Tim Gunn + Meryl Streep! It’s everything you ever wanted, isn’t it? Don’t miss this Tim Gunn interview piece.

Tim Gunn has infectious energy and he’s so personable. He’s really like your best friend on the phone. Is he the most beloved human ever? Maybe. We got to talk to him about the Project Runway season 10 finale which airs this Thursday on Lifetime. And because Gunn is all about being completely honest, we got some interesting Project Runway trivia from him. Wait till you read about Gretchen Jones’ real home visit, what he feels about the most recent winners of Project Runway, and why he wouldn’t have talked to the judges if he’d known Gunnar Deathrage was going to be sent packing.

Tim Gunn Project Runway Interview – Season 10

When he visited Fabio Costa at home…and saw the pants, and the boots…

“I thought it as one of the worst collections of clothes I’ve ever seen in my entire life. That palette is so juvenile. I was mystified. He’s incredibly smart. I thought maybe he was, in a manner of speaking, pulling my leg. I just don’t know what happened. I was hugely relived that he past through the judges analysis last week and especially pleased to hear the feedback that the judges gave him because it was so similar to the feedback I gave him during the home visit.”

Would Tim talk to Christopher Palu about his obsession with fur?

“I’m nothing if not transparent, I did not know that. It’s never once come up. Were it to come up…I would certainly…I’m very respectful of people’s likes and proclivities but I’d suggest he visit the PETA website and also Amanda’s Hearsts’ big charity (Friends of Finn.) With so many options for fur.. so many faux fur options…. I profoundly believe it is entirely unnecessary and vulgar.”

Why doesn’t Tim consult with the judges more?

The truth is that Tim is usually around to be consulted, but he doesn’t want to. His refrain to Heidi Klum is that there’s a “separation of church and state.” Still, Klum is always joking she wants a red phone next to her chair to call up Tim during deliberations. This year, for the first time ever, Tim was asked to talk to the judges. Gunn says he did not think it would be shown on the final cut. He also said that had he known it would result in Gunnar Deatherage leaving, he wouldn’t have done it.

The designers’ happiest moment from season 10?

Tim said you’d think he’d said they’d all just won the season when he said he would be taking those robot babies away.

Are the challenges harder now?

“No. I will say, the dramatic turn for me, and its’ been true the last several seasons… the challenges are getting shorter. This season, with the exception of one challenge, they were all one day challenges.” Gunn said that Klum will occasionally ask why the turn-out isn’t better and his  response is to give them more time. ” It’s really a matter of time more than anything else.”

Tim’s Dream Finale Judge

… “Wow, that’s a good question. Meryl Streep. I’d love to hear how Meryl Streep talks about clothes, quite frankly.”

Favorite Season?

“Each like each successive semester of classes I have, whatever I’m in the thick of is always my favorite.” He added, “There’s a lot of emotion tied up in season ten. The designers were so grumpy and gloomy.”

Project Runway season 11?

“I can’t tell you a thing except there will be one.”

Will we be surprised by the Project Runway Season 10 winner?

“The judges are constantly surprising me. This season it could have been any of them and I would have been happy. I’ve not been particularly happy with the outcome of the last couple of seasons. I don’t want to denigrate Anya (Ayoung-Chee), but I thought Viktor’s (Luna) collection was infinitely stronger and I was stunned he didn’t win. This season I was enormously happy with the outcome. And I hope everyone else is.”

Get out of the comfort zone…

Tim said that though she loved to do tropical maxi dresses, Anya Ayoung Chee’s tailored pieces best pieces of her entire season.

Tim’s advice for those going to audition

“It’s going to sound rather banal, but it’s true – be who you are. …Don’t be someone that the producers or judges will want to have on the show.”

What hometown visit over the years has really stood out?

“The ones that stand out of more are the ones that aren’t so great. One of the worst was edited in such a way that you wouldn’t know it. Probably for lots of reason.” He added that usually, “The editing is kind to everyone.” But would he hold out? No. He named this name. ” The home visit was Gretchen’s. Her Mother…we were playing croquet… her Mother kept knocking my croquet ball across the street into the traffic.” Apparently he’d keep retrieving the ball and the angry Mother would keep whacking it across the street. Again, you never saw any of this on Project Runway. And Gretchen Jones won that season.

Valerie Mayen now has the Yellow Cake Shop and has just had her Hullaballo fundraiser in Cleveland for it. Has Tim kept in touch?

“I did talk to he over the summer. I have seen what she’s doing and I think it’s wonderful. I’m very happy for her.”

Do contestants usually come with enough preparation and research? Are there skills they should learn, movies to see, books they should read if they hope to score a spot on the show?

Being confident but also being willing to listen is important in Tim’s book. There’s also some basics… like, “They need to have a command of the sewing machine.” He also said that pattern drafting and being able to draw and express themselves visually is “really essential.” Then he said, “I’m going to add something that may be controversial. Whenever a designer proudly tells me they’re self educated, some people stand up and cheer. I don’t. I think ‘Oh, dear. This is a disadvantage for you.’ It’s not because they learned it on their own… it’s more about … learning how to listen to critical conversations and depersonalize it.” Knowing your own society and culture is important… knowledge in general is good. Tim also said knowing the historical context of fashion is important, especially when it comes to getting feedback from Nina Garcia. And of course, there are plenty of great books to read – including Tim’s new one. (Tim Gunn’s Fashion Bible: The Fascinating History of Everything in Your Closet ) His movie recommendation is “The Eye has to Travel” by Diana Vreeland, which he called fabulous and has admitted to seeing twice even though he doesn’t see a lot of movies.

How important is accessorizing to the impact of a garment when it hits the runway?

“Well, to hear the judges talk about it it’s the most important thing in the world. I mean generally speaking I’ll just be blunt I feel that they’re an enhancement, the accessories are, to whatever the garment is and the same with the hair and makeup is, but for me it’s all about that garment. Unless the accessorizing is an extraordinary distraction in a bad way I would never comment on it at all, but the judges seem to have a very different take. They are times when it’s all they talk about is the accessorizing, and I just want to say be quiet, look at the clothes.”

Tim Gunn – Another new book in 2013?

It’s happening!

What is he besides the mentor on the show?

Advocate, champion and defense attorney. (For the designers.)

Would Tim ever leave Project Runway?

“As long as there’s Project Runway, I’ll be there. Even if I’m in a wheelchair with an iron lung.”

Photo credit: Lifetime

Stay tuned to Small Screen Scoop as we review the Project Runway season 10 finale.