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Tim Gunn took a break from his TV hosting/writing/fashion mentoring/general style-god duties to stop by Reddit today to host an AMA (Ask Me Anything). And just when we thought we couldn’t adore the Under the Gunn and Project Runway personality any more, he went and made it work.
Gunn answered questions on everything from his views on Kanye West’s clothing line (not a fan) to his favorite fashion decade (the ’60s!) to his own style shame (two words: Acid. Wash.). Here are 14 of our favorite Gunn-erisms from the chat. Enjoy, then carry on.
On Project Runway’s early days: “Heidi, Nina and I were on Larry King during season 3, and Larry declared, 30 seconds before we were going on air, that he had never seen the show and was it about an airport? …Can you imagine being a host and declaring that to your guests?”
On his best life advice: “No matter how much stress, or strain, or consternation you are facing, take the high road. You will never regret it. However, when the high road gets so high that you get a nosebleed, get off it. My mother could do that to me. She'd say "take the high road, take the high road, take the high road…"
On his "It Gets Better" video: “Life is a big collaboration. And we can't navigate it alone. As much as we may think we want to. And it's so important to reach out to people you trust, and who can give you honest feedback, and keep those people close to you. You don't want to surround yourself with enablers.”
On his favorite fashion decade: “Easy! The 1960s. Think about it: it begins with demure, Mad Men, Kennedy/Camelot, and it ends with hippie-dom, and in between, we have the miniskirt, we have the paper dress, we have the clear vinyl dress, and what can shock after the 1960s? Lady Gaga, you're not even close.”
On where he finds inspiration: “In all honesty, everywhere. Just walking to Reddit, taking the subway, really everything! Looking at people. Whenever people tell me they don't know how to get inspired, I say "What's the matter with you?! I could stay in my apartment and be inspired!"
On the most successful Project Runway designer: “Well, let me say this: Success needs to be measured according to the ambitions and the resources of each designer. And many aren't interested in being a megabrand. However, season four's Christian Siriano has achieved the largest commercial success by far. And do I think he would have done it without the show? Yes, but not as quickly.”
On the most memorable Project Runway look ever: “… For me the most memorable look ever presented goes back to season one, episode one, when Austin Scarlett created a ravishing cocktail dress out of cornhusks. It was really amazing.”
On the last time he ate at Red Lobster: “Actually, it's been YEARS since I ate at a Red Lobster. But it was years after the Andre Red Lobster (Project Runway) episode. And Andre and I tried to go to Red Lobster together, but it was closed and it wasn't open for lunch for some reason. We tried to get a picture taken!"
On office attire: “Well, it depends upon your workplace. And I want to say to anyone who works in a drone workplace, raise the bar! There's no reason why you have to dress to the lowest common denominator.”
On dressing an hourglass figure: “Show it off, belt it, avoid shapeless apparel. Buy clothes that accentuate your own shape. And on the topic of is it a dress or a top, when did the legging become a pant? WHEN? I want to know when it happened. It's vulgar. Plain and simple. It's way too much.”
On today’s biggest fashion faux pas: “BARE MIDRIFFS. Sometimes it's more subtle than a crop top, where it's a top where the bottom of the top does not reach the waistband. If you're older than 16 and you're not at a beach, forget it! It needs to go away.”
On embracing all body types: "The fashion industry at large has been the worst public relations vehicle for larger women and petite women, they are both maligned and neglected. And I honestly do believe it's getting better. I do. And I'm doing all that I can to prod the industry and get them to pay more attention. Because I find it to be reprehensible and repugnant that two populations that are so pervasive in this nation should be so badly neglected.
On Kanye West’s APC collaboration: “The only thing dumber than a plain $300 t-shirt is someone who would buy it. If those are the looks he wanted, he sure has good ones.”
On whether he’s ever been a fashion victim: “Yes, acid wash jeans. Yes. 1980s.”