As a fan ever since the fashion-forward reality show began in 2004, I am looking forward to Season 17 of “Project Runway” as it returns to its original cable TV home, Bravo, when it premieres at 8 p.m. ET/PT on March 14. Season 4 winner Christian Siriano will likely be a dandy mentor and the new host, model Karlie Kloss, packs 20-something youth appeal and is even more statuesque than her 5-foot-9 predecessor, Heidi Klum, at a towering 6-foot-2.
Elle editor-in–chief Nina Garcia and her withering stare is back as a judge and is joined by designer Brandon Maxwell, who created Lady Gaga’s black satin ball gown that she wore at the Oscars, and Elaine Welteroth, the former editor of Teen Vogue.
All this change is good and fine, and Christian is probably the “Project Runway” champ who has made one of the bigger splashes in the fashion industry, especially when it comes to bold-named celebrity clients.
But, boy, will I really miss Tim Gunn‘s wit, wisdom and warmth in the workroom. Also those impeccably natty suits.
I know Gunn, the former chair of fashion design at Parson’s, and Heidi are cooking up an Amazon Prime Video competitive fashion series in the near future. So he will be around. One cool addition will be a “shoppable experience” for those at home who tune in.
No doubt many others will miss the presence of this memorable “make-it-work” guru with his candid yet avuncular advice. But in the words of the man himself, we will find a way to carry on in the meantime.
Besides, we will always have memories of Gunn’s time in the work room and his way of summing up just what was divinely perfect and determinedly awful in an outfit. Find examples in the video above of some of his greatest hits. As for below, I doubt I am the only one who spasmodically laughed over Season 2’s third-place finisher, Santino Rice, when he did his Tim impressions. Check out Rice’s spot-on aping of Gunn’s voice (“What happened to Andrae?”) and the plummy way he expresses himself in the video below.
Let’s also pay homage to the gentlemanly Tao of Gunn, derived from his quotes over the years:
“Frankly, from my perspective, the bomber jacket is such a classic item you can wear it even when it’s not on trend.”
“Exude unconditional confidence.”
“Does a man need to know what a peplum is? Probably not. “
“But if fashion were easy, wouldn’t everybody look great?”
“Everyone has a best feature, so find clothes and accessories to accentuate those, whether it’s your shoulders or your long legs.”
“I do things like hem a pair of panst, I do my own tailoring, but I wouldn’t attempt a jacket.”
“You can be too rich and too thin, but you can never be too well-read or too curious about the world.”
“The explosion of athletic wear and rompers is very ironic when you think about how much more sedentary we’ve become. As we’ve become less active and higher-tech, we’re wearing more and more workout clothes.”
“I can’t imagine a more aesthetically offense item of footwear than Crocs. That little strap! I shudder. I know Crocs are affordable. Well. so are Converse and lots of other brands that don’t look like hooves.”
We will leave it at that.