What I Imagine Tim Gunn Thinks of the Manuscript I’m Currently Writing

by Christine Friedlander and Adriane Quinlan

A list by Christine Friedlander and Adriane Quinlan, candidates in the M.F.A. program at the University of Minnesota, using only things that Tim Gunn has actually said.


1 Talk to me.

2 Speak to me, please.

3 You have a little factory here.

4 Why do you look so stressed out?

5 How did you take that heavy, flat coat and turn it into something that’s buoyant and sculptural?

6 How far are you going with this embellishment?

7 When did we go Grecian?

8 Can I be honest with you? I’m worried.

9 This is no time to be petulant.

10 I see a problem.

11 I believe you’ve been holding back. I believe you haven’t been giving your all.

12 But is that really enough to make it avant garde?

13 This has definitely a ‘wow factor’ potential.

14 I just hope no one is offended by it.

15 You’ll have 30 minutes at Spandex House.

16 Use the Lord & Taylor Wall thoughtfully.


17 It looks like a pterodactyl from a gay Jurassic Park.

18 You don’t want it to be vulgar. Can you believe I’m saying that?

19 I don’t know why you allow Gretchen to manipulate, control, and bully you.

20 I’ll be blunt: I see an homage to a menstrual cycle.

21 I think calling it art is a little hyperbole.

22 I respect what you’re saying about the art part. At the same time, we’re talking about a very basic silhouette that one could find in the closet.

23 Is this a self-fulfilled prophecy?

24 Why is there so much consternation and sturm und drang?

25 This is such wretched excess.

26 You’ve got to get rid of the bedjacket look.

27 Grandpa has trouble with these ropes.

28 I don’t know what I’m seeing that you’re not seeing.

29 I’m taking my glasses off because I’m almost blind without them.


30 I want to see Greatness.

31 Don’t give up!

32 You’ve got it. You’ve just got to get it out.

33 Just have it be exuberant!

34 You’ve had an epiphany!


35 I prefer the woolly balls.

36 Oh they’re animal wooly balls.

37 It’s so wacky and ridiculous — who could possibly disapprove?

38 There was a chasm between where you were and where I saw this going. Now you have arrived.

39 It’s a new dawn. It’s a new day.

40 You’re too talented. You’re too good!

41 You have a way to go. So go, go, go, go!

42 Carry On.


43 You don’t want the judges asking, ‘What did you do with those two days?

44 Being this tight and close to the deadline — with this much work to do — is … a little alarming.

45 The clock. Is. Ticking.

46 We’ve never had anyone … just not finish.

47 I’ll leave you alone.

48 A.J., you’ve taken the bullet and now I have to send you to the workroom to clean up your space.

49 This is not the last we’re going to hear from you.

50 We’re going to miss you.

51 I’m woeful.

52 It sounds better in French.

Christine Friedlander and Adriane Quinlan used their M.F.A. theses as the raw material for this avant garde look. Tim Gunn still prefers the woolly balls.

Image via Flickr/myszka