Making It Work (Part Two)
By Bill Keith
Yesterday we posted Out features editor Bill Keith�s interview with Tim Gunn, which ran in the September issue of the magazine. Today we bring you exclusive outtakes from Keith�s chat with Gunn in which the Project Runway mentor and host of the upcoming Tim Gunn�s Guide to Style, which premieres September 6 on Bravo, discusses being a father figure to the show�s contestants and being out at work.
Bill Keith: Do you feel protective? I mean, with the judges?
Tim Gunn: Yes. I want to shout at the judges, �Leave my kids alone� and �Michael Kors, you design that dress in two days!� I get very paternal.
But you can�t really step in, I guess.
You haven�t had any moments out of line, like, Michael Kors is trying to come up with something particularly catty to say and you can�t say anything?
TG: I can�t say anything. I want to, believe me. And there are times when my heart is pounding so hard, and I�m sweating profusely. I mean it�s hot in the room anyway, but it�s because I�m so hot and bothered by what�s being said. I�m also careful to say to the designers, �Look, it�s your decision. This is how I�m responding to this work, but in the end it�s your decision what you do.� And then if, for instance, the dress is shortened, and the judges are critical about it, then I�m thinking, �Oh, God, I should have never opened my mouth about shortening the skirt. Or I disagree with them [and think] �You should have seen it when it was floor length. It was really dowdy and ugly. And looked like it was going to a nursing home and not to a red carpet.� Because they don�t know. They only know what they see. The only thing about the judges I do object to, and it happens infrequently, and it only happens with the guest designers, is when they sit there and tell you what they would have done. But you didn�t do it. Or they say, �Well, I wouldn�t have had blue fabric; I would have used red.� I don�t believe in talking to the designers about things they can�t change. We�ve returned from shopping; they have blue fabric; make it work.
Have you largely lived as an out man professionally?
TG: Yes, but I don�t talk about it. If the topic comes up, I�m quick and comfortable to say yeah. There�s some people in our group who are always saying �Hey, Mary� or �Hey, sister.� You know, you don�t need to do all that. Frankly, that level of stuff makes me squirm and makes me uncomfortable. And it�s just, like, maybe that�s who you are, but I don�t want to be there.
TG: Yeah, yeah. Just being who you are. I can�t take this away nor would I want to because it informs who I am.