Candor, thy name is Tim Gunn. Though the Project Runway mentor has a reputation for warmth and a new book out about the virtues of good manners, he’s earned more headlines lately for bashing Taylor Momsen (“pathetic”), Anna Wintour (“insane”), and Real Housewives White House crashers Michaele and Tareq Salahi (“They’re sociopaths”). Now, though, Gunn may have taken his frankness too far.
For the past several weeks, Gunn has been posting episode postmortems to his Facebook page, sharing his unfiltered, uncensored thoughts in ten-minute videos taped all in one single take. The videos have grown saltier week after week, as Gunn shares the behind-the-scenes ineptitude and production disasters that have apparently plagued this season — events viewers never get to see. His frustration came to a head while recapping last week’s challenge, where the designers were challenged to make modern-day sportswear inspired by Jackie Kennedy. Could that be why shortly after the new video was posted to his Facebook page, it suddenly disappeared without a trace?
Then again, this is the Internet — nothing ever really disappears, and the bomb-throwing clip has turned up on Viddler. In it, Gunn complains about the concept of the challenge (a segment producer, he notes, “basically threw up her hands in frustration with me”), and reveals that the original idea was to make a costume for Katie Holmes to wear as Jackie in the History Channel biopic The Kennedys, a notion he had other issues with: “I’m still hot and bothered about it!”
From then on, though, Gunn starts calling out executive producers by name and pulls the curtain on a disorganized production, claiming that throughout the season, producers had little idea what was going on and would even send him to the wrong addresses during taping. The Jackie Kennedy challenge was reconceived so many times on the fly, Gunn claims (at one point, it even became a dancewear design contest), that he actually had to storm the judges’ circle at the end of the episode to intercede on the befuddled designers’ behalf.
Ultimately, Gunn was pleased with the choice of contestant Mondo Guerra as the winner, but it couldn’t alleviate the production snafus: “Judges, for that decision I salute you. But for everything else, get your own straitjacket. Truly.” They might deserve a straitjacket, but let’s hope the brutally honest Gunn doesn’t get the hook.
UPDATE: Says Vulture commenter “fashionablegeek”: “I was at Tim’s book signing last night and asked him about this. He said that he made the decision to take it down and stressed that it was solely his decision, because apparently some feelings were hurt by it and that had not been his intention. He was grateful for the opportunity to clear that up.”