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In Defense Of Eccentricity, By Simon Doonan

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    "Mysterious recluses are no fun. What's the point of being over the top and then hiding away in some remote chateau? I find that kind of behavior to be very withholding."

    That's Simon Doonan talking about his strong preference for wildly in-your-face eccentricity over the quieter, hidden-away variety. And, he knows a thing or two about crazy people. You know, because his latest book is called The Asylum and covers the range of madness that comprises the fashion industry. His vignettes are biting and hilarious, as is all Doonan writing, and most definitely worth a read, if you haven't picked up downloaded a copy of the book yet.

    Inspired by some of the wilder tales in his collection of essays, we got to thinking about the power of eccentricity. After all, there's something truly inspiring about marching to the beat of your own drum and finding the room to live life on your own terms, without concern for societal norms or expectations. Doonan points out that "unconventional style freakazoids make the world go round. They add joy and hilarity to any disco or bar mitzvah. When I see a nutty rule-breaker walking down the street I am always happy."

    That kind of rule-breaking isn't always easy. But, it's definitely something we celebrate here at R29. So, we asked Doonan to introduce us to his favorite over-the-top personalities and to talk a little bit about why they inspire him. From a much-reviled queen to a true rock star, the five figures ahead most definitely don't disappoint.

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