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Original 'Project Runway' winner Jay McCarroll rips Tim Gunn

By Christopher Rocchio, 02/06/2007 

Although original Project Runway winner Jay McCarroll says he's "not bitter" about past comments made by fashion designer Tim Gunn, it appears the two still won't be dining out together anytime soon.

"I just hate that because middle America looks at him like, 'He's so nice, he's like a father to them.' On [Project Runway] he was, sure. I'm not bitter about the man," McCarroll said in the February 4 issue of New York Magazine.  "It's kind of hurtful. At one point he said I was an embarrassment because I didn't show yet. And it's like, f***in'-A, man."

The 36-year-old fashion designer said it would be tough to meet with Gunn since he said the Project Runway guru "talked so much s**t" about him in the past.  While McCarroll said Gunn is "having his heyday" right now and "power to him" for that, the first Project Runway winner isn't doing too bad himself.  He launched his first collection in the fall, which will be released next month by Urban Outfitters.

"I don't think [Gunn is] an authority on any designer's life. He went to school for sculpture or something," McCarroll told New York Magazine.  "I don't think that he's ever, to my knowledge, started a fashion line and therefore should not be the adviser or the f***in' creative director... how dare you pretend to know what I should be doing with my company? It's none of your business, dude -- you've never started a fashion line."

Despite enjoying his recent success, McCarroll said he's unsure if he'll continue to design fashion in the coming years.  "Fashion is a very limited thing, and I want to do other projects that might be different," he told New York Magazine.    McCarroll said "fashion's expensive," and added he'd like to instead produce fiber art or performance art, and maybe even dabble in houseware.

"[Gunn] doesn't know what I want to do. Maybe I want to f***in' take a piss off the Empire State Building and call it fashion. But that's my f***in' prerogative," McCarroll told New York Magazine.

Gunn told New York Magazine that he's "regretfully" not in touch with McCarroll.  "I'd like to be, but only if he's willing to talk."

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