The Big Gunn

Tim Gunn tells it like it is to Dallas’ most charitable lunching ladies

Tim Gunn tells it like it is to Dallas’ charitable lunching ladies

Kimberly Schlegel Whitman, Tim Gunn
Kimberly Schlegel Whitman chatted with Tim Gunn in a living-room setup provided by Erdos at Home. Photos by Dana Driensky, Daniel Driensky, and Tamytha Cameron
Paige McDaniel, Tim Gunn, Jill Bee
Paige McDaniel, Tim Gunn, Jill Bee Photos by Dana Driensky, Daniel Driensky, and Tamytha Cameron
Cindy Stager, Kristi Hoyl, Jill Tananbaum
Cindy Stager, Kristi Hoyl, Jill Tananbaum Photos by Dana Driensky, Daniel Driensky, and Tamytha Cameron
Anne Stodghill, Holly Davis
Anne Stodghill, Holly Davis Photos by Dana Driensky, Daniel Driensky, and Tamytha Cameron
Brian Bolke, Nancy Rogers, Tim Gunn
Brian Bolke, Nancy Rogers, Tim Gunn Photos by Dana Driensky, Daniel Driensky, and Tamytha Cameron
Lisa Rocchio, Robin McMonigle
Lisa Rocchio, Robin McMonigle Photos by Dana Driensky, Daniel Driensky, and Tamytha Cameron
Rishon Hilde, Brenda Gray, Alissa Gearing, Sandy Moore
Rishon Hilde, Brenda Gray, Alissa Gearing, Sandy Moore Photos by Dana Driensky, Daniel Driensky, and Tamytha Cameron
Debra Bigham, Catherine Pate, Janice Van Arsdale
Debra Bigham, Catherine Pate, Janice Van Arsdale Photos by Dana Driensky, Daniel Driensky, and Tamytha Cameron
Maggie Kipp, Heather Randall
Maggie Kipp, Heather Randall Photos by Dana Driensky, Daniel Driensky, and Tamytha Cameron
Becky Roesch, Aimee Cook, Linda Westerberg
Becky Roesch, Aimee Cook, Linda Westerberg Photos by Dana Driensky, Daniel Driensky, and Tamytha Cameron
Kimberly Schlegel Whitman, Jessica Nowitzki
Kimberly Schlegel Whitman, Jessica Nowitzki Photos by Dana Driensky, Daniel Driensky, and Tamytha Cameron
Kimberly Schlegel Whitman, Tim Gunn
Paige McDaniel, Tim Gunn, Jill Bee
Cindy Stager, Kristi Hoyl, Jill Tananbaum
Anne Stodghill, Holly Davis
Brian Bolke, Nancy Rogers, Tim Gunn
Lisa Rocchio, Robin McMonigle
Rishon Hilde, Brenda Gray, Alissa Gearing, Sandy Moore
Debra Bigham, Catherine Pate, Janice Van Arsdale
Maggie Kipp, Heather Randall
Becky Roesch, Aimee Cook, Linda Westerberg
Kimberly Schlegel Whitman, Jessica Nowitzki

Walking into the Hilton Anatole recently, you could tell something was up. No, it wasn’t the hordes of women filing in. It was how unbelievably well-dressed they all were — well, more so than usual — and it was only 10:30 in the morning.

The reason? The 10th anniversary ChickLit Luncheon — although that alone wouldn’t do it. What would: speaker Tim Gunn. And this year’s honorary chair was Forty Five Ten’s Brian Bolke, so between the two of them, there was a lot of pressure to look, well, fabulous.

In her spot-on remarks, Community Partners of Dallas president and CEO Paige McDaniel referenced our outfit anxiety. But more important, she spoke about how clothes can be transformative, and how even a new sweater or pair of shoes can change the outlook for the abused kids that CPD serves.

She had several anecdotes to illustrate her point, and, as she got emotional in telling them, so did the audience.

When Gunn was introduced, the first words out of his mouth were, “I’m still choked up from Paige.” Then he looked at her and said, “You’re the most beautiful person in this room.”

It was a lovely way to start his chitchat with Kimberly Schlegel Whitman, who sat with him onstage. They bantered effortlessly, and he was as complimentary of her as she was of him, commending her on her own accomplishments as an author.

Gunn kept everyone enraptured throughout the conversation, explaining his approach with the designers on Project Runway (“I pummel them with questions because I want them to say what I’m thinking”); his golden rule of golden rules (“The world owes you nothing”); and why you should only tell the truth about things you can change (“If you can’t change it, why talk about it?”).

He also admitted he was “in awe” of Dallas women, who had not succumbed to the athleisure trend he so abhors. (Well, at least not for this luncheon!) “It’s an excuse to be a slob!” he exclaimed. “You’ve restored my faith,” he added.

Also during the luncheon, CPD presented the Partners for Children Award to Jill C. Bee and the Champions of Hope Award to presenting sponsors Dr. Robert and Lara Tafel. Among those in attendance to witness this very special occasion were chairwoman Kristi Hoyl, Aimee Deputy CookJessica Nowitzki, Nancy Rogers, Angela Nash, CPD board chair Jennifer Evans Morris, Anne Stodghill, Holly Davis, Maggie Kipp, and Heather Randall.

Community Partners of Dallas has ensured safety and restored dignity and hope to abused and neglected children since 1989. The organization provides crucial resources and support to the caseworkers of Dallas County Child Protective Services.