Simon Doonan Takes on Step-and-Repeats

August 13, 2007, 12:52 PM EDT

Barneys New York creative director Simon Doonan shares his feelings about the phenomenon known as the step-and-repeat in his latest column in The New York Observer:

“Ah ... the Logo Wall, that surreal montage of movie/charity/award-show logos! I swear that this strange juxtaposition of horrid diseases with corporate iconography—Lou Gehrig’s Pond’s Cold Cream or Tampax Munchausen Syndrome—signals the rebirth of Dada. And then, adding a performance-art element, the celebs stand in front of the logo wall while opining to Extra about the Iraq War or Nicole Richie’s upcoming jail time.”

Doonan also offers some history: “Prior to the 1990s, celebs or dignitaries were forced to shill without it. They were expected to remember the name of the project in question and who had funded it. This proved too difficult for Hollywood types, who tend, by and large, to forget where they are, or why they are where they are and who is paying for them to be there. Logo wall to the rescue.”

But not everyone likes the wall.

“Opinions are sharply divided on the cheesiness of the logo wall,” Doonan writes. “Anna Wintour is not a fan. There are no logo-spattered panels at Vogue photo ops. At Barneys events we capitulate, but only when we are in L.A. (when in Rome, etc.). My preferred method of branding is to stick a mannequin in the background with a Barneys bag slung insouciantly from the shoulder. It’s cheesy but quaint.”

For another take, we point you (and Mr. Doonan) to another creative take, at Robert Wilson's Watermill Center benefit.

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