Bravotv.com: What is it like working with Tim Gunn?
Gretta Monahan: Oh my gosh, honestly, I pinch myself - it's the best. It's a dream come true. Tim is like your teacher and your husband all wrapped up in one! I want to make him my man, he's so cute! He's the best, he really is. I get to work with someone I truly admire. Not only has Tim been a mentor, but he has been an industry idol of mine for a long time, long before television.
How did you get your start in fashion?
I came to New York and spent some time at F.I.T., and ended up pursuing beauty first. I got into fashion by way of opening my first boutique. I started styling a bit and picking up clients, and then figured I was shopping all over the world, why not open my own boutique - it has always been a dream of mine. So I opened up Gretta Luxe in Boston, and always worked in tandem between New York and Boston. Now I spend a lot of my time in New York. I buy all over the world - I go to the shows in Paris, Milan, and New York to buy for my boutique. My boutique has primarily European and American designers, and it's mostly ready-to-wear. But it's a great mix. I call it casual couture - things you can buy that you can actually wear. I buy with a practical eye so that real women can take advantage of great fashion.
And you were at New York Fashion Week this year?
Yes, I was! I went to the Couture Fashion Week in Paris in July and then Fashion Week in New York. I really thought it was great. One of my favorite collections was Michael Kors. I carry his line in my stores, so there was a lot to buy there, and I really enjoyed it. I think New York still has the best Fashion Week. A lot people didn't know what to expect, but fashion is forging ahead, regardless of the economy. I think that people will always invest in quality.
Did you get to see the Project Runway show?
I was there! Oh my God - honestly, my head was spinning. I was thrilled to be there and I really enjoyed it. You have to have mercy on Tim and the judges, because there was a lot of terrific talent there. The essence of each designer really came through in the collections. I thought they turned out great work.
Any favorites? Hmm, the designer who put out the very soft palate of dresses - Kenley. Loved hers. My top two would be Kenley and Korto. I was in love with their collections. Everyone had good stuff, but if I was buying for my boutique, I thought things within Kenley and Korto's collections were very sellable. For me, fashion is not just about what is great design, it also has to be wearable in real life. Being a designer makes me pretty critical.