My plan was to stalk Tim Gunn. Oh, and check out the Baltimore Book Festival.
Due to some crazy traffic, I was a smidge late. And then I had to find the map (which is located in the middle of the festival, mmkay). But I made it and did not seem to have missed much. The tent was full to overflowing, but I managed to find a space behind that sound guy where I could see Tim pretty well, considering.
Tim talked about the book process and how he struggled with finding the angle. He spoke with Diane von Furstenberg who advised him that his voice as an educator was so much a part of him, he should hang on to that and that inspired him to approach it in more of a how-to fashion.
Gunn talked about the struggle to find time to write. He tried writing during the day, but his day job interfered. He tried writing early in the morning, but that didn't work. He took a sabbatical and tried writing from home. He said at the end of that period his windows gleamed and there was nary a speck of dust, but the book - not so much.
So, then the publishers kidnapped Gunn and trapped him in their offices, sequestering him until he had a book. It was in the midst of this that Gunn had a meeting with the Bravo folks who wanted to do a show that was more about him, and so he went to the meeting and mentioned that he was so grateful to be out and about, and the Bravo people found out about the book and thought that was a great idea for the show, and there we are.
Gunn had been unable to see the most recent episode of "Guide to Style" since the hotel he was in did not have Bravo. (I feel his pain.)
Gunn spoke of being on an "Oprah" episode where he was assisting in a "get better" process for twenty women. He said he arrived at the store to discover a stylist had preselected outfits for the women, but the women didn't feel the outfits reflected them. With the permission of the producers, Gunn took each of them out into the store and helped them find an outfit they liked. They ran into a bit of a snag since one of the women was a horse trainer so did not have a lot of need in her life for dresses. Gunn helped her find a great pair of jeans, instead.
Gunn also said that "Project Runway" season four would be fabulous. He mentioned that he says that every season, but said that the quality of designers who audition each year increases. Gunn talked about how for shows such as "American Idol" it was a little easier to just step off the stage and go; whereas for a designer it took a little more to get going.
He gave up a smidgen of scoop about the upcoming season to say that one designer had a little meltdown and when confronted confessed that they had assumed that the editing made the challenges appear shorter and more compressed than they really were.
Gunn also mentioned that viewers may wonder about the judges. He said there was one challenge where one designer's outfit was so bad that Gunn was musing to himself that it was a shame for the viewers at home, since there would be no tension in the outcome. The designer in question had, in fact, packed up in preparation for being aufed. And then, the designer won!
In response to a question, Gunn spoke of some of the past contestants. Most of it has been floating about, but he did mention that Andrae has been teaching at FIDM, which I hadn't heard.
Overall he was just as lovely and charming as he appears on television. The tent was packed and they actually ran out of books for the signing.