Tim Gunn: Anna Wintour is like the Medusa of the fashion world

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Do you guys ever watch Meredith Vieira’s daytime talk show? I watch it while I’m at the gym sometimes and I really can’t believe it’s still on the air. It’s kind of terrible. But Meredith fell backwards into a really great interview with Tim Gunn, best known as the mentor/host on Project Runway. Even though I was over Project Runway years ago, I still have a great deal of affection for Gunn and his take-no-prisoners sass-talk. Gunn really doesn’t care about kissing celebrity ass and if you’re a dumb famewhore, Gunn will call you out. Gunn will also call you out if you’re the editor in chief of Vogue. Yes, Tim Gunn is coming for Anna Wintour. And it’s glorious.

Background: the Gunn-Wintour feud really began in 2010 when Gunn revealed a funny/crazy moment from fashion week. Gunn told Page Six that he had once witnessed Wintour being carried down five flights of stairs by two beefy bodyguards. This funny story was outright denied by Wintour’s people, but Gunn stuck to his guns (heh) and there was a funny back-and-forth between both camps. So, Meredith asked Gunn about that whole incident and he went OFF.

“I was asked by the New York Post… ‘What is the most unforgettable moment you’ve ever seen in fashion?’” Tim Gunn recalled to Vieira. “[I had a] very matter of fact response and it was, ‘Watching Anna Wintour being carried down five flights of stairs from a fashion show.’ Her office called my office the next day and demanded a retraction and I said, ‘But its true, it happened.’ I mean I didn’t make this up and they still demanded a retraction and I said no.”

After many calls back and forth, Gunn finally received a snippy message from a higher-up at Conde Nast. “Her Director of Communications said, ‘I’ll have you know Ms. Wintour knows how to work a Manolo,’” Gunn recalled. “I said it wasn’t a matter of not being able to go down the stairs to descend, it was a matter of speed. She had two bodyguards, who made a firemen’s lock, she sat in it. They wooshed her down these stairs and put her right into her car to get to another fashion show because this fashion show as in the fifth floor of the Metropolitan Pavilion. They had to move her fast.”

Gunn noted that he didn’t intend at the time for it to be an insult. “She’s a history revisionist, in her mind it never happened basically,” he sniped, while Vieira asked what their relationship is like today. “It’s hostile,” Gunn shared, calling attention to Vogue’s inner workings. “May I say this, though: There is so much that happens at that unique publication that is so of another world and another planet. I’m happy to have a bad relationship with it, because I wouldn’t want to have a good one.”

Gunn has since experienced more run-ins with Wintour, 65, which have only strengthened his low opinion of the fashion superstar. “I was [once] on an airplane with Anna Wintour and the flight attendant came up to me and said, ‘Is that Anna Wintour?’ And I said, ‘Yes. It is,’” he recalled. “She asked, ‘Do you think I can say hello to her?’ I said, ‘Well of course. Who wouldn’t want you to greet them? That would be lovely.’”

Except the experience was anything but. “She went over and this man next to Anna Wintour, she was seated at the window and he was at the aisle, rose as she rose her own hand up as a gesture of, this is now an international incident and the man said to her, ‘You have to go away, Miss,’” Gunn revealed. “So she wouldn’t even allow her to lean and say, ‘Ms. Wintour it’s so lovely to have you on the plane.’ I don’t understand it.”

The Emmy-winning host said he doesn’t care about Wintour’s reaction to his latest comments.

“She can try to turn me to stone,” he said, likening her to Medusa, the snake-headed Gorgon of Greek myth. “I don’t think it will happen.” Gunn has no interest in burying the hatchet either. “May I also add [that] I have huge respect and regard for Ms. Wintour’s charitable work,” he shared. “It’s wonderful and my hat’s off to her but I just wish that she navigated the world with a little more respect for other people.”

[From Us Weekly]

Nuclear Wintour sure knows how to hold a grudge. And that plane story is INSANE! What if the stewardess was just coming over to ask if Wintour wanted a cocktail and some peanuts? Anyway, Tim Gunn is everything. And Anna Wintour is Medusa. Sure!

Hamish Bowles’ face in this photo. Amazing.

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Photos courtesy of WENN.

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98 Responses to “Tim Gunn: Anna Wintour is like the Medusa of the fashion world”

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  1. DTX says:

    Vile woman. And…I want to do happy hour on a fancy patio with Mr. Gunn and just let him rip on all the fashion gossip! Haha. That’s a tiny wish I have. Him, Judge Judy & the late Joan Rivers!

    • EnglishRose says:

      Great comment! Let me join you, please!! What a dream team. I still haven’t really accepted that Joan is gone – what an hysterically funny lady. That would have been the meeting of the millennium, in terms of there never being a dull moment.

  2. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    I love Tim Gunn so much. I’m a total fan girl. (Fan old lady?) in my fantasy, I go to his apartment after work at my fabulous job and we sit on his couch and watch HGTV (because that’s what my bff likes to do, according to an article I read) and dish about life and people. We hate Anna. We laugh. We eat some elegant, really good food and drink delicious wine. Just another Tuesday night in my now seeming pathetic mind.

    • Bridget says:

      I love Tim Gunn as well. And he is unfailingly kind, but will absolutely tell it like he sees it. The folks that get to be mentored by him are so lucky.

      • paola says:

        He tells how he sees it but in the right and polite way. People should do this more often. There’s nothing you can’t say if when you do it you’re honest yet thoughtful and kind.

      • Bridget says:

        And usually when he criticizes someone, it’s because he still expects people to be respectful human beings, even amongst the fashion and celebrity crowd. Seriously, I love him.

      • littlestar says:

        That’s what I really love about him – he’s KIND! He treats people with respect and kindness.

        Vogue is not the magazine it used to be. It’s not even one of the top selling fashion magazines anymore. And that has a lot to do with Wintour’s megalomania.

      • belle de jour says:

        “The folks that get to be mentored by him are so lucky.”

        THIS. A great part of my delight watching Project Runway was seeing how he approached and guided each contestant. I thought to myself: “You do realize how much you’ve just learned in a minute or so, don’t you?” How to edit, how to translate creativity, how to thoughtfully criticize, how to appreciate the truth, how to present your views in a cogent and cultured manner, how to respect yourself and others, how to inspire, how to steer your sensitive artist self through a turbulent numbers & image industry… on and on, straight from the oracle’s mouth.

        He’s the chairman and Boss of my nerdly Fantasy Mentor Dream Team.

      • funcakes says:

        Fais-le fonctionner!

    • Mimz says:

      Hahahaha Love him too!! And I still love project runway though I’m a few seasons behind.. need to catch up!!
      I loved this story. It’s amazing. just what I imagined Wintour was like, except now I have a name for it. Medusa!!!! :)

    • minx says:

      LOVE him.

    • nicegirl says:

      I am there with you and Tim, I hope? Awaiting an invite

    • FLORC says:

      He’s amazing and always gives a great interview

    • Mary s says:

      It’s okay, GNAT, you can be as pathetic you want with your Tim Gunn BFF fantasy, because it’s not going to trump my belief that one day Keanu Reeves and I would meet, he’d fall in love with me, then we’d live happily ever after. See? That’s pathetic…

    • EnglishRose says:

      I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Tim Gunn. He’s unfailingly honest, encouraging, witty and a gentleman. I hope he has a long career – I can never get enough of him.

  3. Bridget says:

    So what you’re saying is, next time I run into Anna Wintour I should ask her for a selfie?

  4. paola says:

    I love him so much for standing up to her.
    Anna Wintour went down the toilet when she put that Kow on the cover of Vogue. Finally someone is calling her out for her behavior. It was about time.

  5. Aussie girl says:

    I’ve always enjoyed reading any article or story about Tim Gunn. He really just tells it how he sees it. The fact that he is not intimidated by a persons status or ranking in the world of celebs and such, is really refreshing.

    • zinjojo says:

      I love that he’s completely willing to tell the truth and not just adhere to a celebrity/publicist’s bubble version of events. And I adore Tim in general, and as others have commented, would love to have cocktails with him with a big side of gossip!

      • sofia says:

        He is so lovely and refreshing! If I was a celebrity I wish I would have the guts to completely dismiss her and if no one wanted to dress me (F*ck it, I would pay for my stuff!) I would wear a sassy tuxedo all the time!

        Some people have too much power and it definitely goes to their heads. What a lousy human being she is!

      • Bridget says:

        Did anyone else read the Hollywood Reporter about the most red-carpet friendly/successful/whatever designers? They’re going to hit a point soon where the stylists who dress the celebrities are going to have more influence than Wintour, as the stuff featured on celebs sells like crazy. I never thought Rachel Zoe would be correct about the importance of the red carpet.

  6. Vegasbaby says:

    Tell it like it is Tim! And I’m sure he’s not the only one who thinks these things. He’s my new hero!

  7. HK9 says:

    Every time there’s a post about Tim it gives me one more reason to love him. It’s also good to know that not everyone is scared of ‘Nuclear’ Wintour. :-)

  8. Ruyana says:

    “I just wish that she navigated the world with a little more respect for other people.”

    Love Tim, he doesn’t play.

  9. Tiffany says:

    I love being in a world were we have Tim Gunn. # Gunn4life

  10. Cindy says:

    Now I love him even more. Wintour frightens me, even from the safety of my iPad/computer screen.

  11. Anon says:

    Only TIm Gunn can call someone out in such a graceful manner. “I just wish that she navigated the world with a little more respect for other people.” So classy! You go, Tim Gunn!

  12. manda says:

    Tim Gunn is the most gracious and classiest man. I love him so much! I always wonder whether Tim would approve of a choice I am making, sartorial or otherwise. It’s a very good guide

    • zinjojo says:

      Tim Gunn as spirit animal :)

    • Beatrice says:

      He sure is gracious,classy, and tells it like it is. Anna Wintour hates him and loves Kanye and Kim?–what’s wrong with this picture?? Oh, I forgot THEY kiss her behind. Love Tim, he’s the best.

  13. jammypants says:

    How rude of her to demand he retract. Free speech, bitch.

    • Neah23 says:

      Yes It was a funny harmless story, that showed her having a Mariah Carey/Beyoncé moment. It really shows how far up her own a$$ Anna is that she would want him to retract the story.

  14. Mayamae says:

    Stewardess?

  15. Dawn says:

    This just makes me love this guy so much more! He speaks truth as he sees it and Anna well Anna has allowed people Like KK & KW to not only dirty up Vogue but also the fashion industry. Whatever West has on her…it must be good because she happily sits next to KK and chats as if she is not famous because of sex tape and a really bad reality show on E! Anna has no reason to treat people badly today or ever especially after she loves on those two.

    • Zwella Ingrid says:

      I don’t really suppose KW has anything on ANN. It does make me wonder why AW puts up with them. I kind of like the theory that she was trolling them with suggesting the name “North” to them, but other than she might like to toy with them, why put up with KW & KK? She can’t take him seriously as a designer?? I wonder what Gunn thinks of KW?

  16. FF says:

    Are people really surprised?

    Fashion circles are like Hollywood producer circles, they’re so rarefied and isolated from intercepting with the real world that it’s bound to be a surreal experience whenever it happens.

    I would think you don’t address Wintour you wait for her to say something to you, and even then… I’m not saying it’s right but it’s what they’re used to.

    Even when that film The Devil Wears Prada came out no one actually in fashion was in it, and it swerved on making the Wintour-esque character the bad guy, probably because no one wanted to tick her off. I doubt anything has changed.

    I half get the plane thing because once you let one person past it could be open season but at the same time, she might want to get a private jet if she doesn’t want to deal with people. My worry is more about what happens in the environments she’s more accustomed to and in control off: what happens then? Are people not allowed to look at her directly?

    • stinky says:

      I can tell you that no one’s allowed to look at Bob Dylan directly.
      And im talking about venue staff – crew, stagehands, caterers & production managers!

    • Ennie says:

      it was a steward, not just any person. It was actually her job to talk to the passengers.

    • winkydink says:

      Having worked at Conde Nast years ago, I can truthfully say that AW would not look at you when passing in the hallway if you were not up to her “level” of importance! She would look past your shoulder. Yuck! Definitely not an editor of the people.

  17. lucy2 says:

    Ugh, Wintour is the worst. That flight attendant should have “accidentally” spilled on her during the beverage service.
    And Tim Gunn is the best. I’ve never watched his show, but anytime I see or read about him, he’s a delight, and seems to be a decent, kind hearted guy. I love that he refused to retract what was clearly a true story.

  18. Tash says:

    I love how he isn’t intimidated by her when a lot of people are I’m sure. I wish I’m a gay man in my 50-60s. I would chase him down and make him my lovah :)
    He’s so kind and polite!

  19. Naya says:

    Ok I’ll be the one to say it, this seems tame to me. I’m no fashion fru-fru and it baffles me that people wear shoes for style rather than spinal health or comfort but then it does make sense that a woman (who does have to dress that way given her job) on the busiest day of her work year would have to be carried down the steps. This isnt diva, its just logistics. And Gunn should have explained that to his audience the first time he even raised it in public. This should have been a statement on how “fashion” literally binds women, so I side eye him and his shade.

    Secondly, extroverted people may be ok with being approached by strangers in a confined space where they dont even have the option to walk away. Me, I am not. Everybody knows that Anna is also withdrawn, why would Gunn set her up like that? If that girl had asked me, I would have said to her, “Anna is not an actress or singer, shes a magazine editor so she may not appreciate that right here, right now. Maybe gauge your moment once we land and are in open space but remember, she is not an entertainer and is famously uncomfortable about such things”. Thats the decent thing to do but Gunn was up to some mischief so….

    So I guess I am Team Wintour. #downwithGunn

    • LAK says:

      I’m with Anne too. If that’s the ‘worst’ story he can tell about her, his circles aren’t rarified enough because i’ve witnessed and heard worse stuff about various people. Anne is positively tame in comparison.

      • Bridget says:

        It wasn’t even supposed to be a ‘worst’ moment, it was just a silly “only in fashion” kind of anecdote.

    • Bridget says:

      You’re actually defending someone who doesn’t have the time of day for the bare minimum of politeness? Literally, won’t even acknowledge the presence of a flight attendant who is working on that flight. That’s basic common courtesy and respect. And it’s also a flight attendant’s job to greet their first class passengers and see if they need anything.

    • FF says:

      Thank you for saying that too. I was wondering if that might not be part of it but could think how to phrase it.

      lol, I can see this from both sides.

      I think the flight attendant might have reconsidered her approach if she hadn’t been greenlit by Gunn tho. I’m just wondering if there is any way to approach Wintour – I’m thinking no. If she isn’t approaching you, just no. Some people are like that no matter where they work, tbh.

      The denial of her being carried down the stairs though, Is this because it might come off as a slight to the shoe designer? I remember reading a Blahnik interview once and he seemed insistent that women walk in his shoes at their heel height and was very against platforming of any kind. I’m assuming that need for a retraction is about not being seen to slight his designs or…?

      • belle de jour says:

        If she did not already have the (quite justified) reputation as the most unapproachable Queen Bee in NYC fashion/editorial circles, she would not have been as stung by Mr. Gunn’s very funny anecdote – and the Cleopatra image it conjured up for so many people – nor would so many who heard it have jumped to conclusions about why or that it actually did happen.

        It was a goofy, ridiculous image that she did not or could not control or edit. She keeps tight reign/rein on that sort of thing (both professionally and personally), and her sudden lack of control is the source of the butt-hurt here, imo.

        I love the image, and think it’s hilarious. Tim Gunn was under no obligation to explain his eyewitness account… and believe me that he was being judicious in sticking to an Anna anecdote that he saw with his own eyes, vs. any number of much worse that he could have repeated if slander or dirt were his goal (and to which he merely alluded in generalized vague Vogue terms, later on in the interview).

  20. funcakes says:

    Tim is all kinds of sexy. I would love to spend the rest of my life in bed,in our pajamas, snuggling together watching Turner Classic Movies.

    As for Anna…the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

  21. Lis says:

    I’m a super Tim fangirl even though my love for Project Runway has died, my flame for Tim will burn on!

  22. InvaderTak says:

    And for all of her diva attitude, she has destroyed Vogue US. She’s not even good at what she does.

    • Carmen says:

      I canceled my subscription to Vogue more than ten years ago because of what she did to that magazine. I read British Vogue and Vogue España when I can find them.

    • Beatrice says:

      Agree. I cancelled my subscription when she put Kim and Kanye on the cover. That was the last straw! I should have done it long before because it’s been going steadily downhill for years.

    • Neah23 says:

      I couldn’t agree more she has become a celebrity kiss ass and has lost her way. I think she needs to step down and let someone else take over.

    • Betsy says:

      Concurrence.

      I have bought a few issues (Lupita!), but I just do not like Wintour’s vision. I don’t. I feel like she has dumbed fashion down and accelerated the ascent of the celebrity as end-all be-all. On the other hand I appreciate that she’s older and a woman and the editor of Vogue, but God, Grace Coddington? I don’t follow fashion terribly much, but there must be oodles of women up to the task and with a better eye.

      • funcakes says:

        Why is she even relevant now that there is a whole generation of fashion bloggers? Vogue seem so passe especially when one can pretty much Google “latest fashions” .

      • Betsy says:

        Because fashion bloggers, on average, possess little to no fashion history or context. There is far more to fashion than the latest thing. I take great exception to the belief that we all need the latest everything all the time. It has encouraged the proliferation of terrible working conditions abroad and I would say has been a factor in the loss of manufacture jobs here.

      • belle de jour says:

        Yet another reason she wields a great deal of power: industry books, not most blogs, are still the media with enough resources to commission, support and publish artful photography as an expression & enhancement of fashion… though sadly, I feel this is just one more Vogue legacy that she has also steadily eroded and cheapened.

  23. Lilacflowers says:

    LOVE HIM! The world needs more Tim Gunn

  24. Colette says:

    The Devil Wears Prada

  25. Ravensdaughter says:

    I love Tim Gunn. What a zinger, and justly deserved!

  26. EscapedConvent says:

    Finally! Someone comes out and calls Anna Wintour Medusa!
    Tim Gunn, you are my hero.

  27. booboocita says:

    Does she not own any jewelry other than the same three strands she’s wearing in all of the above photos? I’ve seen her photos on other websites, and it seems as though those necklaces are permanently attached to her neck.

    Go Tim! Love that man.

  28. Vava says:

    Tim is wonderful. He’s the reason why I still watch Project Runway.

    As for Anna Wintour, rude, rude, Rude. Glad to see someone call her out on her behavior.

  29. evermore says:

    Love Tim.

    For a few summer’s I worked in a showroom in NYC and despite the hate and dislike Anna gets in the press, the woman is A Legend, in the industry.
    He may have given material for Devil Wears Prada part two. lol

    Anna is still a legend. I think she gets off on her cold as ice image in a way.

    The Legend Wears Prada and she’s a b….. LOL.
    The Fashion Industry can be bitchy, rude, mean but it’s exciting and enjoyable too.

  30. sofia says:

    This post made me feel really happy! So refreshing to see someone being genuine and honest and not kissing ass. Nowadays, everybody sort of needs everybody and nothing’s real.

  31. Kori says:

    My girls and I always watch Project Runway–and re-watch earlier seasons. So they’re big Tim Gunn fans as well. Once, years ago, I saw Tim Gunn at MoMA. He was looking at some of the exhibits with his trademark questioning hand on the chin, index finger under his lower lip. (Hard to describe but if you’ve seen PR you know. :) ) My girls were elsewhere and one had my phone and one had my camera. So no surreptitious photos for me. And I didn’t want to go up and disturb him to fangirl all over him. He moved on and by the time I ran into my girls again, it was too late. They’re still mad they didn’t get to see him and that I didn’t get a photo–and I always remind them they had all the devices that would take a photo! And he dresses just as snazzily on his downtime as on the show!

  32. dawnchild says:

    My respect for him just rose a bit more.
    To stand up to someone powerful in your own field of work is a big risk to take, and so many would not.
    Good on you, Mr. Gunn!
    And he is right…we have to have basic respect for each other, no matter how high we climb.

    • minx says:

      I’m a longtime PR viewer and Tim always, always treats every designer with the utmost respect. He has called out a couple of designers here and there, but they richly deserved it–and he was so honest (not mean) in the way he dealt with them.

  33. rlh says:

    I am a celebrity gossip whore. I own that. I am not ashamed. But I have to admit I question my devotion after months and months of Kardashian/Jenner mind numbing minutiae. But this, this moment, this man with these stories and his gumption…..oh Sweet Jesus, this makes it all worthwhile. I am so happy at this moment!!!

  34. B says:

    I love that man.

  35. Granger says:

    I finally watched “The September Issue” a few weeks ago, and while Anna does come across as a disrespectful snob, what really struck me was (1) how she didn’t really look anyone in the eye, and (2) how removed from reality she is — which makes sense, of course, when you’re the head of a huge magazine, never have to drive yourself anywhere or get your own coffee, and never have to talk to anyone outside the rarefied world of fashion/entertainment. Her relationship with Grace Coddington is… fascinating. They’re like an old married couple that’s only together because it’s been so long that they can’t imagine life without each other, even though they don’t really like each other anymore. There were also a couple of scenes between Anna and her daughter that were very awkward, but I take those with a grain of salt, because it can’t be easy having a crew of filmmakers in your house, watching you interact with your family.

  36. Helena Havelock says:

    There are 93 comments so far so, let me be the 94th person on the thread to say………I LOVE Tim Gunn but as far as Wintour is concerned, I’m extremely UNIMPRESSED!

  37. KayLastima says:

    Sorry for being late to the party folks, I’ve had tech problems, but when the K’s went up on the cover Anna fell down – HARD. I can’t fathom ANY reason in the world to put a K on the cover. There is just no excuse for the “bad press is good press” circular logic for that tragic event. In that singular act she became a Betrayer To Mankind and will forever remain so in my mind and I loathe her for even trying to justify it.

  38. Wentworth Miller says:

    Tim Gunn is the best!