Thursday, February 02, 2006

Transcript of Tim's Podcast #9 - Flower Power

Thank you Bettie Bloodshed for this excellent transcription. This is not easy work, so readers, please express your appreciation!

Podcast Transcript for Episode 9:

Hi I’m Tim Gunn and this is my podcast for the garden party. We’re coming out of our last episode, “Inspiration” in which Zulema loses. Zulema is out and Daniel Vosovic has his third win. And I have to say that Daniel’s win was the highest level of design achievement that he has reached. And he really did push himself, he was more ambitious, and I felt very very proud about what he delivered.

Heidi introduces our next challenge which is to design an outfit for a garden party, and I have to say this is my favorite episode of the season, I believe. We had a tremendous amount of fun and a tremendous amount of angst. And we’ll talk about it.

So Heidi announces that they are designing an outfit for a garden party and she sends them to the Atlas, and they have a nice night’s sleep. The next morning at 6 o’clock (I had already been up for a couple of hours). I ring their doorbell and announce that we are taking one of our infamous field trips. And we are! They’re, once again, disarmed by this entire experience. Where are we going? What are we doing? What tricks does Project Runway have up its sleeve? We arrive in the flower district of Manhattan, which is several blocks of flower and plants stores. I gather the designers around me (we are at the Plant House), and announce that they have one hour and $150 to shop for plants, only. They cannot use anything other plants and plant-related materials. The infrastructure can be plant wire or mesh but that is their medium. And they really do have to make it work.

I think the most stunning thing for the designers was the cost of the flowers. $150 sounded like an ample budget, but in fact we were not going to be able to make “Tournament of Roses” floats with this money. They had to be very cautious and very thrift-minded in their spending-- very strategic in what plants they were looking for. And I have to add that there was another dimension to this that I really give them a lot of credit for. They were thinking very keenly and very seriously about decomposition-- about what would the effects be the next day on these materials. I know they must have had Austin’s cornhusk dress in their minds, because we all know what happened to that. Austin did make it work, but it was very touch and go. So they were cautious and understandably so. It was the cost of flowers they found most daunting, and the flowers that were bought that were living (there were some dried flowers that were bought), were all in small vials of water so they could feed off that water and, hopefully, survive. But they were expensive, and largely, orchids. So it was a big challenge, and not unlike shopping at Mood, shopping in the plant district (we were at the plant house, fisher and page, and jamali), the designers knew that these were their ingredients. Once we got back to the workroom, this was all they were going to have available to them. So they really had to project forward what was going to work for them and what their design would be.



Anonymous said...

excellent job! thank you.

{just for reference, frank gehry is the architect who designed the guggenheim museum in bilbao, spain:}

Anonymous said...

oops! that got cut off. the rest of the url:


LauraK said...

Scott - you are a genius! Thanks - That had us stumped. I even wrote to Tim for clarification. I will edit.

LauraK said...

Back in the workroom, there were varying degrees of confidence and varying degrees of moving forward. In terms of me, and own my observations, [there were] varying degrees of anxiety. Chloe had a hugely ambitious project ahead of her. I loved her idea, I loved the concept, I loved the leaves of the plant that she chose (the variegated green leaf), but those leaves were each smaller than a quarter. And she was gluing each of them separately and I was concerned a) about the time it would take to merely to cover this huge muslin dress and b) would the glue adhere to these leaves? Because if Grace were to twirl or forget about twirling!, just walking up and down the runway, the hot lights…Grace merely moving on the runway, walking back and forth, up the few steps, down the few steps, turning at the end of the runway. I thought these leaves can not fall off. That will be a disaster. It can’t look as if fall has arrived and we are losing all our foliage. So I was concerned about that.

Kara was a mess of indecisiveness. Again, I loved her concept, but at the time when I first became aware of what she was doing, I was only aware of her top, a kind of bustier, that looked sublime, very sculptural. But what was she doing with the skirt? She didn’t know, so I certainly didn’t know.

Daniel looked like he was progressing well. He had the large fern leaves and it looked like, okay, but at the same time I thought that it couldn’t just be these ferns. I knew he had the flowers, but I wasn’t quite certain how he was going to be using them. He needed to have some visual interest besides that. I was concerned that it just wasn’t enough.

In Nick’s case, I was very worried that he simply didn’t have enough stuff. I felt that he was using what he had very skillfully and very artfully, and not unlike Kara, it looked very sculptural. He began with the top and was working down, but as he was working down he had less and less to work with. And I thought this can’t look like Zulema’s clothes off your back project. We couldn’t have any of that showing.

So I moved on to Andrae, and I have to tell you I’m a sucker for topiary, so by definition Andrae had me seduced. I loved what he was doing, and I loved watching it progress.

In Santino’s case, I really responded well to the way in which he was assembling clusters of leaves and seeing the evolution of the construction of the dress, these and these clusters, as oppose to individual leaves and how he was positioning them. I will say, though, when I looked at how he had used the floral mesh, it was very ‘Frank Gehry-like’, I kept thinking, “This doesn’t have to be Bilbao”. The leaves are going to give you the shape and the form, why are you using this heavy modernist construction? I didn’t quite understand that, but he’s Santino, so we all know he has his own ways and methods.

As we progress through our challenges, the stress level becomes greater and greater, the anxieties and tension mount. And I know that all the designers need some form of tension relief. I am trusting that, in Santino’s case, the stress reliever is to do impersonations of me. Why he finds them so hilarious, in the privacy of his own mind, I don’t know. But he also seemed to get the other designers going, and all this as well. And there were times when I was in the workroom, when I would hear my own voice not coming out of my mouth from some distant corner of the workroom that happened to be right by to Santino. He would be editorializing, and I found it funny. I certainly wasn’t offended by it. I mean, you could say that imitation is the greatest form of flattery, so in a way I was flattered. But it was getting to be a bit much. What was particularly getting to be a bit much was that he wasn’t just taking words or phrases and repeating them, he was writing elaborate scenarios about me and about my personal life. It was just beyond the pale! So, there was a catch phrase. And the catch phrase is “What happened to Andrae." I can tell you the origin of it. When I was looking for Andre in the episode that followed Andrae’s crying jag on the runway. I was looking for him to talk to him about it, and he was in the sewing room. We needed to set up the cameras in the designer’s lounge to do this little talk-to, and the cameras weren’t set up. When I went back to get Andrae, he wasn’t there! So I simply asked the question of everyone in the sewing room, “What happened to Andrae?” That was it for Santino. He collapsed into laughter [mocking tone] “What happened to Andrae? That’s so hilarious!” I was just asking, “What happened to Andrae!” And of course, by repeating it, the laughter grew. It became Santino’s catch phrase for me. Every designer ended up using it, and I ended up using it far too frequently myself.

So I enter the workroom while Santino is doing one of his ‘Tim Gunn’ impersonations. I’m ignoring it, but I’m not. I’m thinking, “I want to talk to him about this.” So I visit a couple of the designers and then I approach Santino. I ask him, “What happened to Andrae?” He looks over at Andrae, and then looks back at me and he says something like “I dunno, what happened to Andrae?” I said, “no, you tell me, What happened to Andrae.” Santino blushes (I mean Santino of all people!), and he gets very contrite and rather quiet and says “Well…”. I said no, really, I want to hear more! What’s going on? So he goes into this elaborate story about how Andrae and I are going to the Red Lobster for dinner. I guess Andrae and I are a couple. We are going to the Red Lobster, and we have some tiff. Andrae runs into the bathroom after throwing a plate of lobster in my lap. It’s ridiculous!! It is absolutely absurd! I think at this point I’m blushing too. So the two of us are both fascinated and revolted at the same time by the whole exchange. We part company with me kind of dazed and confused, and with Santino knowing he was caught in the act. Was it a stalemate of sorts? I guess it was. The impersonations continue, I know that. But I’m a good sport, and in his own way, so is he.

We have our runway judging. Mark Bagely and James Mishka are the guest judges from the Bagely/Mishka label. It was a very sobering moment for me because I remember when Mark and James when they were students here. There they are (not that I don’t see them up and down 7th avenue), and it was great to have them with us. All the designers are called to the runway and remain on the runway after the fashion show. I have to be perfectly blunt about this. I really believed in each and every one of these designs. I thought they did a magnificent job. Not unlike the Olympics, I really believed whoever lost this challenge, whoever was out, was going to be out by a mere nano-second. I will say that in terms of ranking the three top and the three bottom and separating them by only a nano second, I would put Chloe, Kara and Daniel on the plus side, and Nick, Andrae and Santino on the bottom side. But again, by mere nano seconds, not separated by huge chasms of difference. Also, each of their designs were so different, I mean you really saw their point of view in a very palpable way. I believed in every one of them.

So I am sitting in the very back of the runway judging room (back in the dark corners of the room), and I was feeling so proud of our designers, when it becomes very clear that there is a big disappointment among all the judges. The big disappointment is that the designers haven’t used more flowers. And course in my ‘big daddy’ like way, I wanted to stand up and shout, “You should have been with us shopping! They couldn’t afford the flowers!” [Sounds like Corky Saint Claire I SWEAR] But, I can’t do that, and I made the assumption that the designers would talk about that and explain why. No matter what they said, that disappointment persisted.

Chloe’s dress is gorgeous. She pulled it off. I was so worried the morning of the runway judging that I was ready to glue with her. I wouldn’t have been allowed to do that, but I was certainly ready to do it. She really pulled it off and did an incredible job. From a distance those leaves looked like a fabric. You really couldn’t tell. It was extremely wearable. Chloe, you just don’t disappoint, you are phenomenal.

Kara—oh! I am telling you, I am going to need some tranquilizer to continue to work with her. I adore her, but she can be such a procrastinator! I was so worried that this dress was just not going to come off. She did a magnificent top, but what was she going to do with the skirt? I don’t know whether she looked over at Andre and got a little inspiration, but she treated the skirt in very much the same way. The dress was stunning. It was simply gorgeous, the proportions were gorgeous, all of it! She used the dried flowers that gave it a touch of color, the beautiful raffia back…it was stunning. I loved it

I also loved Daniel’s dress, I have to say. The silhouette was beautiful, the proportions were beautiful. The judges were completely seduced by how he used the orchids and fixated upon it. I mean, it was almost as though he’d invited fire or something! I mean, it was “Okay! We get it! You like them!” I really believe that his use of flowers just blinded them to any other possibilities for the win. There were very strong contenders for the win. Daniel, I congratulate you. I am not saying you didn’t deserve to win, you did! It was a beautiful, fabulous achievement. And thank God you used those God D*mn flowers. Excuse me. (He laughs)

Andrae is out. Magnificent showing by Andre, beautiful design…was it costume like? Yes, it did look a bit like a chess piece on a beautiful topiary chessboard. Was it as wearable as the rest? No, but it really was a knock out. I just loved it. He set out to achieve the topiary look, and he did. Very sad goodbye to Andrae, he has been a great member of the team, and he did a stupendous job in this challenge, but someone had to be out.

We move on! Heidi introduces our next challenge in very very broad strokes, and with a considerable degree of mystery. It will simply say it is an unexpected surprise.


All of my comments or alterations are in []

eric3000 said...

Thanks Bettie Bloodshed, I don't have sound on my computer so I really appreciate it!

I'm even more confused about the materials now, though. In his blog, Tim says that, other than their trusty muslin, everything will have to come from the flower shops. But then in his Podcast he says they can only use plant wire or mesh as an infrastructure. So which is it? Were they supposed to be gluing things onto a muslin backing or not? Also, did they get $100 or $150?

Anonymous said...

Wow, last night I enjoyed listening to Tim say all of that in his podcast but *reading* it today is triply impressive. Tim is so beautifully articulate!

Thank you so much Bettie Bloodshed for doing this. A few weeks ago I typed up just a bit of what Tim said in a podcast - just a sentence or two - and it took me forever! Hats off to you. I'm in awe!

Anonymous said...


did anyone notice that in the preview of episode 10, you see santino, kara and nick safe (in the room they return after not being eliminated). you see them probably talking about chloe or daniel. does that mean chloe could be eliminated next week since Daniel can't be eliminated.

Anonymous said...

the preview for the next episode, made it pretty obvious that the next challenge will require the designer's to design an outfit for one of the other final 5 contestant. Chloe complains that she has never made men's wear before... so this challenge could be her undoing.

praddicted said...

Didn't Tim talk about Nick and the "vulgar" comment-did I miss that somewhere? Since I still don't understand it, I'd like to read it--

erin said...

I listened to the podcast last night and I couldn't stop giggling after I heard this: "and I have to tell you I’m a sucker for topiary, so by definition Andrae had me seduced."

Anonymous said...

I know, right?

He really should take Andrae to Red Lobster.

Though really now..Santino shouldn't have picked there. We all know Tim has a LOT more class than that.

And thanks for the kind words! I know I made a couple of errors, but I tried to do it quickly. And rest assured..the "Gah d**n" line was hilarious.

I'll do it next week as well if you want me back!

Tom in KC said...

Of course we want you back! It's wonderful to read the transcript (the humor comes across differently in print than it does verbally). Thanks for the service you're providing. And to Laura, who's my new hero.

lem0ntart said...

thank u bettie for transcribing!

floretbroccoli said...

I'm sure Santino picked Red Lobster for the obvious absurdity of Tim at Red Lobster.

I love listening to Tim. I was shaking with laughter listening to the podcast last night. So interesting to get three versions of how he responded to the Timpressions -- on TV, in the blog, and in the Podcast. It's only in the podcast that you can see that he was kind of annoyed about Santino making up stories about Tim's personal life. "Beyond the pale."

I'm sorry, however, to hear Tim misuse "disarmed" for the third time. I think the word he has it confused with is "nonplussed"

Per Merriam-Webster online:

a : to deprive of means, reason, or disposition to be hostile b : to win over

to cause to be at a loss as to what to say, think, or do : PERPLEX

floretbroccoli said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jan the Dan Fan said...

This was great!!! Thank you!

I'm giggling all over again. That episode was so much fun. And I love hearing his view of it all.

Plumbum said...


After reading the Andre/Daniel V "erotic story" over by Santino's page...I was ROOTING for him to win, just to see if anything would happen! (which, of course,it wouldn't, but in my weird lil' mind, anything could happen!)

I heart Tim Gunn. And his podcasts...

Elaine said...

The footage of Kara, Nick, and Santino in the lounge may not indicate they are safe. It could have been shot while the judges have their discussion and the designers are backstage. Chloe and Daniel are likely just off camera but also backstage.

Anonymous said...

thanks elaine,

what you wrote makes sense. i really hope that chloe makes it to the final 3...

Umami said...

Is there more information on Tim Gunn? Such as whether he did fashion design himself? Education? Personal life?

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for the transcript! I can almost never get the podcast to work!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for taking the time to write out the pod for us all-as another stated, it is quite different to read it and take your time letting it soak in than to hear're the best *smile*

praddicted said...

Yes, thank you, Betty-I can read this in my office where I can't play the podcast out loud. Well, I do sometimes, people wonder why Tim Gunn is in my office behind closed doors, ROFLOL-Carry on!

eric3000 said...

Yes Elaine, thanks for that explanation. I feel better now that I don't know for certain who will be off. That takes the fun out of it. I was annoyed that I had known Emmett was going to be off because of reading this site.