Generally speaking, if you see Anna Wintour or another member of the Vogue upper masthead do something nutty and embarrassing and you’re a legitimate member of the fashion world, you tend to keep it to yourself. Maybe it turns into a dinner party anecdote, but even then the table must be occupied by people who would be discreet with the information. Which is why a story relayed by Tim Gunn in his new book, reported in Page Six today, feels a little aggressive.
In Gunn’s Golden Rules (out in the fall), the Project Runway mentor details his encounter with the Vogue editor at Peter Som’s 2006 show:
“I was with a colleague from Parsons, and we had been discussing the will-she-or-won’t-she-take-the-elevator question, so we ran over to the elevator bay to see if Anna would deign to get on. She wasn’t there. Then we looked over the stairway railing. And what did we see but Anna being carried down the stairs. The bodyguards had made a fireman’s lock and were racing her from landing to landing. She was sitting on their crossed arms…I ran to the window to see if they would put her down on the sidewalk or carry her to the car like that. They carried her to the car. And I thought: I will never forget this.”
This seems outrageous even for Ms. Wintour, if for no other reason than that bloggers and photographers usually crowd around outside of shows and if the editor was carried to her car on the arms of bodyguards, it would have been front page news an hour later. But then comes an even stranger story about Editor-at-Large Andre Leon Talley, whom Mr. Gunn saw backstage at a panel discussion: “When we return to the green room, we see that someone has spread a translucent barber’s bib over Andre and he’s reclining, his arms at his sides. He’s being fed grapes and cubes of cheese one by one, like a bird in a nest.”
Again, sounds more like a caricature than reality–cubed cheese? really?–but who knows. Either way, Mr. Gunn’s agenda in writing this scene into his book seems questionable. Could it be that Mr. Gunn is indulging some old grievance with the magazine? Or does it have something to do with Vogue not partaking in or recognizing the fashion reality TV world? (Until, that is, Mr. Talley finally decided to be a judge on American’s Next Top Model this year; Vogue was never represented on Project Runway‘s guest judge panel, but that probably had more to do with Elle having a long-standing partnership with the show.)
Regardless, a Vogue rep told Page Six, “Tim Gunn has a very vivid imagination. There is no truth to any of this.”