Monday, April 23, 2012

Tim Talk! The Epic Meet Up

What a day, what a glorious day!  Just popping in to report how fabulous the Lucky Brand event on Saturday with Tim was, so much like I imagined, and in many ways better!

At the check in table, one of the two ladies in LBDs* commented on how much she liked my necklace (not Lucky Brand, so did not have to say that!  Yes! I must be on the right track dressing for Tim and accessorizing my new blouse, woo hoo!)    Have to say I was a bit surprised how many attending the show seemed to *not* have put much thought into their outfit that day and wearing all sorts of what Tim has communicated clearly many times in the past as huge fashion no nos, but,  it is Austin, which is a pretty casual and eclectic town.  Had a great seat for watching the show, being close to Tim AND being near where the line started.  (Unfortunately lots of people queued up into the line before the show was over so I ended up with along wait anyway, but oh well, the hour went quickly, as you will soon read.) 

When I heard there would also be a Q & A session (and food, this is a party!) , I was super excited to have more time to talk to him, because I always get picked for any Q &A (one of the few I suppose who is curious enough to have lots of questions, and assertive enough to stick my hand in the air .01 second after they open the floor for questions!)

I really enjoyed the fashion show itself, and spied all sorts of cute tops I'd tried on just days before. It was so fun hearing Tim's thoughts on each ensemble since we never get to see him comment on the garments as they walk on PR shows.  I loved seeing him get up and actually restyle the models to better suit their proportions!  

Here is the video of the entire show and Q &A on YouTube, just under an hour long, watch and it'll be like you were right there with me, or just skip to the good stuff! (I TRIED to add it below but was just too big and taking forever to upload, don't think it was going to work. It is taking a long time to load there as well, so check that link in an hours for it, I couldn't wait to post!) For quick reference, Tim starts 4 minutes in, Q  & A  starts 30 minutes in, and MY question (the second one, not to be missed!) is at 34:10: this answer is the “juiciest” of all, with some brutally honest opinions and relaying a behind the scenes story to support it (go ahead watch, it’s just a couple minutes) UPDATE: The video was removed for being too long, never fear, I will cut it up into parts and upload ASAP!   One woman in a row in front of me stood after that and up said she was an artist and had a gift for him, which was a hand painted gourd vase, and he was just blown away by her gift and asked if it had her contact info inside.  (Tim actually has a Bachelor Fine of Arts degree and was a sculptor before he began working as an educator for Parsons.)  We just may see it on his desk in a future episode on Project Runway! You know, it really did look very "Manhattan"!  I tried not to feel too ”scooped” by her offering (as it made more sense I give my book one on one.)  ;)

 There were some other good questions and Tim skimmed over none of them, instead taking lots of time to thoughtfully and thoroughly answer each.  (One boy who got ask one, age 13 I'm guessing, wore a short sleeved plaid shirt and bow tie, a mini Tim-in-training!  You could Tell Tim loved it!) He also mentioned the show Revolution he'll be hosting,  a daytime program I hadn't heard of before, so that is one more way I can get my "Tim fix" until the next Project Runway season, really  missed him in PR All Stars!  I might be watching a few of those episodes of that online today while I work!

When one of the workers brought the microphone to me, my heart was pounding as the first person asked their question and he answered, so I had to steady myself and arrange the mike lady to keep filming during mine. (If you watch, you can hear her say after I ask, "That was a GREAT question!" Yes, it sure was!) Getting the nerves over with waiting to ask my question publicly really helped me not to get all anxious before meeting him personally, I was so happy for that!  What a major disappointment if I got starstruck (which I have been known to do a few times with some very random celebrities I would never have guessed I'd get that way about!) and then couldn't speak, glad I didn't blow it!

After the show we got in line, and I had to wait about an hour.  It went quickly, however, with all the excitement in the air, and I read my copy of Gunn's Golden Rules: Life's Little Lessons for Making it Work (very good!) while waiting, sipping cucumber water the waiters were bringing on trays (how thoughtful!).  There was a checkpoint where you got a wristband for the VIP area access after and designated if you were over 21.  The man was answering someone's question about how many malls they've stopped at so far since he goes to every event with Tim.  So I said, "I bet you love working for Tim!' and he lit up and said, "Oh, my, yes!  He makes all the travel and hard work worth it!" Confirming my belief that Tim is NO diva. :)    Then, they had a station for getting your makeup touched up before getting the photo done. Nice to know I wouldn't be super shiny!  Almost to the front now!

I admit, there was a worry in the back of my mind that there was 5% chance one of the security people might pull me aside and frisk and "wand me" for trying to give him something! (just in case the book was, in fact, not a book, but a bomb)  Thankfully, no frisking OR wanding!  When my turn came, here's how it went down.  (Wish I had video of this, but was grateful to have his assistant hold my purse and take more pics with my phone)

T:  YOU were the one who asked the question!  (He remembered me, ahhh!)
M:  Yes, hi, Tim!  I am so thrilled to meet you and I actually brought you a gift, too: my first book, which came out in January...
T:  YOUR book? How wonderful!   Let me see… (that's what he's saying in the photo)
(and after I explained a little about it and what I do, blah blah...)
T:  Oh, congratulations!  Thank you so much, Melanie! I will enjoy this! (He initiates a big ((HUG))!
M:  And I just want you to know how much watching you mentor others the past several years has helped me with my design work, I feel as if you are right there encouraging me and helping when I work and write.
T:  Well...! (blush)  I so appreciate you saying that, that means so much to me!" Leaning in for ((((HUG #2))))  Brief pause as we pose and take a photo.
T: (turning to me again) "Writing a book IS a daunting task, isn’t it?"   (Hear that?  We so "get" each other!  And have SO much in common! Practically leading parallel lives!) Hee! ;)
M: Yes!  But then you finish and you feel so good!
T: YES!  (He laughs, and we both turn and smile for second photo.)
 T (shaking my hand): Such a pleasure to meet you and get your book. I will look forward to your next one! (Omgosh, did I hear that correctly, Tim will be looking for me!)
M:  Tim,  (putting my hand on his shoulder) you are just as charming and lovely in person as you are on TV, God bless you!
T:  Thank you!
M:  (getting ready to go, as the next person is making their way up) Could you sign your book I brought with me after you finish?
T:  I’m so sorry, I WISH I could, but they won’t let me, (as his assistant mouthed "NO"), because then the other people that DON'T have a book to sign will feel cheated....
M:  Oh, I understand, thank you anyway.
T:  (Clasping my hands and leaning in with a whisper) ...and then people would start asking me to sign BODY parts! (with a look of sheer horror at the thought.)
M: We don't want THAT!" (smiling and walking off cool and casual to pick up my pic and swag bag...)

And that was it!!
I enjoyed hanging out and having pizza and a celebratory glass of champagne or three with raspberries in the lounge area afterwards behind the velvet rope, and texting updates to my peeps who couldn’t make it, while still watching Tim interact with the different fans on the runway. All types of people came to see him: men and women, teenagers, grandparents, children, and he was so demonstrative and animated with every individual, wrapping his arm around each person for their photo.  The boy in front of me, who looked to be about 12, had clearly made his own vest from some bizarre yellow furry material, perhaps tackling one of the Project Runway past season's famous pet store challenges (using only materials found in the pet store to create the garment)  Well, of course Tim acted so interested and complimentary of the boy's efforts! I took a pic of him getting down on one knee to take a pic with a particular young fan.  Overall, though, between you and I, I'm *pretty sure* he loved me best, because as far as I could tell, the only other people to get hugs (TWO HUGS!) were people he already knew ("It's So good to SEE you again!") Just sayin'... :)
Was even better than I thought it would be! (minus my fantasy of taking him to lunch afterwards: that did NOT happen, but I knew it was unlikely!)   Tote bag was ginormous and very nice quality, not some reusable get your groceries screen print kind of bag, but thick, canvas carry on with roomy bottom and brown leather straps! Really cute, I, of course, will have to take it with me everywhere! With the WWTGD facing out!  The little tag on the tote  (that's how he signs things with a little XOX, says ALL photos from the event will be on his Facebook page, so I will be stalking that.)

Anyway, I felt so privileged to be a part of it, and as for spending the money to be included, well, Lucky Brand really rolled out the red carpet for us and gave us such a terrific experience as a thank you for our patronage! I felt like that was some of the best money I ever spent!  (didn’t have to fly to NY to track him down!) How many others stores do that for their customers?

Trying to think of other people I’d get really excited to meet in that way after asking all of you, (because it wasn’t just getting a glance of him or leaning over and someone snapping a pic, it all felt very personal and the fashion show was very helpful and informative in his tips about how to wear things, the trends etc, so it did not feel in any way like a big Lucky Brand infomercial!)   I'm not really sure! Certainly some authors,actors, and inspirational people I would love to spend a half hour with, but it's one thing to know a star will be somewhere and you might catch a glimpse, and another to be guaranteed you'll meet them and actually have time to say a few words. And it wasn't just to come back and shout, "I touched him!  I touched him!" but because I really wanted to look him in the eye and say, "Thank you for inspiring me."  (AND now he has my book!  With my picture and name in it.  He can never forget me!) ;)  Although I am a huge fan of Project Runway***,  I would NOT have gone just to meet Heidi, Michale Kors or Nina, etc.  I'm not a fan because he’s ON the show, it’s because he reveals so much of who he is on camera by the way he treats others, and I just love all his knowledge, wit, manners, and stories.  He carries himself like a true gentleman and he is down to earth and humble at the same time, demanding no star treatment or acting as though he is above anyone, it was so refreshing.  For those of you who are very familiar with him , I know you know who I am talking about, but just had to give more info for those who don't.  If he makes his way to a town near you, I highly recommend!  Thanks for reading and sharing the experience with me! Have a fabulous day!  Make it work!

* LBD =Little Black Dress

**BTW, for those of you who are watching FashionStar, I saw Ross there as everyone lined up.  I didn’t take a pic though because he was way up at the front and thought I might have a better photo op or a chance to wish him luck(even though the show has already wrapped I am sure), that he might be hanging around to meet and greet and promote the show ( I knew he was an Austinite) but then he disappeared...

***Because I have such respect for how amazingly talented and creative these people are to create an entire garment in the time it often takes me to pull together a card, and I love thinking about what I do for the challenge. If I could sew, that is!


  1. Awesome! Video is still processing, but I am definitely jumping ahead to hear your provoking question. ;)

  2. Wow, what a treat for you!! I can't wait to watch the video ;) These are Gorgeous photos, you look great & Tim too.

  3. Awww the video is processing it says. Shoot! I'll wait... but how FUN and exciting for you!!! I can almost feel your heart racing!! LOL Great photo of you both!!!!! And yes... we'll ALL be watching for that "next book"! :-)

  4. What an amazing time! And what a fabulous conversation with Tim!

    The video isn't working right now, but I will check back later. HUGS Mel!!!

  5. The video was removed so I didn't see it, but there was another video in three segments and I was wondering if you asked the question about the guest judges. That was a good question. But I am so happy you fulfilled a dream of yours. How exciting for you!

  6. I don't think so, Verna, but I can't view right now, away from my computer, however I remember seeing that there is a three part video on there this morning with Tim when he was here in Austin four years ago, so I am thinking thats what you are seeing. Rats, says it was removed for the length, will have to figure out how to chop it up!

  7. I bet that was what I saw then. I hope you can crop it so we can hear your question at least.

  8. Well THAT was awesome for you -- a bummer for us they removed your video foe length! I am dying to know WHAT you asked him!! :)

  9. oh that is so awesome. Great pics and of course he loved you the best, silly!! So fun!!
    I wanna know your ? too!

  10. FUN FUN FUN! You two were meant to be Besties! :) YouTube removed the video because it was too long......sad face......BUT I did enjoy your story, glad you enjoyed your experience! TFS!!!

  11. Went to watch the video and it said, "This video has been removed because it is too long." BooHoo
    I have never heard of Tim before this but I found your article very interesting. TFS!!!
    Jean McGee

  12. Thank you for sharing the whole experience. It was like I was right there with you. I LOVE Fashion Star and in particular Kara. I am hoping she wins. I like Ross too but he sometimes is a little full of himself.
    Lucky, lucky you to be able to be up front and personal. Now I am dying to know what you asked him. I am going to watch the video later tonight.
    hugs, Diana

  13. Oh dear the video has been removed because it was too long. : ( . You will have to e-mail me with your question. hugs, Diana

  14. Wow! How great that you got to have this experience! Sooo exciting! I'm happy for you!

  15. Loved the details of your meeting with Tim. It sounds like you had an absolutely fantastic time. So, now that we can't see the video - you'll have to share the question and answer with us...

  16. Happy it was everything you wanted it to be!

  17. I feel happy just reading about your excitement. I'll definitely have to look for this man and his show. I'm afraid I'm really out of it when it comes to pop culture.

  18. How exciting! I love Tim Gunn - he's fabulous beyond belief. So glad to hear that he's a genuinely nice person and not some high maintenance diva! :)


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