Beloved pop culture icon Tim Gunn is best known as co-host of the twelve-time Emmy-nominated reality show Project Runway. He also hosted two seasons of his own former Bravo makeover series, Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style.
Gunn's Golden Rules
: Life's Little Lessons for Making It Work
On the runway of life, Tim Gunn is the perfect life coach.
You’ve watched him mentor talented designers on the hit television show Project Runway. Now the inimitable Tim Gunn shares his personal secrets for “making it work”—in your career, relationships, and life. Filled with delightfully dishy stories of fashion’s greatest divas, behind-the-scenes glimpses of Runway’s biggest drama queens, and never-before-revealed insights into Tim’s private life, Gunn’s Golden Rules is like no other how-to book you’ve ever read.
In the world according to Tim, there are no shortcuts to success. Hard work, creativity, and skill are just the beginning. By following eighteen tried-and-true principles, you can apply Tim’s rules to anything you set your mind to. You’ll learn why Tim frowns on displays of bad behavior, like the vitriolic outburst by Martha Stewart’s daughter about her mother’s name-brand merchandise. You’ll discover the downfalls of divadom as he describes Vogue’s André Leon Talley being hand-fed grapes and Anna Wintour being carried downstairs by her bodyguards. And you’ll get Tim’s view on the backstabbing by one designer on Project Runway and how it brilliantly backfired.
Then there are his down-to-earth guidelines for making life better—for yourself and others—in small and large ways, especially in an age that favors comfort over politeness, ease over style. Texting at the dinner table? Wearing shorts to the theater? Not in Tim’s book. Living a well-mannered life of integrity and character is hard work, he admits, but the rewards are many: being a good friend, being glamorous and attractive, and being a success— much like Tim himself!
He is never one to mince words. But Tim Gunn is always warm, witty, wise, and wonderfully supportive— just the mentor you need to design a happy, creative, and fulfilling life that will never go out of style.<
“There is a reason Tim Gunn is so beloved. Who else are you going to take advice from if not the consummate gentleman? Tim is the best—and he knows what he’s talking about!”
RULE 1Make It Work!
AS A LITTLE KID, when confronted with a difficult situation, I would run and hide somewhere in our Washington, D.C., house. I wanted to escape from the world. School, sports, church, birthday parties—anything social terrified me. All I wanted to do was hole up until the event had passed and I could go back to reading alone in my room.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t stay hidden for very long, because the house wasn’t that big and eventually my mother figured out my favorite hiding places. But usually it would be long enough to scare the living daylights out of her, which for me was not an unhappy side effect.
As my mother caught on to each new scheme, I got more creative. I think it was maybe the third or fourth time I hid, I actually ran away outside and found a good secluded spot in the yard. I was thrilled when I heard her inside tearing the house apart. Finally, I had really succeeded in terrorizing her. I could have stayed out in that yard forever.
Well, unfortunately for my escapist fantasies, we had a basset hound, Brandy. My mother sent Brandy out to find me, and she did so immediately.
This made me more determined. I thought: I need to get smarter about this. I need to run away with Brandy.
That didn’t work, either, because my parents would yell for me and Brandy would bark back.
Then it became a challenge to run away with her and to keep my hand over her mouth.
The whole project got more and more complicated until, ultimately, I decided it was less trouble just to stay home and be miserable.
In that moment, the seeds of “make it work!” were born. Running away from my problems didn’t help. I had to face up to whatever it was that I didn’t want to deal with—my homework, an angry parent, a fight with a friend—rather than just trying to put it off until it went away. Until you address them, I have since learned, such problems never truly vanish.
I had to make the best of the bad situation. What I found was that if I did that, the situation would rapidly become less bad, whereas if I hid from it or tried to make it go away, I would get more and more anxious and the situation would get worse and worse. I learned very early the wisdom of making it—whatever it was—work.
The phrase “make it work!” came later, but it didn’t originate on Project Runway. I began using it in my classroom when I was a design teacher at Parsons, the celebrated design college in Manhattan where I worked for twenty-four years. I found it to be an extremely usef
Gunn's Golden Rules: Life's Little Lessons for Making It Work is a real jewel. For those of you who have seen Tim Gunn on Project Runaway, on talk shows like Bonnie Hunt or in other venues, his voice comes out strongly in the book. Gunn radiates warmth and a genuine spirit--seemingly an oxymoron in the cut-throat fashion world.
Which just proves that nice guys can finish first--that you need not be nasty, mean or impolite to climb to the top in any profession. With 18 rules, this book shows you how you can succeed in life--while being nice.
Gunn doesn't believe in luck to succeed--he believes in hard work, skill, dedication and creatively. One of his phrases that he uses on Project Runaway in in life is: "Make it work". He says: "You should use what you have on hand to transform your situation." In other words, if you wait until everything is perfect before proceeding, it ain't gonna happen!
He believes in politeness and in being kind to others. This book, he writes, is a "manifesto for kindness, generosity and integrity."
What I like about this book most is that, unlike so many recently published, Gunn emphasizes hard work, perseverance and creatively to reach goals--not magical thinking. Obviously, not all of us will reach the level of success that Gunn has. Bit the book is motivational, fun (the dishing--delightful!) and a guide to good living.
I also like the fact that he tells us that the world owes us nothing. There are far too many people who feel, for whatever reason, that they are entitled. Gunn does NOT like these people....These are usually the same people who are rude to waiters and other people (something Gunn rails against. Yes! I used to wait tables and couldn't stand people who were rude just because.)
While this is not a fashion/lifestyle book, you may be interested in it because you are a fan of Tim Gunn. If so, I recommend
Tim Gunn: A Guide to Quality, Taste and Style. As an interior designer, I would also like to recommend Harmonious Environment to add some style and beauty to your home!
Love the book!
If you love Tim Gunn, this book is pure treat. I drank it in in one long nighttime sip, and it was refreshing, tasty, and satisfying. I wish I knew the man, but reading this book makes me think that I do.
I am a big fan of Project Runway and find Tim Gunn's contributions add a lot to the show, so I was drawn to this book for that reason alone. What surprises me, though, is how emotionally moving and touching this book is. While it is a book on modern etiquette, it is also Tim's personal story and how to navigate the modern world with class and dignity. I have two teenage sons and I want them to read this book, if only to reinforce the idea that kindness, class and discretion are virtues and sometimes brutal honesty is just brutal, and telling the truth is not an excuse to be cruel.
I really really loved this book! It really helped me learn more about who Tim Gunn is and how he got to where he is today, with many helpful lessons for life, which I totally agree with. If you enjoy him from Project Runway, then I HIGHLY recommend it! If you don't know anything about it, then you might not enjoy it so much, but I recommend watching a few of the more recent seasons of PR :) THEN read...
This is a well written, candid book, with a very personal approach. One often feels that you are there speaking face to face in an intimate setting with Tim Gunn. Some painful areas of his life are revealed and he is to be admired for his honesty. Of course, because of the world he works in there are some other cheeky and funny revelations too. I think even more highly of Tim Gunn after reading...