Confession: I was not familiar with Tim Gunn or Tim Gunn's Guide to Style when my friend Lisa emailed me the show's application last spring. But that's not surprising given my lack of exposure to the world of fashion before I arrived in this exciting city. I thought W was a magazine about the President. Lisa's email came after I had moved to New York from Washington D.C., had just turned 30 and was feeling particularly emboldened. So I completed the application, and 6 months later here I am typing a blog entry about my experience! My biggest fear going into the process was how the crew and hosts would treat me and whether they would make me uncomfortable for the "sake of good TV." I wish I had saved myself the stress! Tim and Gretta offered advice, not insults. They were not pushy or mean, and to my relief, they did not try to make me into someone I am not. Rather, they sought to enhance my potential and to put me in my best light. It was truly the most fun experience I have ever had and wish every female on the planet could be treated to a week with Tim Gunn.
For anyone who watches the episode I think you will see that I had a fantastic experience.
People always ask, "Did you get cool new clothes?" and the answer is, of course, yes - but the week brought so much more. It was five days of confidence-boosting by friends, family and complete strangers! I told my friends I wouldn't need a big wedding because I was made to feel like a bride for five straight days. Tim is the kindest man and is just as witty and good-natured when the cameras are off or turned away. Gretta is equally wonderful. She has the ability to make you feel like you have been friends for life. And the crew went above and beyond to make sure I was comfortable and at ease. The entire show works together on this process and I was amazed at the lengths they went to provide me with the ultimate experience. I had a running joke with the producers about how I am a laugher not a crier and that I rarely cry - especially at times when you are most humanly apt to cry. Well, they can pat themselves on the back because when my oldest friend Sarah, who was on the verge of delivering her first child, secretly flew in from Denver and walked through the door, I burst into tears! Sarah and I have been friends since our days at all-girls St. Agnes middle school in Virginia. On top of being a phenomenal friend, she has an amazing gift and talent for fashion. She studied in Paris, worked for Christian Lacroix, and started her own business of fine-embroidered pillows and baby items. I always loved visiting with Sarah because she would make me dress up - but because we are separated by two time zones, I haven't had enough quality time with Sarah to gain her fashion prowess by osmosis. I hope I did her proud with her visit, and I will forever be thankful that she took that flight for me with her big beautiful belly. And I am proud to say she is now a radiant and fabulous-looking mother of a healthy baby boy.
I could write about each scene, but I thought it would be more fun to reveal a few things that didn't make it in the final cut. For starters - filming in my apartment - I live in New York City, our apartments are shoeboxes compared to many other cities! I think one of the reasons I was chosen for this taping was our large terrace that enabled the crew to set up outside. Wouldn't it be our luck to have a torrential downpour the day of taping? Of course, the crew being complete superstars threw on ponchos and got to work outside setting up shop in the pouring rain. I was in shock when I returned to my apartment and saw all the furniture had been removed (save for a few staging pieces) with lights taped on the walls and ceiling, with only about 3 feet of space for Tim, Gretta and me to stand and discuss my closet. God bless everyone who worked in such close quarters - I think we all lost 10 pounds of water weight and it certainly made it easier for me to say goodbye to my cable knit sweaters.