André Leon Talley, Fashionista
October 1, 2018 12:09 PM   Subscribe

Diana Vreeland loved him, as did Lagerfeld and de la Renta. But his style roots are in Durham NC On a clear and lovely Saturday evening last April in Charlotte, North Carolina, more than 450 guests gathered on the lawn of the city’s Mint Museum for its annual gala, a black-tie shindig called Coveted Couture, a reference to the museum’s dazzling show The Glamour and Romance of Oscar de la Renta, which opened the next day. André Leon Talley, the towering (he is six foot six) former Vogue editor who was a close friend of the late designer’s and the curator of the exhibit, sat slightly apart from the crowd, bedecked in a stately Tom Ford cape made of black silk faille—“like those,” he informs me, “of the bishops and cardinals.”
posted by MovableBookLady (8 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
 
The documentary referenced in the link - The Gospel According to André - is just delightful, and well worth catching if you can. (I see it's now available on demand, too, so even better.)
posted by mykescipark at 12:22 PM on October 1, 2018 [4 favorites]


I'm surprised he never hired a black phorographer for a Vogue cover shoot in all those years.
That just happened recently when Beyoncé insisted.
posted by w0mbat at 12:43 PM on October 1, 2018


Don't scare me like that. I thought this was an obit thread.
posted by adamgreenfield at 1:03 PM on October 1, 2018 [14 favorites]


w0mbat My guess is he was that generation's "token," a man who had undeniable talent but could never really fit in and to whom they would never give too much power. The white version of a "token" could be Truman Capote, undeniably talented but also nasty, brutish, and short, and when he overshot the invisible barriers, he was banned immediately and for life.
posted by MovableBookLady at 1:32 PM on October 1, 2018 [1 favorite]


He's a fascinating person--yes, definitely check out the documentary; there's a scene where he goes to his grandmother's house, which he has now purchased, and you suddenly suspect there are onions in the room.

There's also his great autobiography "ALT," as well as the Vogue documentary "September Issue," and a fictionalized version of him in the book version of "The Devil Wears Prada." What a great man.
posted by Melismata at 1:37 PM on October 1, 2018 [3 favorites]


OK now that I've speed read to make sure that he is *not* dead, I can go back and read. Phew!
posted by apricot at 4:05 PM on October 1, 2018


Charlotte writer and local NPR commentator Tommy Tomlinson interviewed ALT for his Southbound podcast around the same time he was in town for the Mint event. I'll confess that I haven't listened to this episode yet, but I'm glad to have a reminder of it. (A note for new listeners: Tommy had throat cancer a few years ago and lost part of his vocal cords, so his voice is a bit softer and scratchier than you'd typically hear on NPR.)
posted by Sweetie Darling at 4:51 PM on October 1, 2018


Relax, y'all. I always put either "RIP" or "has died" in the title so as not to spring a surprise.
posted by MovableBookLady at 5:44 PM on October 1, 2018


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