Tell us about The Asylum. When did you decide to dig into the crazy behaviors of
the fashion world, and was there a particularly strange occurrence that finally
inspired you to get it all down on paper?
"When I hit 60 (last year), I realized I had been orbiting around the
fashion universe for decades and that I better scribble down my fave
recollections before I lost the plot and forgot everything."
"It is a humor book with lots of cheeky recollections, but I am hugely grateful to have crawled out of obscurity into the arms of Mother Fashion and had such a fab career. The Asylum is my love letter to fashion."
Your story touches on ghosts, superstition, and other perhaps unconventional
beliefs that you've encountered in fashion. Where do your beliefs fit in?
What's (at least) one superstition that you swear by?
"I guess I am an existentialist. Think Jean Paul Sartre. I believe everything is
pretty random. Lots of people believe 'everything happens for a reason.' I believe nothing happens for a reason."
"But unlike Sartre — the chaos caused him to experience his famous nausea — I
see this as a cause for celebration. If everything is chaotic, life is more interesting."
If there was such a thing as a true fashion asylum, who would be the first
person you would commit?
"I would commit myself. I could use a little R and R."
Who would design the straitjackets?
"Rick Owens, of course. I also think Ed Hardy would be great. Very sauvage!"
What were some of the stories that had to be left on the cutting-room floor?
"I tried to stay away from material which is too esoteric and insider. I wanted the book to be funny to a broader audience. I am basically a carny."
With Fashion Week upon us, what kind of special "insanity" can we expect? And,
what's your personal key to survival among the madness?
"FW is going to be more insane than ever. Keep some dried fruit in your purse. It's healthy and yummy and keeps you 'regular.'"