May 7th, 2011

Tim Gunn

In which I make it work

Imagine my surprise yesterday when I found out that fashion expert extraordinaire Tim Gunn was going to be in the Seattle area. Not only that, he was specifically going to be at Bellevue Square Mall, which is practically in my backyard (and which *might* resemble a mall you'll be seeing more of in Succubus Revealed). Tim was scheduled to host a fashion show for Lucky Brand and would then be signing copies of his latest book afterward. Now, it takes a lot to get me to go wait through a crowd (especially at 5.5 months pregnant), but the combination of Tim and an easy-access mall seemed like fate. So, I packed up my purse with reading material and snacks and set out for adventure.

It was a huge relief to arrive and find plenty of seating an hour before the fashion show started. I honestly hadn't known if people would be camping out five hours beforehand or something crazy like that. A friend of mine soon joined me, and we found seats on the mall's second floor, looking down on the fashion show stage. Aside from people who decided it was okay to make a safety hazard and turn the stairs into their own personal viewing area, we had a pretty solid view of things, like when the stage's background collapsed:

Before long, Tim himself came out, much to the crowd's delight. In honor of Lucky Brand, he wore their more casual attire instead of his usual suit:

The show kicked off, and models came out showing off Lucky's spring line, which featured a lot of white and navy. The sound system wasn't so awesome on the second floor, but I was still able to hear Tim dispense his fashion advice, like how short people like me should wear vertical stripes. He's also a big advocate of dressing "age appropriate," which immediately made me wonder about the dress I was wearing. Regardless, good times were had and some of the models were locals who auditioned yesterday. Not sure if these were some of them.

My friend and I left the fashion show a little early in order to go wait in the signing line. Unfortunately, we discovered that 100 or so of our closest friends had the same idea.

I always feel bad that people have to wait at my book signings, though usually everyone tells me they understand and don't mind. And I can say, the same was true today. Sure, it would've been awesome to be first, but I totally understand that Tim draws a crowd and you've got to wait your turn. People from the Cheesecake Factory worked the line, ironically serving bruschetta instead of cheesecake--which isn't exactly the neatest of finger foods. We were also constantly stopped by passing shoppers. Many knew who Tim was. Other times, conversation went like this:

Shopper: What's this line for?
Me: To see Tim Gunn.
Shopper: Who?
Me: Tim Gunn. From Project Runway. Fashion guru.
Shopper: [blank look]
Me: Please go about your shopping business, ma'am. There's nothing for you to see here.

At last, an hour and a half later, I got to meet the man himself:

Don't worry, I haven't changed my hair color. Tim's staff had their own photographer and camera, and for whatever reason, all the red in my hair got zapped out. When people meet me at signings, I always tell them not to be shy. I didn't listen to my own advice, however, and found myself saying very little to Tim. I did tell him I was a great admirer, and he was every bit as gracious and gentlemanly as he is on TV. He's definitely a role model for anyone doing public appearances! This was the book I got:

And this was how he signed it:

Good times. Like a nerd, I told the staff that they did a good job organizing the line. But it's true, and I have good reason to appreciate a well-organized line. Was it worth the wait? I think so. I had this weekend off from working, and Tim can now join the ranks of Bill Clinton and Jean Auel as people I've waited long amounts of time to see (though Bill by far wins the prize for longest wait and most security!). Tim really is someone I respect, and now I'm even more excited for the All-Star season of Project Runway--which I can only assume was engineered to give Mondo his much-deserved win.