party lines

Tim Gunn on Scary L.A., ‘Project Runway,’ and John McCain

Photo: Patrick McMullan

As Tim Gunn has discovered, there really is no time to rest when you’re trying to make the world a more stylish place. When we ran into our beleaguered Project Runway mentor at the 67th Annual Peabody Awards at the Waldorf-Astoria on Monday, where the show won an award, Gunn told us he won’t have a day off until September 22. “I have no vacation plans,” he said. “I’m traveling to the Project Runway set.” That would be the set of the last Project Runway to be shot in our fair city (and therefore possibly the last season of the show worth watching — ever.). Then it’s off to shoot Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style.

But Gunn isn’t worried about his endless work schedule. What really freaks him out is the idea of moving to Los Angeles when Project Runway switches to Lifetime for season six. “Can I be honest with you?” he said. “I’m panicky about it, and the whole idea of moving to a place that has a big car culture has me apoplectic.” Gunn won’t be moving to Los Angeles permanently but will have to stay there for a whole five weeks while the season films. He says he’s not even sure he wants to get an apartment: “I may have a little lean-to inside the set, wherever it is, so I don’t have to worry about travel.” At least, unlike most New Yorkers, he knows how to drive. He just isn’t sure he knows how to drive in L.A. “I’m not a good highway person,” he said. “I’m much better at back roads. I’ll make it work.”

And what of that ubiquitous catch phrase? Heidi Klum has indicated that the show might say “auf Wiedersehen” to a few old favorites like “Make it work.” Is it true? “What?! No,” Gunn said, aghast. “I couldn’t possibly. ‘Make it work’ comes with me. I’ve been saying it for decades.” At that moment, Stephen Colbert, another Peabody winner, stepped onto the red carpet and we were reminded of a great contest The Colbert Report has been holding called “Make John McCain Interesting.” How would Gunn make him interesting? With better clothes, of course! “That’s a challenge,” he said. “Give him some color. I’d give him better-fitting suits — Hugo Boss, John Varvatos. I mean, I will say, he’s a man of a certain age, so at least he’s cleaned up and polished.” Huh. We always wondered what color palette, exactly, works with McCain’s lovely shade of pale. Tim? “Oh, he’s a fall.” — Jada Yuan

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Breaking: ‘Project Runway’ Moves From Bravo to Lifetime

Tim Gunn on Scary L.A., ‘Project Runway,’ and John McCain