This morning, Observer columnist Simon Doonan unveiled the holiday windows at Barneys—where he toils as Creative Director by day—to the press.
"This year, I noticed that everyone was talking about the counterculture," he said, explaining his "Have a Hippie Holiday" theme via books by Sheila Weller (Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon—And the Journey of a Generation) and Tom Brokaw (Boom!: Talking About the Sixties: What Happened, How It Shaped Today, Lessons for Tomorrow) and coffee-table tome Spaced-Out: Radical Environments of the Psychedelic Sixties.
Also: "I read somewhere that it’s the 50th Anniversary of the peace sign!"
Of course, Mr. Doonan added, "We only picked the cheery, upbeat aspects of the ’60s! No overdoses, assassinations…"
The windows included homages to denim, Afros, tie-dye, and Women of the Counterculture (Janis, Joni) and a clutch of naked mannequins awaiting custom peace-sign-adorned dresses by designers such as Alexander Wang and Narciso Rodriguez. A VW Beetle parked on the curb had been painted with flowers and peace signs "at one of those pimp-your-ride bodyshops on Long Island," and would be raffled off to a lucky winner.
"Hippies didn’t have a lot of stuff," said Mr. Doonan. "Now there’s been this long period of bags, shoes… With this shift in the economy maybe people will be thinking they don’t need 5,000 handbags!
"But they do!" he said, quickly contradicting himself. "And they need to come buy them at Barneys!"
Earlier, Mr. Doonan had arrived in a tizzy about a modern countercultural protest: the one taking place later today at the Mormon temple in Lincoln Center in opposition to Proposition 8′s passage in California, where he and designer Jonathan Adler were recently married.
"I expect to see you all there!" he cried.