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Video: Barneys New York fashion/design guru Simon Doonan brings his flair to Chicago

If you’re a fashion/design buff (or even if you’re not) and you haven’t read Simon Doonan’s column on — his cyber perch for the past three years, following a decade with the New York Observer — do yourself a favor and check it out. Entertaining stuff. Here, for example, are some of his thoughts on the subject of straight American men (Doonan is gay and British-born) and their general aversion to/fear of “swim briefs” — i.e. Speedo bathing suits.

“This past weekend I spotted two burly figures walking toward me wearing what I assumed were large peasant skirts. ‘What made these two beefy, short-haired possibly lesbians decide to go topless?’ I asked myself. Upon closer inspection, they turned out to be a couple of dudes with man boobs in garishly printed board shorts, prompting the question: Why do American men insist on concealing their willies ’neath yards of fabric?”

Very early on Thursday morning, Doonan’s 61st birthday, he arrived at Merz Apothecary in Lincoln Square to redesign its display windows for the holidays. It’s part of an American Express-sponsored three-city tour Doonan is doing for a program on NBC’s LXTV network that will air in December, around the holidays.