Thursday, March 6, 2008

Q & A With Tim Gunn

TIM CALLS IT LIKES HE SEES IT

Newsday got some one-on-one time with Tim Gunn, Project Runway mother hen and mentor. Here he lets us in on some inside info from behind the scenes.

AB: So Tim, what were your thoughts going into the finals?
TG: I will tell you, I had some concerns about Rami having to do with textile choices and color choices. I loved the silhouettes and proportions but I felt the textiles and colors were limiting and a little dour and that translates as old.

AB: Did you have a heads up on what the judges are thinking in terms of the winner?
TG: I never knew where the judges would fall out this season. For all the designers, I felt the point off view was so strong and the level of work so impeccable. I was not concerned about Jillian. I thought she could win. I thought Christian and Jillian were neck and neck and I was pretty sure about it.

AB: So it wasn’t like Christian was a shoe-in for you?
TG: Oh, no. Did you know at first I didn’t even want him on? I turned to the producers and said, ‘Why are we seeing this kid?’” But they saw something in him. And then I swooned after looking at his work.

AB: Everybody knows the Tim Gunn lines, but we noticed you started using another word on the show. Do you know what we’re talking about?
TG: Ha, fierce. I only use it with him. And more frequently I’m asking him a question, ‘How fierce is it?’

AB: Do you think Victoria Beckham being guest judge had something to do with the final outcome?
TG: Victoria Beckham tipped the scale. Christian’s sensibilities were hers. She said, ‘I would wear anyone of those looks.’ I find that extremely limiting and not useful.

AB: Was Christian as annoying as he seemed?
TG: He’s polarizing. People love him but some people can’t abide him. I alternated between wanting to give him a big hug and a big smack.

AB: When you saw Chris March’ final collection with the human hair, you said you had to stifle your gag reflex.
TG: I still get it when I think about that collection. I couldn’t fathom it. I told him, ‘this is just such a distraction. Why would you do this to potentially derail yourself? Deep down in his core, he’s a costume designer.

AB: So, do you still think our Long Island girl Jillian is going to go far?
TG: I think she has an incredibly bright future ahead of herself. Do I think she has some maturing to do? Of course, but I have the most unbridled confidence in her.

-- Anne Bratskeir

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