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Originally published April 22, 2007 at 12:00 AM | Page modified April 22, 2007 at 2:01 AM

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Tim Gunn's fired up over "PR" newbies

"Pamela! You're like an old pal. " It's entirely possible that Tim Gunn says this to all the girls, but I don't even care. The design mentor and...

Seattle Times columnist

"Pamela! You're like an old pal." It's entirely possible that Tim Gunn says this to all the girls, but I don't even care. The design mentor and newly minted author is calling from his corner office at Liz Claiborne, and I am pestering him about the new season of "Project Runway," which returns to Bravo between October and December.

"We just finished auditions," Tim says, "and I will tell you, we found the most phenomenal designers. We could cast three seasons of 'Project Runway' with the talent we saw."

Fortunately, you don't have to wait six months for your Tim Gunn fix — the eloquent author assures me he dropped plenty of his expansive vocabulary (faux bois! caucus! sturm und drang!) into his new book, "Tim Gunn: A Guide to Quality, Taste & Style." (Tim will be in Seattle May 6 and 7 on a book tour; see www.abramsimage.com for details. You can read the first chapter at www.bravotv.com.) "The editors said, 'Change these words, change this reference.' And I said, you know something, I can't do that. If this is a problem for the reader, they can sit with a dictionary in their laps." In other words: Readers, make it work. ...

THE GIRL TALK at the book party/signing for Melissa Kirsch's "The Girl's Guide to Absolutely Everything" at the W Hotel April 12 was decidedly PG-rated. "They didn't ask any of the good questions," reports my spy. (Yes! I have spies!) "They didn't ask anything about sex, or how to get a book published ... these girls wanted to know how much you're supposed to tip the bartender." Well, I suppose that depends on how much you're getting stiffed on the drink. To wit: "I ordered a glass of Chardonnay. It was $16." ...

A GIANT BRONZE stag greeted guests at the third annual Seattle Opera Gala, themed "Fete in the Forest," as they stepped off the escalators at Meydenbauer Center. It was 15 feet tall. It came from "one of those places where they sell giant bronze things," according to a Seattle Opera insider. (Yes, insiders! I am officially turning this column into US Weekly magazine!) The sold-out party doubled its fundraising goal and at least one firefighter pin-up in attendance celebrated a birthday the same night. OK, so it was just the one, and his name was Justin, aka Mr. March. ...

"YOU'RE GOING TO be nice to me, right?" Yes, I only have nice things to say about James Sun, the local "Apprentice" candidate who is in the final four going into tonight's live finale (10 p.m., KING-TV). I like winners! So does the Seattle entrepreneur really think he can win this thing? "Yeah I do, actually." Well, if he doesn't, he has a fallback career as a hair model: "I do get e-mails about my hair. This lady is doing a book with pictures of cool hair and she asked me if I'd be willing to model for it, with my shirt off. It's a book about hair and she wants my shirt off!" ...

PROVING THAT LAUGHTER is the best medicine, comedian — and Bellingham resident — Ryan Stiles ("The Drew Carey Show") will host an evening of improv at Western Washington University Monday in support of a local teen who was paralyzed after falling out of a loft bed. All proceeds will aid in the care of 19-year-old Gabriel Twining, who is recovering at UW Medical Center. For tickets and details, visit www.gabrielsfaith.org. ...

THEY ROLLED OUT the red carpet — and shut down a lane of traffic — for "A Night at the 5th," the 5th Avenue Theatre's annual fundraising gala last Saturday night. The packed house included Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske and his wife, Anna Laszlo, philanthropist Sally Behnke and son Carl Behnke, Ron Sims, Norm Rice, and my dear friend Therese Sangster with fiancé and Garage co-owner Mike Bitondo. Ken Alhadeff played the role of auctioneer, and each of the live auction items came with its own musical number, complete with backup singers: "Our Town" became "Our Team" for an Evening at Safeco. And speaking of baseball ...

FORMER "AMERICAN IDOL" contestant Elliott Yamin threw out the ceremonial first pitch Tuesday at Safeco Field as the Mariners hosted the Minnesota Twins. I'm sure there's a joke in here somewhere about "perfect pitch," but I don't know what it is.

Girl About Town appears every Sunday in Northwest Life. Pamela Sitt: 206-464-2376 or psitt@seattletimes.com

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