The Last True Gentleman? Why My Husband Loves Project Runway’s Tim Gunn

It all started with Heidi Klum, the former Victoria’s Secret Model who hosts Lifetime’s Project Runway.  I wanted to watch the show, so I convinced my husband to watch it with me because I told him he’d enjoy all the gorgeous models.  As a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology, I wanted to see the designers at work.  My husband didn’t care much about the process, but he said he would watch the show with me…hmm, not sure why.

The drama between the designers, as well as their wild and creative runway fashions, kind of caught my husband’s interest — and thoroughly absorbed me.  But who really fascinated us most was Tim Gunn, the designers’ mentor and top dog at Parsons School of Design.  Tim Gunn, from the first, struck us as an incredibly nice, thoughtful, and intelligent man.  At each new season of Project Runway, Mr. Gunn further impressed us with his diplomacy in handling temperamental, often catty, designers.

Another unique trait of Mr. Gunn’s is that he always wears a jacket, tie and slacks.  I believe I’ve only seen one episode in which he appeared in casual attire:  a race in Central Park.  Otherwise, whether he’s visiting a designer at a California beach, a Mississippi tract home, or an Ohio farm, he sports formal business attire.  With so many grown men dressing like four year-olds, this is refreshing!  What’s more, he carries it off without appearing snobbish or uptight because his warmth just shines through.

I think my husband recognizes Mr. Gunn’s extraordinary goodness and compassion because he shares those traits [see previous post MY HUSBAND SAVES LIVES].

“What a gentleman!” we marvel when Mr. Gunn smooths over a hissy-fit between two designers without appearing to take sides. His graciousness, his deep concern for people, his kindness, and his sense of honor are all on display in each show.  Could it possibly be an act, we asked each other?  Well, we had our answer today when we read an interview with him in the New York Times.  It’s not an act.  He’s every bit as wonderful in person, according to what I read in an interview.

Tim Gunn is 60 years old now.  I am sorry to hear that because I haven’t seen many gentlemen like him, either in person or in the news, and I wish there were even one 30 year-old to give me hope.  Is there a successor anywhere in the world to this sort of kindness, grooming, taste, diplomacy, intelligence and grace?  Is there anyone else out there without a common, vulgar, or mean bone in his body, but who tolerates the faults of others with such kindness?

Tim Gunn, in your interview, you say you would like to have a platonic companion with whom to grow old.  You don’t care if the person is male or female, and you don’t want the sex, but you want the friendship.

I have an idea:  my husband and I intend to retire in Hawaii, where most houses have separate in-law pavilions (ohana) or guest houses.  We invite you to come and live with us, or at least be our next-door neighbor.  You can split the time between Hawaii and your New York place.  What about it, Tim?  We can’t think of anyone we’d rather be friends with.  I envision lovely gatherings on the lanai, photographic expeditions, Srabble games, reading, and beach picnics (you in your suit and tie?)

Well, in case you don’t take us up on our offer, let me say that I am so glad that we have had the chance to “meet” you, that the world has had a chance to meet you.  I hope others will follow your example.

Here’s the link to the Tim Gunn interview

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