Talking with Tim Gunn at Macy's

Tim Gunn at Macy's

"Make it work!"

Well, we did it. After a week of agonizing over our respective wardrobes, we finally selected our outfits and set out for the "good" Macy's to meet fashion guru Tim Gunn.

The first thing you need to know is that, seriously, this guy is just as nice in person as he is on TV. In fact, he may be the nicest celeb we've ever met (because, you know, there have been so many). Tim was in town for a Liz Clairborne fashion show at Macy's (he's now chief creative officer for Liz Claiborne) and he set aside a few minutes to answer some of our questions -- and some of yours. Here's how it went...

Albany isn't exactly the fashion capital of the world. It seems like sometimes by the time hot trends arrive here, they're not hot trends anymore. How do you live in a place like Albany and stay fashion forward?

I'm not a hot trend person. I'm much more about how do you navigate the world in such a way that you really portray who you are and how do you do that in a way that gives you great confidence. I really believe everyone's style is different and everyone's fashion core has different DNA. I'm not a fashion Svengali -- I'm a fashion therapist. I need to know who are you, what do you do, with whom do you interact and how do you want the world to percieve you. And that's really what everyone needs to get right or embrace as well as they can and just be that person. When you find things that you really look great in and feel confident in, just keep doing it. And fortunately in today's fashion world, it's so incredibly diverse, there is something out there for everyone.


So if you want to incorporate some trends are there good places or ways to go about finding that in a place that's more middle America?

Well I mean right here at Macy's. This is a great resource. There's tons of fashion out there on the floor. What people need to do is not only respond to whatever they see on the floor, they've got to try it on. They have to. Because it doesn't matter what kind of hanger appeal the item has or perhaps doesnt have, it's only appropriate for you if it looks good on you. It's really about how does it work on you. I don't believe in isolating the items from the individual.


A few folks posted questions for you. Mary asked: What's the most you would pay for a suit and where you would buy it?

I don't believe in going too cheap because then the immediate effect is the textile and there's nothing you can do when you have a poor textile. So you just need to resign yourself to the item not lasting very long. And I'm one who wants an item to last several years, at least.

I will be wearing Clairborne when John Bartlett's designs hit the spring '09 line. I wear a lot of Banana Republic, so jackets are $350 and pants are $200. I wear Hugo Boss, it's a little pricier.

But when I see these suits like the Tom Ford line -- I mean six thousand dollars for a suit -- I'm not gonna do that . I don't see it being necessary. At least for me. And while I care about how I look, I don't see myself as being a dandy. I'm not that kind of fashion person. I'm a little quieter. And I don't believe even if i were a millionaire that I would be spending that kind of money on clothes. I don't think it's necessary.

Do I think theres a difference between a 65 dollar shirt and a 150 dollar shirt? Sure there's a big difference. Do I think it's worth the investment? I think if you have the money, it's worth it. But in a suit? I think the difference between a 1,500 dollar suit and a six thousand dollar suit -- I won't say it's negligible -- I just don't know that it's necessary. The six thousand dollar suit is going to be entirely hand made. Do I really care about that? No. So you're really paying for that labor. Run it through the sewing machine and charge me one third as much -- it's fine with me.


Joey asked: Why is Project Runway moving to Lifetime and what do you think about it?

Project Runway is owned by The Weinstein Company and their contract with Bravo is up after season five. Now, we haven't even taped season five, so season five will air on Bravo. They were basically taking the show to the highest bidder and they were also looking for a greater audience opportunity. And I will say that Lifetime provides that.

In terms of taping the show, to be honest, it doesn't make any difference to us. We're doing a show. Where it airs is a whole other matter. I'm not saying it isn't important to the show. It is in terms of marketing and exposure and just plain support. But we certainly received that from Bravo and will continue to through season five.

I will say for me it's rather more complicated because my own show "Guide to Style" will stay on Bravo so I'm feeling a bit like a bigamist. And i'm very, very loyal to Bravo. I will say that the Lifetime people have been absolutely phenomenal and I trust it's going to be a great home for the show.

_______________

So, that's how it went. Oh, and all that fretting over our wardrobes? It was worth the effort. Tim said we didn't need any fashion help. At all.

Did we mention he was a nice guy?

Comments

So jealous, Mary! I'm enjoying AOA every day.

I am embarrassed to admit that I did not have a clue who the gentleman was. Thanks for enlightening me. I now will be watching "Project Runway" when it arrives on Lifetime. Mr. Gunn's outlook on fashion is so down to earth - everyone should adopt that perspective. I would enjoy meeting Mr. Gunn. Maybe there's hope for some of us Midwesterners. Keep up the good work AOA.

I was at this event too, and I just have to... remember the lad ythat asked the last question/ about the slobification of america and how to go about telling peopel that they don't dress nicely? she was wearing hot pink velour pants. with heels. yeah. god, I love albany sometimes.

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