Ten minutes with Tim Gunn

Two nights ago I was stressing out in one of the best ways possible – I was standing in front of my closet trying to decide what I’d wear to interview Tim Gunn. At that point it still hadn’t completely sunken in that in less than 24 hours I’d be seated next to him firing away some carefully selected questions for only a ten minute time slot. That’s a lot pressure, but I was up for the challenge.

Last night at 5pm dressed in a LOFT watercolor portrait graphic tee, LOFT chunky tweed mini, LOFT faux fur knit vest and my favorite heels (let’s call them my power heels), I gave those ten minutes my all. I spent my first questions asking him  about generation y, then asked a question that relates to a previous post (intellectual property law for fashion and his thoughts) and learned that he has actually been to Capitol Hill working with a lobbyist on the issue and wants the US to have a law that acts “like a shield, not a sword” against design plagiarism (noting that we’re the only country that doesn’t protect our designers in this manner), and then I finally asked him for any words of wisdom regarding my future internship at Conde Nast. During the interview he confided that he should have done some homework reading up on gen-y to prepare for my interview – I don’t think I’ve ever been prouder of my interview skills!

(Pssst.) Prior to the event tonight I did an e-mail interview with Mr. Gunn, the answers to which can be found at the Star-Telegram online.

I tried really hard to keep my cool, and I’m pretty sure I didn’t start smiling really big until after I left the backstage area, but then again after the interview I couldn’t have told you what he was wearing (a lightweight suit – possibly wool, a purple gingham shirt and a purple/gold/orange striped tie). I can tell you he has blue eyes and maintains fantastic eye contact. He was so easy to talk to, I didn’t feel like he was this larger-than-life person I had dreamed up. He was calm and shot some of my questions right back at me! Even if he wasn’t Tim Gunn, it would probably still be one of the best interviews I’ve ever had because of the discussion I was able to generate between the two of us.

After the interview there was, you know, the actual event: Liz Claiborne fashion show showcasing the Liz Claiborne line, now exclusively available at JC Penney. Because I’m a rock star I had a reserved seat on the front row (sitting front row at a fashion show is definitely on my bucket list, but I don’t know if this really qualifies). After reading through my scribbles of notes, here are some of Mr. Gunn’s key iterations from this event:

– an item should never serve only one purpose in your wardrobe (exception: a bridal gown), always think of how an item works multiple ways
– always think about being “on trend, without being trendy”
– always try to enhance natural proportions and always, always, always elongate (the biggest example of this at the show was black opaque tights paired with the same color pumps)
– think about the body in thirds: shoulders to hips, hips to knees, knees to feet and dress in thirds – never cut your body in half
– purple (my fav color!!!) is popular for fall – even on guys – as is grey
– personalize your look, don’t try to be someone else if it’s not true to who you are
– mix patterns! – as long as both patterns aren’t to the same scale. Mr. Gunn had paired stripes with plaid, stripes with argyle
– jackets that hit at the widest part of the hip are most flattering
– I thought it was funny that halfway through they mentioned the fluctuating Texas weather as a packing challenge for the trip! haha
– an untucked shirt (on a male, but the same probably goes for a female) is a disaster! but add a sweater vest and you’re good to go
– cap sleeves help to mitigate larger hips

Truth? We all probably knew about most of these, only one or two were shockers. The real treat was seeing the styles walking down the runway. I was pretty impressed with the offerings. I must also add that I was even more impressed with the model selections – every size, shape, age and body type was well-represented. Here are some pics.

And just for fun, here’s another with me and Tim. I can pretty honestly say that this was the best night of my life. 🙂


1 Comment

Filed under Retail

One response to “Ten minutes with Tim Gunn

  1. Ron Schmitz

    Nice job. I was wondering if the models were local, or travel with Mr. Gunn for his shows?

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