behind the scenes

Tim Gunn Just As Confused About Project Runway As We Are

For the past seven seasons or so, it’s been our distinct guilty pleasure to head to the tents at 9 a.m. on the final Friday of Fashion Week to watch the Project Runway show. Usually, by showtime we’ve dissected every episode. We’ve picked our favorite. We know what details to look for in order to discern which designers are showing as decoys. But when we got the invite for this year’s Project Runway Bryant Park show, we were perplexed. Due to the legal battle between the Weinstein Company and Bravo over who owns the rights to Runway, this season hasn’t aired. So the show on Friday is just going to be a bunch of unknown designers. We might as well go to a GenART show. How’s this going to work? Jada Yuan ran into Tim Gunn backstage at Heart Truth Red Dress yesterday and got some answers.

How is this show going to work?
You’ll see the whole construct of it, but needless to say, the designers whose collections are presented will not be presenting their collections THEMSELVES, because then everyone would know who they are.

So you’ll see collections from extremely talented people, but you won’t be able to place the designer with the collection.

So it’s just going to be a bunch of clothes?
Yeah. But not unlike any fashion show, except that you know it’s Diane Von Furstenberg or Carmen Marc Valvo. In this case, you’ll see the number of collections we present, but you won’t know whose is whose.

Will you have decoy collections?
It remains to be seen. The most we’ve ever done is five or six.

So it seems like no one will be able to go backstage, because then they’d see the designers, correct?
Let me put it this way: We could put all the designers in front of you in a room. You wouldn’t know who they are.

I kind of thought last year’s quality was disappointing.
I wouldn’t disagree. This year is really good. And Los Angeles was a great, great city for us to embrace. I was dubious going out there, but I was reminded that until World War II, New York wasn’t a fashion capital. It wasn’t until all the couture houses in Paris closed that New York ascended. For the first half of the last century, it was all about Hollywood. Los Angeles is home of the red carpet and Hollywood, so there was a lot to keep us busy and a lot of inspiration.

How are you going to get people excited for this odd show where no one knows who anyone is?
I don’t know! I’m not sure anyone WILL be excited!

Any idea when the season will air?
No clue. I’m confident it will air. But we don’t know when. Or where.

Tim Gunn Just As Confused About Project Runway As We Are