The (Style) World According to Gunn!

The Style-Guru himself and Project Runway star-maker, Tim Gunn, graced our presence (he is such a polished, dapper gentleman, isn’t he?!) this Saturday at the Houston Galleria. He was in town as part of a roadshow that Liz Claiborne put together taking him to markets to share his style philosophies with the throngs of fans eager to hear his spoken word. He also loves being out and chatting with the real people of the world.

Meeting and chatting with him was great fun for me as a former retailer and we shared many stories but the greatest part of the day was to see him in action on the runway with the models wearing styles from Liz Claiborne’s (3) companies, Lucky Jeans, Kate Spade and Juicy Couture. His comments were honest and direct on everything from exactly how something should be worn and accessorized to the value of Spanx. He even conducted a spontaneous and candid survey of just what the crowd was thinking of Project Runway’s coastal dilemma (NYC vs. LA?!) and sharing his thoughts on the current state of Project Runway (it’s got to change, feels Gunn….it’s just too predictable after 7 seasons!)
Following is a brief Q & A with the famous Man of Style, Sat., March 27, 2010……..it was great fun!

As a former retailer I am very interested in your role at Liz Claiborne. So much of your time has been spent in finding new talent, how will you help an established Designer/Brand reinvent themselves?
*I will certainly help them find design talent when they need it. I go out on the road and talk to real people & bring back very valuable feedback to the design and merchandising staffs.
I give them neutrality and am their biggest cheerleader!

As someone who seeks out and nurtures new talent, who do you see as the “Bright Stars” in the up & coming crop of New Designers?
*I’m crazy about and very proud of Proenza Schouler as they are Graduates of the first re-vamped Parsons: The New School of Design that I created in 2002. I love Vena Cava also, another duo. I’m a big believer in collaboration, don’t they say that 1+1=10?!

Lots of questions each season about Seasonal Trends and how to incorporate into your wardrobe? Your thoughts?
*The #1 thing you can do is embrace the color pallette of the season. Know what colors are and most importantly what colors are right for you. Remember, color can be dicey. If you are dark complected you can wear just about any colors, if you are fair, maybe not so
much, can be tricky.

Most of my readers are smart, confident women who know their own style. American women of today are shopping differently, less brand driven and take great pride in “owning up to” their own INDIVIDUAL STYLE. How did we get to this?
*I think because it used to be only (3) important designers for most American women…….Ralph, Calvin and Donna. American fashion was very narrowly defined as classic sportswear in the 80′s. By the end of the 90′s and into 2000 there began a movement encouraging designers to step up and broaden their scope. That is when creativity came forward for everyone and I believe the American woman will not go back, ever!!!

Closing question…..we both love nurturing young talent in the fashion world…..design and fashion careers. What would be your best advice to young students desiring a career in fashion today?
*They have to LOVE the industry with true passion. They have to believe they cannot live without it in their lives! That’s what it
takes, you know what a tough business this is?!

I do, Mr. Gunn!

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