In case you couldn't already tell from a particularly dramatic tweet from us, Tim Gunn had a seriously major moment at the end of Project Runway last night. And if you haven't watched yesterday's episode, then beware for spoiler alerts throughout this post — so read responsibly! We got the chance to chat with Tim about his Season 12 shocker, below.
Marie Claire: Obviously this episode is a total game-changer. What was your rationale for making the save NOW, at this point in the season?
Tim Gunn: I thought it was too early to do it when I did it last season — it is always totally ad hoc and informal. At first I thought it might be too early to do this, but at the same time, I couldn't stand the thought of Justin leaving. I really believed that that who the bottom three were that Justin was the one we wanted to see more work from. I believe the judges made an error — you know, Nina was going crazy over the "foaming vagina" — and I just felt they went too far with Justin. I will also say I was extremely conflicted on whether to to use the save now. But as the season progressed, I reflected upon the Justin save, and there was never a moment when I said I wish I had that save for someone else.
MC: What was it about Justin specifically, as opposed to any of the other designers?
TG: He's a doll! He's the sweetest guy you'll ever meet — an irresistible sweetheart. He just has such a generous spirit and is always cheerful and always such a positive presence in that workroom. We just couldn't get rid of him!
MC: In addition to being overwhelmingly positive, what are other values of some of your all-time favorite contestants?
TG: A willingness to hear criticism and an openness to hear it — in the end, one must be responsible for one's own decision making; a respect for one's self and one's peers and anyone with whom one happens to interact — thoughtful respectful behavior; truth telling and being honest; and a willing to say openly what one would say behind a closed door.