This is the second book I’ve read this year by Tim Gunn, but this was published a few years earlier. The first I read, Tim Gunn’s Fashion Bible, was a wonderfully curated history of fashion that I very much enjoyed. Golden Rules however is quite different, and seemed to change gears so many times, that I never really felt like I knew what the point of it was.
Loosely put together along the theme of “life’s golden rules” this feels like an absolute brain dump of Gunn’s life. Don’t get me wrong – I think he is an incredibly interesting man and I admire him for what he has achieved in his life. However, this book really doesn’t have a strong enough pathway for me to feel comfortable with it as a presentation of life lessons; it veered so greatly between professional stories to the most incredibly personal revelations, that it felt like I had stolen someone’s diary. It was the inconsistency of the subject matter and voice that I found uncomfortable.
For those who like Gunn on Project Runway, there are enough insider stories of the show, the contestants and the judges to make it interesting. For those looking for further detail on Gunn from “It Gets Better” he does share many stories of his childhood and sexuality. Maybe the key to enjoying this book is to read it one chapter at a time rather than cover to cover – individually the stories are interesting, but it is as a collection where the cracks begin to show.