Tim Gunn

To everyone who questions if the glitz and glamour of Hollywood's big Oscar night should be scaled back in light of a tanking economy, Tim Gunn has one word for you all: "No!!!"

The fashion world's Papa Bear didn't mince words when we asked him about the subject while visiting the Project Runway finale show AMEX Skybox on Friday.

"No, don't tone it down! People need an escape. They need something that's over-the-top and exuberant, and if it can't be the Oscars it can't be anything," Gunn told TVGuide.com. "I feel the same way about Fashion Week, and it has been a real pick-me-up this week. I saw the Milan shows and thought, 'Ugh, give me a cyanide capsule.' It was so dark and dreary and down."

Gunn, who will be cohosting the red-carpet arrival show during Sunday's Oscars with Good Morning America's Robin Roberts, expects to see a lot of "saturated colors and jewel tones," but thinks First Lady Michelle Obama may have made an impact on what we'll see as well. "I believe our first lady is sending a signal about the importance of a simple silhouette and its sophistication and chicness. And watch," Gunn laughed, "now we'll see a bunch of Scarlett O'Hara ballgowns. I love to make predictions, but I'm always wrong!"

There's always a handful of celebs Gunn worries about, specifically mentioning Meryl Streep. "We'll see," he grumbled of her unpredictable, anti-fashion stance. Though the press scoffed at Gunn's positive comments about the black satin caftan Tilda Swinton wore to last year's Academy Awards, he stands behind his remarks and is excited to see what she will wear this year. "She's a bohemian, she's not a classicist. She marches to the beat of her own drummer, and when you talk about the semiotics of clothes, that gown sent the precise message of who she is," said Gunn. "I wouldn't put that dress on Sally Field. It's about the individual."

Whose fashion choices are you most looking forward to? Do you agree with Gunn that fashion trumps the economy?