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A Night of Insight with Tim Gunn

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Recently, Cotton Candy Magazine spent a night in bustling New York City where style expert Tim Gunn spoke at 92Y, a prominent cultural arts center on the Upper East Side. Most of Gunn’s fans know him from his flamboyant role on Bravo’s ever-popular series, Project Runway.  But the former sculptor’s overnight success is actually 25, long years in the making.  On that recent, cool November night in the City, the champion of style shared some golden nuggets that he’s picked up along the way.  Here are just a few mantras from Tim Gunn on how to make it work in fashion- and in life.

Tim Gunn on Life:

“You can’t navigate life alone. Life is a huge, glorious collaboration of people.”

Tim Gunn- Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Fall 2009

“Be respectful of yourself. Then you can respect others.”

“Both the good and the bad things in life make us who we are.”

“All things happen for a reason. The reasons simply reveal themselves later in life.”

“Be nice. It’s the anecdote to bad behavior.”

“You never know where life can potentially take you. Don’t give up.”

“You can only achieve as much as your ambitions allow you.”

“It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.”

Tim Gunn on Fashion:

“Remember that your attitude is part of your style.”

“Clothes are a kind of optical illusion.”

“Proportion is important.”

“Dress accordingly.”

“Don’t be a dressmaker. Be a designer.”

“The mark of a true designer is love of the process.”

“There is never a good reason to wear a mid-drift. Never.”

“Rediscover the clothes in your closet.”

“There is a difference between clothes and fashion. Clothes stay the same. Fashion changes in response to the world.”


Tim Gunn is best known for his work on Bravo’s hit series, Project Runway.  Gunn is currently chief creative officer at Liz Claiborne Inc. He is the former chair of the Department of Fashion Design at Parsons The New School for Design. Gunn is author of “Gunn’s Golden Rules: Life’s Little Lessons for Making It Work.”

Cotton Candy Magazine®