You got that right. It’s Tim Gunn from Project Runway: probably my favorite guilty pleasure TV show. I don’t normally enter contests, but this was one I couldn’t resist. Last week, I found out I had won (and spent a few days obsessing about what to wear before giving up in futility), and this afternoon, I joined him at the Four Seasons for lunch.
(Whatever your feelings about style, the fashion industry, advertisers — the contest I won was sponsored by Tide — or reality television, this post is not about those things. It’s about a one hour human connection, and that’s all.)
What I thought was going to be a makeover and style criticism consultation turned out to be a lovely meal and conversation about all sorts of things. I presented Tim with a gift of GlassDharma drinking straws, which he found very unique, and he presented me with a signed copy of his book, Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style and also a generous gift certificate for Macy’s.
We ordered salads and iced tea, with Tim instructing the waiter not to bring us any plastic after I had explained my blog and mission. The straws were a nice segue.
We talked some about style. I asked for suggestions. I told him I like to shop in thrift stores in an effort to conserve resources. So his suggestions were very general. He thought I should stay away from pastels, encouraged me to wear V-necks and to show off my “perfect hourglass figure.” Contrary to my fears that he’d criticize what I was wearing, he said he doesn’t believe in telling people what they should wear and that he just wants people to be who they really are.
And I think he meant it. Because we spent the meal just talking about our lives and interests, like two friends might. Tim shared some red carpet stories and revealed a few things about Heidi Klum (without makeup she looks like she’s 17) and himself (while writing his book, he enjoyed staying in his pajamas all day — just like me while blogging.)
I’m trying now to remember more specifics of the conversation, but I’m drawing a blank because really I’m just left with a feeling — a feeling of hope after the disillusionment I had experienced about the commercialization of the Blogher conference. A feeling of calm and gratitude for that one hour oasis. I remember being nervous up until the moment I met Tim. Once we sat down, my anxiety melted away and didn’t return until I got back to the chaos of the conference.
I need to chill out. I need to meditate and take it easy. I think I need some silence, actually. I do have people I want to see. Looking forward to possibly meeting FPF reader Clif Brown and blogger Jeanne from Life Less Plastic while I’m out here in Chicago. But mostly I want to relax and remember who I am after being bombarded for several days by sponsors’ reps paid to make me forget it.