Photo: Virginia Sherwood
The fashion, the models, the celebrities, the tents—it can only be New York fashion week. Gunn, a fashion authority and beloved mentor on Project Runway, will be surrounded by it all this September.
But for women everywhere, there is a bigger question than what the "it" color for spring will be or what trend will become the new must-have look. The real question is: Will any of it fit me?
Charming, witty and impeccably well-mannered, Gunn recognizes this. He isn't the typical fashion figure—he's not afraid to declare that fashion should be for every figure.
"We are on the cusp of fashion week, and on the one hand I love it and the whole exhilaration of it," Gunn says. "On the other hand, those women walking the runway are not from this planet. Many of them haven't even left puberty. So how can someone in the audience look at these women and think, 'Oh, I'd look great in that?'"
Project Runway attempted to take on the real woman's figure in the past, and it's still a sore subject for Gunn. As a former teacher at Parsons The New School for Design and the current chief creative officer for Liz Claiborne, Gunn's opinion is highly regarded by the up-and-coming designers on Project Runway. However, he says he doesn't have a say in everything that happens on the show.
On the "Mom Challenge" in Season 3, the designers were paired with the mother or sister of a fellow designer and told to design an outfit for her. "The whole point was to address a body that wasn't a size 2," Gunn says. "So who wins the challenge? Vincent Libretti wins with Uli Herzner's mother, who is the size and shape of a fashion model. I was beside myself with fury."