Posts Tagged ‘tim gunn’
Tim Gunn was waiting for me in the green room at the Mall of America when I arrived this evening, a half hour before he was scheduled to appear in the MOA Rotunda where more than 200 fashion followers waited to meet him. I reminded him we’d had a lovely and lengthy phone conversation before his last visit to the Twin Cities and he immediately grabbed my hand and exclaimed “I remember!” Now, I’m not sure it was the most polite response but I couldn’t help it: “Yeah, right,” I chided. “No, I do,” he insisted. “Minneapolis is near and dear to my heart. My agent is from here and I think it’s just a wonderful city.” Charmed, of course. It’s impossible to emphasize enough how utterly likable Tim Gunn truly is. Talking to him is like visiting with your favorite college professor, which is exactly what he is. He speaks thoughtfully, he listens intently and he is incredibly humble – seeming almost embarrassed when I reminded him, “You’re Tim Gunn!” And because of that, he did not get to shop the MOA on this his very first visit. But he did get a K-9 division escort to the stage. Read my interview with Gunn – including the repercussions of his dishy new book “Gunn’s Golden Rules,” in the St. Paul Pioneer Press on Sunday, Sept. 19.
At a "Project Runway" season premiere party Thursday at the St. Paul Hotel, Mayor Chris Coleman called St. Paul "Center of the fashion universe tonight." That was a stretch (as was his claim that he resembles Tim Gunn), but St. Paul was the center of "Project Runway" news: Shakopee designer Christopher Straub (left) won the first challenge and former Minneapolis resident Ra'Mon-Lawrence Coleman unveiled the collection he called "A Cool Summer's Breeze" (above) and revealed that he will show it, on his own, during New York Fashion Week next month. While "Project Runway" was held up by a legal dispute between Bravo and Lifetime, design careers apparently moved forward. Coleman presented a collection of refined resort wear for women and men with safari influences. Surprisingly reserved, perhaps, for a confident designer with a major Mohawk, but Coleman has worked for both Target and Kohl's. He knows what sells. Straub, meanwhile, showed his new handbags: fancy clutches and satchels with loads of embellishment. Check them both out online: Christopher Straub and Ra'mon-Lawrence Coleman. They gave out each other's URLs on stage before the show. "We are not afraid of shameless plugs," said Coleman, who slipped in minutes before the show started. Straub, with his mom, aunt, brother and supportive partner (an engineer, whom he dresses) was one of the first to arrive, happily working the room for more than an hour. Read more about the premiere party and the contestants' reaction to the show in the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Picture Tim Gunn, the epitome of elegance, in low cut boxer briefs with "Top Gunn" emblazoned on the crotch. "I was going to make him a custom pair, but no gifting is allowed," says "Project Runway" Season 6 designer Christopher Straub of Shakopee, Minn., best known for his Cricket Syndicate underwear (pictured, and sold at Design Collective). Still, at his tryout, Gunn and Season 2 designer-turned-fashion analyst Nick Verreos "loved the underwear," Straub says. I talked to Straub and fellow cast member Ra'mon-Lawrence Coleman today – their first basking in the glow of the upcoming season of reality favorite "Project Runway." Straub said he's received more voicemails and emails today than in the last year. Coleman, who launched his solo career in Minneapolis before relocating to Milwaukee, created a fan page on Facebook and started a Twitter account (this evening's post: "kind of freaking out!!!!! Just when you think you are ready for the storm you realize you aren't.") As a couple of the only Midwesterners on the show, the designers said they formed an instant bond. Both were warm, fun and incredibly gracious. My gut says Coleman is in for the longer run – not only is he the more accomplished of the two (he's currently collaborating on the Lauren Conrad line for Kohl's), he's got a flair for the dramatic. "You just have to let passion drive you without any resistance," he told me today.
For more on the designers, the upcoming season of "Project Runway" and what the attention could mean for Minneapolis fashion design, read the Pioneer Press.
So close. I spoke to style guru Tim Gunn today – the day before the finale of "Project Runway" Season 4, but couldn’t get him to so much as hint at the winner. He did say that he’s thrilled with the outcome. Really, it sounds like any outcome would have pleased him – Gunn says all of this season’s designers were talented enough to win and he’s expecting big things (bigger than we’ve seen from past vets so far) from many. Gunn said he’d jump at the opportunity to do a fifth season, which has yet to be announced, but seems inevitable given the show’s continued popularity. As for his other Bravo show, "Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style," Gunn didn’t sound certain there would be a Season 2. Ever the diplomat, Gunn did admit the underwear drawer surprise scene in each episode "bothered me to no end." He’d like to see more education and fewer gimmicks…that is, if there’s anything to see at all. Sounds like a decision has been made, it’s just a matter of when Bravo announces it.
I’ll have much more from Tim Gunn on "Project Runway," Isaac Mizrahi, his new job with Liz Claiborne, the trouble with petites and plus sizes and his own wardrobe in the St. Paul Pioneer Press on March 23. That’s in advance of Gunn’s March 26 appearance at Herberger’s Rosedale Center.
Clear a spot in your viewing schedule ("Private Practice" is lame-o anyway) – Project Runway returns for a fourth season on Nov. 14. I’ve seen the first episode (perk of the job). The names are new, but the characters are starting to blend together – the plump and capable funny guy, the effeminate weirdo, the antisocial girl, the arrogant butch guy. Heidi Klum looks ridiculously good. Tim Gunn needs some new lines if he has even the remotest hope of escaping the caricature he’s become. Michael Kors and Nina Garcia are back for more (as if they’d give up the spotlight?). Even so, the show remains totally watchable and one of the best reality series on TV, whether or not you’re obsessed with fashion. Monique Lhuillier is the first guest judge and I’d tell you who is first to be booted, but Bravo would undoubtedly hunt me down and have me permanently muzzled. Wonder if they’d use cotton or silk?