Sunday, February 04, 2007

town | gown

I saw it coming.

I was just wondering when -- and how -- the bow was going to break.

One of his dearest moments was when Tim Gunn asserted with intensely sober conviction that:

"Project Runway is nothing without its integrity."

God love him but this statement was utterly preposterous. Commercial television is not about integrity. Reality television even less so. He finally had to realize that in doing Project Runway he was working for Bravo and not for Parsons.

Having a current professor from a highly respected university in a primary role for a reality television program was a radical idea to say the least. Frankly, I'm sure that Gunn's involvement with the show raised some eyebrows if not some hackles at Parsons. At least I would hope so. An institution is really in trouble when everyone goes along without objecting.

There would be some who'd think that Project Runway did not reflect the academic level or pedagogy or basic philosophy of the institution. It would raise questions about conflict of interest; standards of excellence; and institutional image. These are not trivial matters.

I'm not saying that Tim Gunn presented anything less than an image of excellence. I'm just saying that despite his calm exterior and debonair manner he was actually treading through a minefield. It was inevitable that something had to go.

He wasn't going to give up the opportunities that he was now being offered, and why should he? Furthermore, his move into corporate world will now allow him to give back to Parsons. For one, he is going to be raising a lot of money for them. Not just because he will have a substantially higher income. He will also be establishing ties to people who earn the really big bucks. The development office must be giddy.

It seems impossible, but, yes, Tim Gunn is going to be loved even more than he is already. After all, which is better:

A. for Tim to be the department chair who is flitting about doing interviews on inane infotainment tv shows, earning buckets more cash than everyone else, regularly seen gushing over the kind of design work that is not respected by at least some of his colleagues (hypothetically speaking of course . . . not that academia is petty and jealous or anything)
B. for Tim to have a important position in the fashion industry that allows him to provide student internships, hire graduates and raise funds for the institution?

At any rate, I'm looking forward to seeing what he can do for Liz Claiborne. I mean, it has fallen into the style pit of mom-jeans. And did anyone catch the reference to shopping at the Liz Claiborne Outlet on The Office?

: There is a Liz Claiborne outlet. I know you like that store. Go inside and shop until I can meet you.
Jan: How do you know I like that store?
Dwight: Many of your blouses are Claibornes.
Jan: How do you know that?
Dwight: It’s part of my job.
Jan: No, it’s not. It’s officially not.
Dwight: Noted.

The Office 3.3 The Coup

1 comment:

eric3000 said...

Oh, you added the dialogue from The Office. Yeah, I remember that; hilarious!