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Tim Gunn confirms his 'Project Runway' return, show's Parsons return


By Christopher Rocchio, 02/07/2007 

Tim Gunn has a lot on his plate  and -- fortunately for Project Runway fans -- continuing to serve as a fashion mentor on the upcoming fourth season of the Bravo reality series is one of them.

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"People were just asking me, 'Have you signed your contract?'  And my answer -- tersely -- is:  'I'm signing.'  Present tense.  It isn't past tense yet because there are still a few things that we're working out," Gunn told Entertainment Weekly in an interview published on the magazine's website on Tuesday.  "But do I have even one iota of a doubt that I'll be back for season four?  No.  Not one iota."

The 52-year-old added he's "totally committed" to Project Runway, as well as his new Bravo series Tim Gunn's Guide to Style; his forthcoming book "Tim Gunn:  A Guide to Quality, Taste and Style;" his The Today Show correspondent job at the upcoming Academy Awards; and also his new position as chief creative officer for Liz Claiborne Inc.  One role Gunn will no longer have is at Parsons The New School for Design in New York City, where he will stop working after 23 years to take the position at Liz Claiborne.

"I wasn't planning to leave Parsons.  That wasn't anywhere in my vocabulary," Gunn told Entertainment Weekly.  "But I had this meeting with [Liz Claiborne CEO William McComb].  "I thought we were just going to be talking about Parsons, the Parsons graduates, and various things of that sort. And then when he presented this, I just thought, 'Gee, you'd be a really great person to work with.'"

Gunn said his role at Liz Claiborne is very much like his role was at Parsons, only it's "greatly enhanced."

"I'm not a fashion Svengali, I'm a fashion therapist. It's taking everything that I've achieved in the last seven years at Parsons and it's really applying it to the real world of the fashion industry," he told Entertainment Weekly.  "And for me, that's a big challenge and one that I just am so excited about."

Gunn said he is also excited about the fourth installment of Project Runway because "there was such a huge ramping up of the quality of designers" between the last two seasons -- with the third being "the strongest yet" in his opinion. "I can't help but think we're going to have an even stronger turnout and certainly just as high a level of designer," he told Entertainment Weekly.  "But who knows how much higher it could be for season four?"

Though he's not expecting it, Gunn said Liz Claiborne could "organically" become involved with Project Runway.  While he added it's "certainly not a plan," he went on to tell Entertainment Weekly, "I'm gonna be really blunt about it: While I'm sitting there interviewing thousands of people and looking at work for the auditions, in my own way I'm going to have on my Liz Claiborne Inc. recruiting hat, so you never know who you might see."

Gunn also revealed the fourth season of Project Runway will be filmed at Parsons despite the fact he no longer works there -- an ironic twist considering he said the reality series being taped at the design school was "not part of the plan" to begin with.

"The plan was we were going to be outfitting a loft space at the Atlas apartment building, but we didn't have the budget. So I knew we were taping [Project Runway's first season] in August, and I knew that Parsons was empty, so I just said to the producers, 'Let's go across the street and look at Parsons,'" Gunn told Entertainment Weekly.  "And that's really how it happened. And the producers know the lay of the land here. And Parsons and the university are thrilled to host them. And all parties agree that they'll return."

While Bravo has yet to formally announce when Project Runway, the network's top rated show, will return for its fourth season, Gunn told Entertainment Weekly, "I've talked to producers and we're trying to set up times for the auditions and things of that sort.  So we're moving forward."

(Photo credit Bravo)


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