Anybody who is a fan of Project Runway is certainly a fan of fashion expert and mentor Tim Gunn. He is also the current Chief Creative Officer at Liz Claiborne, Inc. As if those jobs don’t keep him busy enough, he recently launched his own Bravo show, Tim Gunn’s Guide To Style, along with supermodel Veronica Webb. On the show, Gunn and Webb take everyday women from drab to fab, giving them a makeover from the inside out. Together, they teach the women how to organize their closets, choose the right outfits with the right fit for them, and feel good about themselves in the things that they wear. The show premiered last week on Bravo and returns tonight for a brand new episode. BuddyTV talked to Tim Gunn today about his brand new show and the upcoming season of Project Runway.
Below, you will find the complete transcript and mp3 of the interview.
Hey everyone, this is Gina from BuddyTV and I’m talking to fashion expert Tim Gunn and I’m so privileged to be talking to you, thank you so much.
Oh, Gina, thank you so much. You flatter me.
So I caught the premiere of the show and it actually made me cry.
I think I should say thank you.
Yes, I really liked it. Your show, Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style, it has such a nice heart to it and I think that really sets it apart from the other makeover shows.
I have to say, we really care. We care about our subjects, we only want them to succeed. It’s a rough and very emotional journey. Fashion – people think it’s ephemeral, people think it’s just surface-driven and meaningless. In fact, it’s not. It’s really tied into our psyche because it says something about who we are.
And you really try to make them over from the inside out. So you feel like that’s an important aspect of a makeover?
Absolutely, it can’t just be on the outside, because clothes do send a message about how we want the world to perceive us. It’s the whole semiology of dressing and it’s profound and we need to take responsibility for it. We can’t just say, “Oh, I don’t care about these things.” I mean, we can say that, but we should know better.
I’m sure a lot of our readers can relate. I’m a person who doesn’t have a lot of time, I’m very busy, I’m a mother. So if I want to try to improve my look, what are some simple things I could do?
Well, one is to ask yourself if your clothes are fitting properly. Maybe they are, I hope they are. Look at the items in your wardrobe that are worth being altered. I maintain that most people’s fashion foibles are really about fit. It’s not the items that they’re choosing, it’s the size hat they’re choosing and most people’s clothes are too big.
Really examine your closet, that’s where we begin with our subjects. What are you wearing all the time? How do you look in these things? What did you buy that you’ve resonated to because you just loved it and it was sort of an emotional experience, but you’re not wearing it? And really try to look at the signs and symbols that appear there in terms of how they understand how you want the public to perceive you.
I’m sure there’s a lot of women who want to work with you, who want to be on this show. How do you decide on the women that you’re gonna work with?
Well, for the purpose of having, ideally, a great show and having a lot of good lessons to send into the audience, we chose the eight women with whom we worked this season based on diversity of background, on whether they’re single or married or a mother, or having to do with what they do at work, having to do with their size and their shape and their age, and having to do with their particular fashion foibles. We wanted a breadth among them so that there would be something for everyone out nthere.
You work with Veronica Webb on the show. What does she bring to the table to compliment your style?
Oh, the fabulous Veronica Webb, she’s incredible. She’s a supermodel, she knows what clothes feel like to wear them. She brings a great deal of experience with fashion from a dimension other than my own, plus she’s a woman and a mother, and she can bring a lot of empathy to issues that we’re dealing with among the subjects with whom we’re working, but I can only pretend to bring. So we compliment each other very nicely.
Yes you do, On the first episode, and I’m sure with a lot of the women, you have to tell them some tough truths about the clothes that they’ve chosen or the styles that they’re wearing. How did you communicate the truth to them without being mean about it?
Well, to say we’re talking about the clothes and not about them. It’s not about you personally, it’s about this thing that you’re wearing. And it doesn’t mean that if it doesn’t look good on you then there’s something wrong with you. This item wasn’t meant to be worn by someone with your particular size, shape or proportions. Someone could be long-waisted or short-waisted and have longer legs or short legs or longer arms and neck fatter in these things. So it’s a matter of what will look really great on you. So we try to mitigate the things that aren’t wonderful about one’s body and accentuate the things that are great.
Do you find yourself getting personally attached to the stories of the women that you work with?
Oh, absolutely. I can’t help myself, but I just do. I care tremendously and I get attached. We work together very closely for a solid week, which isn’t that long a time relatively speaking, but in terms of the intensity with which we’re working it feels like a lot. And I think the only way I can really be successful is to channel with them, get into their psyche and their being and really understand them as well as I can. It’s harder for some than wit others. There’s some resistance among some of them, And it’s wonderful, this is not an intervention, because I can remind them: they called us, it was not the other way around.
Right. Now you’re a very busy man, because a new season of Project Runway is also coming, right?
Yes it is, and it’s an incredible season. It’s the best season yet, as far as I’m concerned.
Tonight is a new episode of Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style, can you tell us a little bit about the woman you’ll be helping?
Oh, this is Jan, who is just a gem and I adore her. Jan spent most of her life weighin more than 300 pounds and she has lost about 160.
So she has an entirely new body that she needs to dress, to understand. And when she was in excess of 300 pounds, fashion wasn’t even in her vocabulary, so the whole fashion arena is new to her, but she is an insatiable student. She is incredible to work with and I just adore her.
Well, we’re really looking forward to seeing it. It’s been an absolute pleasure talking to you Tim, thank you so much.
Thank you Gina, wonderful to talk to you, too.
Have a great day.
– Gina Scarpa, BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Image courtesy of Bravo)