Interview: Tim Gunn on Season 10 of ‘Project Runway’
This interview was previously posted on the Pop Culture Passionistas blog.
There is no more fabulous human being on TV than Tim Gunn. Not only has he been telling Project Runway hopefuls to “make it work” for ten seasons, but he’s each and every one’s biggest cheerleader — even when he finds them a bit frustrating.
In a recent conference call interview we spoke with our favorite fashion guru about the latest installment of the show and winner Dmitry Sholokhov. Here’s what he had to say in his oh-so inimitable way in part one of our two-part interview:
On Season 10’s Final Four
“I don’t always feel close to the designers but this was a really difficult season. It was as though it was always stormy, as though there was a rain cloud over that workroom and, accordingly, I was able to explore levels or dimensions of emotions with these designers that I really hadn’t fully explored with the finalists in previous season. I have to say I was rooting for all of them. This is not a Miss America response. I want to assure you. I would have been happy with any of the designers winning, any of the final four winning.”
On His Moment of Silence During Fabio’s Home Visit
“I thought it was one of the worst collections of clothing that I’d ever seen in my entire life. I was just mystified. He’s so incredibly talented that that palette is so juvenile and so junior. I was just mystified. I mean to me he’s incredibly smart and incredibly knowledgeable and I thought maybe he was really, in a manner of speaking, pulling my leg and he was going to say, ‘Guess what, this isn’t really it.’ I just don’t know what happened. I was hugely relieved that he passed through the judges’ analysis last week, and I was especially pleased to hear the feedback that the judges gave him because it was so similar to what I gave him when I had the home visit.”
On Dmitry Sholokhov Being Crowned the Season 10 Winner
“I have not been particularly happy with the outcome of the last couple of seasons. And I don’t want to denigrate Anya [Ayoung-Chee] but I thought Viktor Luna’s collection was definitively stronger and I was stunned that he didn’t win. And this season I was enormously happy with the outcome. So I hope everyone else is enormously happy.”
On Being Called in to Consult on Ven Budhu’s Design in Season 10
“What happened is unprecedented. I’ve never done that before and, I have to tell you, our director Craig came to me afterwards and he said, ‘Well first of all I don’t know why you did that. And secondly this is never going to end up in the show.’ And I said, ‘Well I’ll tell you why I did it and I agree that it would never end up in the show.’ I had a very dastardly motivation and my motivation was, ‘Oh good, I can talk to judges and help Ven go home this challenge.’ And it didn’t work and it ended up being Gunnar. And if I had known that I wouldn’t have agreed to talk to the judges. I’ve never done it before and Heidi asked. She often teases about it, which I have a red phone next to my chair so I can call Tim. I’m always there. It’s not as though they can’t shout out to me but my refrain is, ‘Sorry, Heidi separation of church and state.’”
On Andrea Katz Quitting
“I was totally and completely and thoroughly mystified. She’s a fashion teacher. Why would she bolt in this way? Just in terms of quality of character what does it say about being a quitter — especially when you’re a teacher? A teacher is mentoring young people and to just quit and walk out like that I was mystified. We gave her the opportunity to come back and tell her side of the story, to talk about why she left and she wouldn’t do it. So I just thought, ‘What a weak sister.’”
On Kooan Kosuke Quitting the Show
“I called it our Japanese Maple. He was on the threshold of leaving from the moment he walked into the workroom, and it was just a matter of when. As a matter of fact, that morning we were at Michael Kors’ boutique for the challenge and I was told that he wasn’t coming. So we had two designers to talk to the other designers about, but then of course he did come. And we’re back in the workroom after Mood and he just dropped this bomb and says he’s leaving. I’m always there. I’m always on the other side of the workroom wall so, of course, I bolted in and there was no reason to talk him off the ledge. It was kinder just to say, ‘Fine. You can go.’ But it was certainly a surprise.”
The new season of Project Runway All Stars airs on Thursday nights at 9 p.m. EST/8 p.m. Central on Lifetime.
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