Gunn attending the 81st Academy Awards
|Born||Timothy MacKenzie Gunn
(1953-07-29) July 29, 1953
Washington, D.C., U.S.
|Residence||Manhattan, New York City|
|Education||BFA, Sculpture; BA English Literature|
|Alma mater||Corcoran College of Art and Design, Yale University|
|Occupation||Fashion consultant, television personality, chief creative officer at Liz Claiborne, Inc., actor, author|
|Home town||Washington, D.C., U.S. (raised),
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Board member of||Liz Claiborne, Inc.|
With fashion, you really need to understand the aspects of construction. Not just design on an iPad.
I learned early on in teaching how easy it is to hurt a young person and that’s never my intention.
I’m honest about expressing my opinions. At the same time, I’m diplomatic in how I do critique things if I have a negative response.
Fashion was in a crisis up until the mid-’90s and, when it came out of the crisis, it was a very different place. It was a place that nurtured and cultivated young entrepreneurial designers.
I found early on in teaching, if you’re too blunt an instrument, the students discredit you and think you’re just being mean. They’re not interested in what you have to say.
In a manner of speaking. I certainly never want to lose my voice as an educator.
Whoever’s designing for plus-size doesn’t get it. The entire garment needs to be reconceived. You can’t just take a size 8 and make it larger.
I do things like hem a pair of pants, I do my own tailoring but I wouldn’t attempt a jacket.
People put on certain clothes for certain reasons, I assume, when their closet is filled with clothes.
I wouldn’t know what to do on a date. I don’t have the time. To make a relationship work, I’d have to give something up, and I’m not so sure I’m willing to do that.
I’ve never mentioned this, but when I was at Parsons teaching, the other design disciplines, they don’t like fashion design. They see it as very nineteenth-century.
But my manners also came from when I was in college and began participating in critiques. You have to speak with someone respectfully about their work and be honest and open, without hurting them.
But I will add, there’s one thing I will not do, ever: I will never talk to you about things you cannot change. It plants a negativity in the head of a designer or the student, and it’s a distraction.
Part of what was in the ether all around me growing up, until I was between 19 and 20, was a terrible, debilitating stutter. It was part of what made me very reclusive as a kid.
But if I had to choose a single destination where I’d be held captive for the rest of my time in New York, I’d choose the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
I have my flaws and my issues, past and present and who knows what will happen in the future. I want people to know I’m vulnerable too and each one of us is.
I have to have my coffee. I probably have three cups a day, but only before noon.
Life is not a solo act. It’s a huge collaboration, and we all need to assemble around us the people who care about us and support us in times of strife.
I learned quickly that if the student’s perception is that you’re not listening to them, and not understanding them, they discredit you.
On my first day teaching my own classroom, I threw up before I entered the building.
There’s nothing I like better than going to my apartment, closing the door, cooking my little dinner for one and just tuning out. My apartment really is my haven. It’s a nest where I go to heal.
I have my mantra about silhouette, proportion, and fit. I believe that when they are in harmony and balance, you’ll look great in anything.
If you told me when I was a teen that I would end up being a teacher, I would have said you’re out of your mind, because quite frankly I hated school.
Everyone has a best feature, so find clothes and accessories to accentuate those, whether it’s your shoulders or your long legs!
If you want to write an angry e-mail, write it but don’t send it. It’s based on my experience that whenever I have acted out in some manner, I have always regretted it.
Take the high road. No matter how much strife, and consternation, frustration and anger you might be confronted with – don’t go to that level.
I always say I have a Socratic approach to most things that I do. I pummel people with questions, because I need to know what they’re thinking, what they’re trying to achieve, what they believe the final outcome is going to be.