singing) you’re shopping shopping, just shopping shopping.

SAGAL: when we came back, we finally got what my degree had prepared for me. Prosodic science is shown by our own pop and the best hair in the government. We’ll be back more waiting… Don’t tell me from NPR.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here