Interview: Tim Gunn Talks More About Project Runway
The following interview was previously posted on the Pop Culture Passionistas blog.
We love listening to Tim Gunn talk so much that we wanted to share more of our recent conference call interview with him. Here’s what he had to say on some of the Project Runway’s hot topics. Here’s what he had to say about using accessories “thoughtfully” and his most uncomfortable home visit in part two of our two-part interview:
On Season 10 Contestant Christopher Palu’s Love of Real Fur
“I didn’t know about his interest in fur. It’s never once come up in a conversation with him… I’m very respectful of people’s life and proclivity. However I would suggest that he visits the PETA website… I would suggest that he just see another point of view. With so many options for fur these days, so many faux fur options I just profoundly believe that it’s entirely unnecessary and, frankly, rather vulgar.”
On Season 8 Winner Gretchen Jones’ Home Visit
“The editing of the show was kind to everyone, kind. And the home visit that was so dramatically edited was Gretchen, the winner of Season 8. Her mother — I mean we’re playing crochet — you don’t see any of this in the edit — and her mother kept knocking my crochet ball across the street into the traffic. So I had to run across the street and retrieve it. I’d bring it back and she’d slam it again. It was so hostile and angry I couldn’t believe it and I thought, ‘Well, the mess doesn’t fall from the tree.’”
On the Importance (or Not) of Accessorizing Thoughtfully
“To hear the judges talk about it it’s the most important thing in the world. Generally speaking, I’ll just be blunt, I feel that they’re an enhancement, the accessories are, to whatever the garment is and the same with the hair and makeup. But for me it’s all about that garment. Unless the accessorizing is an extraordinary distraction in a bad way I would never comment on it at all. But the judges seem to have a very different take. There are times when it’s all they talk about is the accessorizing, and I just want to say, ‘Be quiet. Look at the clothes.’”
On the Importance of an Education
“I’m going to add something that may be controversial. Whenever a designer proudly tells me that they’re self-educated, they’ve never been to school for this, some people stand up and cheer. I don’t. I think, ‘Oh dear, this really is a disadvantage for you.’ And it’s not because they learned it on their own. It’s more about the critiques. It’s more about learning how to listen to critical observations about one’s work and depersonalize it. It’s just something that happens to you when you study fashion. And also there’s the exposure to the historical context of fashion, which I believe is essential.”
On His Favorite Project Runway Season
“It’s like each successful semester of classes I have. Whatever I’m in the thick of it’s always my favorite. And as I said earlier, there is a lot of emotion tied up for me in season ten because the designers were so grumpy and gloomy. I’d be out of the workroom and there would be this audible sign of like, ‘Oh God, he’s here again.’ And I would just say to them, ‘I’m coming in and out of this room all day. You know it so just face up to it that’s the way it is.’ But I was mystified by it. It’s like, ‘Come on people, you’ve seen the show.’”
The second season of Project Runway All Stars airs on Thursday nights at 9 p.m. EST/8 p.m. Central on Lifetime.