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April 22, 2010 9:52 AM   Subscribe


 
"yeah, well she's a tramp."
(this is awesome.)
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew at 10:06 AM on April 22, 2010


Tim Gunn is like Auntie Mame, and I love every bitchy world of him.
posted by PinkMoose at 10:10 AM on April 22, 2010


I'm ready for part 2.
posted by oraknabo at 10:11 AM on April 22, 2010


This is really good.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:14 AM on April 22, 2010


I am genuinely upset that I can't watch this until I get home.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:19 AM on April 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Captain America: "That is a lot of look."

Elektra: "Tacky...just tacky."

Fing Fang Foom: "Well, what can you say about giant purple underpants?"
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 10:20 AM on April 22, 2010


Tim Gunn is awesome, and he's 100% on-base with all of his comments here.

It's funny how Spider-Man is one of the few superheroes with a truly, unambiguously "correct" costume.
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:21 AM on April 22, 2010


I'm somehow really glad he approved of Power Girl's costume. She's one of my favorite B-list characters, and not just because of the costume.
posted by explosion at 10:22 AM on April 22, 2010


Yeah, that was great. I'm not sure who the other guy was--Glen Weldon, I guess. I kind of wished that he didn't take such an active role in the discussion... actually, why was it a discussion? Why not just film Tim Gunn critiquing costumes and leave it at that?
posted by Squid Voltaire at 10:23 AM on April 22, 2010


Tim Gunn makes it work.
posted by New England Cultist at 10:29 AM on April 22, 2010


Has the second half been posted or is it still to come?
posted by bonehead at 10:30 AM on April 22, 2010


Bravo. Great post! Looking forward to more.
posted by Splunge at 10:31 AM on April 22, 2010


"yeah, well she's a tramp."
(this is awesome.)


Is it? I mean, yes, Black Canary's costume is ridiculously over-sexual, but his initial, split-second reaction is to throw a loaded negative misogynistic term at her, when it's unlikely an actual woman ever had anything to do with her costume design. I know that she's not actually a real person, and maybe I'm over-thinking the opinions of a man who works on Project Runway, but somehow that doesn't sit well with me.
posted by Caduceus at 10:36 AM on April 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


NO CAPE!!!
posted by AwkwardPause at 10:37 AM on April 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


Needs more pouches and funny shaped boots.
posted by longbaugh at 10:41 AM on April 22, 2010


That's actually surprisingly awesome.
posted by Joey Michaels at 10:44 AM on April 22, 2010


For what it's worth, the rest seemed pretty spot on, and it's nice he only impugned one female superhero's character directly, sticking to evaluations of the costumes for the rest of them. Still.
posted by Caduceus at 11:00 AM on April 22, 2010


I'm not sure who the other guy was--Glen Weldon, I guess.

It was Alan Kistler! I didn't know about him until just now, but his website's tag is "Comic book super hero history with connections to mythology and politics."

So, uh, I'm glad I know about him now.
posted by davidjmcgee at 11:01 AM on April 22, 2010


An earlier one posted in Ocober 2009.
posted by bonehead at 11:10 AM on April 22, 2010


Yet another one, on Wonder Woman.
posted by bonehead at 11:11 AM on April 22, 2010


I adore Tim Gunn, I wish there were some way I could take him shopping with me, he says the EXACT right thing all the time.

He's right on with the costumes as well.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:24 AM on April 22, 2010


Well, there's my new costume for DragonCon.
I will don new glasses, a grey suit and walk through the hallways critiquing costumes en' masse'.
We could make it a drinking game, each time I say "she's a tramp' you have to take a sip from your flask.

What? Everyone at DragonCon has a flask.
posted by willmize at 11:25 AM on April 22, 2010


I know that she's not actually a real person

I'm glad you mentioned that part, because there is no her there to insult: Gunn is clearly critiquing the work of the artists who created these characters by critiquing their work. Talking about the characters as people ("he looks..." "she is a...") is just engaging with the work on its terms. There is no Black Canary to be offended, and when Gunn says she looks like a tramp, he is criticizing the man who drew her that way.
posted by LooseFilter at 11:31 AM on April 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


There is no Black Canary to be offended, and when Gunn says she looks like a tramp, he is criticizing the man who drew her that way.

Which makes it all better!
posted by phaedon at 11:48 AM on April 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Which makes it all better!

Sure it does, it's a valid criticism of a creative judgment; not a snap character judgment of a person.
posted by LooseFilter at 11:50 AM on April 22, 2010


(creative judgment decision, that is)
posted by LooseFilter at 11:51 AM on April 22, 2010


Well, that's not what you said. But I'll give you some slack.
posted by phaedon at 11:53 AM on April 22, 2010


I'm glad you mentioned that part, because there is no her there to insult: Gunn is clearly critiquing the work of the artists who created these characters by critiquing their work. Talking about the characters as people ("he looks..." "she is a...") is just engaging with the work on its terms. There is no Black Canary to be offended, and when Gunn says she looks like a tramp, he is criticizing the man who drew her that way.

Not really, no. For starters, he didn't say she looks like a tramp, and even if he had that would still be problematic. He said "She's a tramp," instantly, the moment he was shown pictures of her. It was an immediate judgement of her sexual character using a loaded misogynistic term that to this day still plays a role in the activity of slut-shaming throughout the English-speaking world. The use of the term itself is the problem, especially since it was his first instinct. It doesn't matter that the character is fictional; he would have responded that way to any woman dressed like that.

In this particular case, the main problem with the character is indeed that men designed her costume and in doing so emphasized her sexuality above all other factors. However, what if Black Canary had not been a comic character, but had originated as a live-action actress dressed like that for a TV show, with a costume designed by men.

What if the live action actress's costume had been designed by women? At what point does it cease being okay to call her a tramp immediately upon seeing her?
posted by Caduceus at 12:04 PM on April 22, 2010


Of course, this wouldn't be the first time that Tim Gunn has collided with the world of superheroes. There was an issue of Marvels "Models, Inc." that came out last year, and featured Tim Gunn as a guest star. I haven't had a chance to read it yet, but apparently he tries on the Iron Man suit with fabulous results.

(In the interest of full disclosure, writer Marc Sumerak is also an old college pal of mine, and yes, I do pimp his stuff whenever I can. He's been doing some really fun things in terms of broadening the current superhero comics audience to include younger kids and adult women, of which the Models Inc. story is just one small part.)
posted by Strange Interlude at 12:06 PM on April 22, 2010


Criticize this, Gunn.

Only at your peril.
posted by Danf at 12:14 PM on April 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


However, what if Black Canary had not been a comic character, but had originated as a live-action actress dressed like that for a TV show, with a costume designed by men.

Seriously? Your reply is "What if she was real?"? Might as well ask "What if Black Canary was my mom and had cancer and had to wear fishnet stockings because they contained special anti-cancer drugs?" Gunn was clearly making a comment about her costume, and expressing the opinion that she looks like a tramp. Superheroes are their costumes. Without the big S on his chest, Superman isn't Superman, he's a guy who flies and is strong. When you dress a character in fishnets, you don't get to complain that people see her as inappropriately oversexualized.
posted by Etrigan at 12:19 PM on April 22, 2010 [8 favorites]


You can argue if you want, but I'm pretty sure that Tim Gunn is ALWAYS. RIGHT.
posted by Shohn at 12:38 PM on April 22, 2010


What if Black Canary was my mom and had cancer and had to wear fishnet stockings because they contained special anti-cancer drugs?

That would be sad. But also awesome.
posted by AdamCSnider at 1:02 PM on April 22, 2010 [6 favorites]


and for Incredibles fans, there's a requisite "capes?! no capes!" sort of comment about 3 minutes in ... right before they get into trashing Halle Berry.
posted by bl1nk at 1:05 PM on April 22, 2010


This was fun, but I'm only familiar with Spiderman so it could've been better for me. Is there one where he critiques Superman and Batman & Robin?

Halle Berry's Catwoman costume was bad, but I didn't care for Michelle Pfeiffer's either.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:47 PM on April 22, 2010


[A few comments removed. Please cool it a little if you want to keep discussing the tramp/misogyny thing.]
posted by cortex at 1:48 PM on April 22, 2010


As an occasional Kirby fangirl, I feel like I have to offer some rationalization for Mr. Miracle's costume.

It is garish and loud for one very good reason: the "original" Mr. Miracle (who appears only in issue #1 of the title and dies) was a performer. His costume is garish so that you don't notice all the subtle things he's doing in his escape craft, and so you see him very easily when he pops out of whatever death-trap he had himself locked into. The "escape artist" vibe is a major part of the character; most of his stories center around super-escapes from super-traps.

Mr. Miracle's costume is also designed to fit into a world. He's part of the "Fourth World" saga, chock full of crazy, garish Kirby designs. All of Kirby's costumes are bold statements; Mr. Miracle is loud even for Kirby. Deliberately so, I submit.
posted by egypturnash at 1:58 PM on April 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Seriously? Your reply is "What if she was real?"? Might as well ask "What if Black Canary was my mom and had cancer and had to wear fishnet stockings because they contained special anti-cancer drugs?" Gunn was clearly making a comment about her costume, and expressing the opinion that she looks like a tramp. Superheroes are their costumes. Without the big S on his chest, Superman isn't Superman, he's a guy who flies and is strong. When you dress a character in fishnets, you don't get to complain that people see her as inappropriately oversexualized.

Etrigan, have a month of Metafilter free on me.
posted by IAmBroom at 2:16 PM on April 22, 2010


As a female geek who's rarely interested in fashion, I found this compelling enough that I'm considering investigating whichever reality show he does this sort of stuff on for real.
posted by immlass at 2:32 PM on April 22, 2010


This is stuff that needed to be said.
posted by Ritchie at 3:29 PM on April 22, 2010


Weird. I just rewatched "The Incredibles" a few nights ago and was thinking how awesome Edna Mode is. Who knew we had a real life Edna?
posted by chairface at 3:32 PM on April 22, 2010


Although Ms. Mode missed a bit in her no capes rule. The issue really is poorly designed capes. You just need to design one that breaks away when exposed to enough force to throttle the wearer. Attaching at the shoulders rather than tying around the neck helps as well.
posted by Karmakaze at 5:55 PM on April 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Who knew we had a real life Edna?

chairface, are/were you unaware that Edna Mode is a caricature of Edith Head?
posted by IAmBroom at 6:53 PM on April 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Edna has nothing on this guy. I was fascinated by his rationale of Power Girl.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:11 PM on April 22, 2010


I discovered this video from the ever-rad Project Rooftop (why I didn't post it here, I don't know)

http://www.tencentticker.com/projectrooftop/

If you like men and women in tights, you should be reading this.
posted by device55 at 8:03 PM on April 22, 2010


I'm sort of sad they didn't address the cheap tri-color ink situation with the earlier costumes, or explain the B stringers backstories at all. A better format would have been asking Gunn who do you think this person is, followed by an explanation of that character and a comparison on how they read. Also a wider selection set on the costume evolution would have been nice. But, bonus points for use of the word semiotics. YAY, for being post post modern and acknowledging that symbols have meaning.
posted by edbles at 5:25 PM on April 23, 2010


Tim Gunn is just so respectful. I love how seriously he takes the task, without being insane. The more I hear from TG, the more I think he's an extremely smart man who managed to sneak onto TV despite his thoughtfulness and intellect.
posted by puckupdate at 6:36 AM on April 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Part 2
posted by P.o.B. at 4:50 AM on April 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


I know this is Gay Heresy, but honestly I find Tim Gunn to be kind of a jerk (and have ever since the fallout of the infamous "motherfucking walkoff" in Project Runway season 2 led to Mr. Gunn describing one of the models as "an elongated marshmallow with gumby legs"). That said, this was a pretty good idea. Just keep his barbs away from real people.
posted by kittyprecious at 5:12 PM on April 27, 2010


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