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Q&A with Tim Gunn

Liz Claiborne Inc. and Project Runway’s Tim Gunn chats with the Current about the “Lucky You Runway Contest,”

Photo: N/A, License: N/A

I heard you recently say that Project Runway is fur free. Is that across-the-board true?
Yes, we've always been fur free.

That’s excellent. I was really impressed with your speech for the It Gets Better campaign. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone take it to such a personal level.
Thank you.

I think it really shows a side of you that was just thrilling to see.
Well, thank you very much. And I was very proud to do it.

Can you tell me anything else about the Trevor Project?
I do all that I can to support the Trevor Project. It's an incredibly important organization. And I will be very happy when the Trevor Project has absolutely no work to do.

Doing online research on you, I came across some funny things. I’m curious if you’ve seen “Tim Gunn is the Last Man on Earth,” or What Happened to Andrae? The Movie!
No I haven’t [laughs]. I’m the last man on earth?
It’s a young guy doing an impersonation of you and he’s looking for the designers and time is passing and it turns into a search for the designers out in the woods. And the other one is like a mashup. Do you stay in touch with Andrae or any of the other designers?
I've actually been actively helping Andrae find a design position. We email all the time.

On Project Runway, I feel like there are more and more self-taught designers. Do you think they have any sort of advantage by not having these rules set in their head?
To be honest with you, I am not in favor of self-taught designers being on the show. I think it's a handicap for a number of reasons. They don't know the rules, and while I certainly think rules should be broken, I don’t know whether you’re watching this season…

Yes, religiously.
Well, Fallene is the designer who didn't understand what a grainline is. I mean that's just basic and fundamental to putting a garment together, you've got to match the grain or you end up with a big hot mess. So I would never dream of having to talk to designers about grainlines, that's something you talk to freshman about. So I was really shocked and disturbed by it to be perfectly honest. I thought she was out of her element. I mean in some ways this was an unusual casting process this season. It was the first season I did not do the auditions and I always do them. But the dates were declared so late and my Liz Claiborne spring schedule was already conflicting. … So I just couldn’t accommodate these dates. The idea of bringing 20 designers to New York and having Heidi, and Nina, Michael and me all weighing in on which 16 it should be ― we've never done that before.

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