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SHITS FIRED! Andre Leon Talley comes for Nuclear Wintour

Oh yes she did!

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by Anonymousreply 14Last Friday at 9:42 PM

His hat is from the Uncle Remus Collection*

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by Anonymousreply 1Last Friday at 3:35 PM

Ungrateful fat-assed bitch.

by Anonymousreply 2Last Friday at 3:48 PM

r1 I was thinking more of "Men On Film," from the TV show 'In Living Color.'

by Anonymousreply 3Last Friday at 4:49 PM

be nice or she will EAT you!

by Anonymousreply 4Last Friday at 4:50 PM

FAT WHORES BATTLE!

Roxane Gay vs Andre

by Anonymousreply 5Last Friday at 4:51 PM

Ooh. This is going to get ugly. Andre dumped a bunch of hot truths in Vulture (excerpts from his book) and she seemed to treat him like shit. My personal hero Tim Gunn hates her too. Feels to me like Anna is about to get nuclear wintered very very soon.

by Anonymousreply 6Last Friday at 5:07 PM

I hope he serves her with fava beans, and a nice Chianti.

by Anonymousreply 7Last Friday at 5:34 PM

by Vanessa Friedman

May 14, 2020

There is a scene in “The September Issue,” the 2009 movie by R. J. Cutler about the making of the biggest Vogue of the year, that features the magazine’s then editor at large, André Leon Talley, huffing his way around a tennis court with a Louis Vuitton tennis racket case, Louis Vuitton tennis towel, Louis Vuitton beanie hat and Louis Vuitton sports bag.

It is eerily reminiscent of a scene from “High Anxiety,” the 1977 movie by Mel Brooks, which features its star, Madeline Kahn, wearing a Louis Vuitton-inspired jumpsuit, getting out of a Louis Vuitton-inspired car. The Brooks film, however, is a satire; the Cutler film, a documentary.

Which is to say: In fashion, the difference between fact and fantasy often seems to come down to what you call it. Or how you see it. That shifting line is part of why it’s such a compelling avatar for our ambitions and identities. Ofttimes you have to dress the part and pretend before you play the part.

This is never more apparent than in two new books: one from Mr. Talley himself, and one from Alexandra Shulman, the editor of British Vogue for 25 years. “The Chiffon Trenches,” Mr. Talley’s book, has had gossip and power brokers salivating since excerpts taking aim at his former employer, the Vogue editor Anna Wintour, leaked a few weeks ago.

But really, how to see them?

Though both books are officially memoirs, they are more like historical documents, chronicles of a world that was already on the fade but, post-Covid-19, will be changed forever — if it survives at all.

“The Chiffon Trenches” has been sold as a juicy tell-all about two of the towering figures of 20th-century fashion: Ms. Wintour and Karl Lagerfeld, the Chanel designer who died in 2019; revenge porn in written form. It is that, kind of. But it is also a bildungsroman about an African-American boy from the Jim Crow South who made it to the front row of the Parisian fashion world by way of Interview, WWD, Ebony, Vanity Fair and, above all, Vogue.

It is a tragedy: the story of how one man sold, if not his soul, then his heart, his intelligence and his body of knowledge for the sake of a suite of branded suitcases and Hilditch & Key crepe de Chine shirts. And it is a horror story, about what happens when you confuse your professional life with real life.

So come for gossip: Karl Lagerfeld was strapped to a bed as a child with leather restraints by his mother so he wouldn’t eat at night! Anna cut André out for being overweight and old (though she still invited him to her Chanel couture fittings)! Bianca Jagger traveled with custom-made Louis Vuitton hunting cases designed to hold grouse guns but long enough for her gowns! John Galliano demanded zebra rugs in his VIP dressing rooms at shows!

by Anonymousreply 8Last Friday at 5:42 PM

The book is rife with such tattletale moments about these and other characters beloved of Mr. Talley: Manolo Blahnik, Lee Radziwill, Amanda Harlech.

But stay for the truths inadvertently revealed.

(Full disclosure: I worked at Vogue for a year under Anna Wintour in the mid-90s, but did not know Mr. Talley at the time.)

It is a book full of monstrous personalities whose demands are excused by their talent. Karl Lagerfeld, for example, whom Mr. Talley venerates for his intelligence (he calls him the “Socrates of high fashion”) and his twisted generosity (he made Mr. Talley an ankle-length broadtail coat, then cast off Mr. Talley’s reciprocal gifts, and ultimately cut off anyone who dared display weakness or need).

Naomi Campbell, who treats Mr. Talley and a boyhood friend to a trip to Nigeria for the Arise Festival, to introduce a documentary that had been made on his life, thus giving Mr. Talley the gift of seeing Africa — though when it comes time to return home on Naomi’s private plane, he recounts carefully instructing his companion not to speak until spoken to (she is in a mood), a situation he seems to find completely, horrifyingly normal.

Give me economy any day.

Though Mr. Talley clearly makes an effort to wrestle with topics he spent a lot of his life not acknowledging, from all fashion’s shameful isms (sizeism, ageism — and, above all, racism, a recurring and painful through-line) to his own failed lap band surgery and inability to have a romantic relationship (he was abused as a child by a neighbor), it’s as if simply acknowledging the existence of these facts — the way they marred the otherwise gorgeous vistas of the industry as it unfurled in his mind — is enough. He never really looks at whether the rewards were worth the price exacted.

It’s hard not to think the answer is no. After all, he writes, he does not have love, but he has binge eating. You’d cry, but you know he’d be mad because you made your mascara run.

Besides, then you might miss one of the most revelatory lines in the book: the aside that Ms. Wintour “was never really passionate about clothes. Power was her passion.”

That observation gets to the essence of Mr. Talley’s role at Vogue: not just to inform and decide, but also to serve as a kind of sleight of hand: an emotive remnant of the old fashion world that was so distracting, it covered up the way the industry was evolving under Ms. Wintour’s watch into a business about money, globalization and churn.

He was the diva he wanted to be, to borrow a line from Diane von Furstenberg, complete with his own often demanding behavior, and the diva his boss needed, shaped by the divas of yore (Diana Vreeland, Andy Warhol). But today fashion has no more room or patience for such divas — not in magazines or modeling or designer ateliers — and Mr. Talley has grandiosed himself out of a job.

by Anonymousreply 9Last Friday at 5:45 PM

That he doesn’t quite make this connection (or can’t bring himself to acknowledge it) while the reader can, is the festering abscess at the heart of the book.

It’s the tension between fantasy (or the world as you would like it to look) and reality, that is the essence of fashion. But perhaps the attempt to have one without the other is what it took to be him: a pioneer; the most famous black man in the glossy world — often the only black person in the room — until 2017, when Edward Enninful was appointed editor of British Vogue.

As it happens, Mr. Enninful replaced, as Mr. Talley writes, a “white woman” — Ms. Shulman, who was the editor of British Vogue from 1992 to 2017, and whose own account of her time at the magazine was released just before his. That’s pretty much where the similarities end. She was never interested in divadom; in fact, her reign was about playing the opposite part. In the pantheon of Condé Nast editors, she was the practical one, the one who didn’t drink the fantasy Kool-Aid.

Where Mr. Talley goes large, she stays small: within her own closet, quite literally. In the intro, she counts the items in her closets and drawers: 556, including 37 skirts, 12 cardigans and 37 handbags. It’s an intriguingly inside start that doesn’t really deliver.

She steers almost entirely clear of dishing on her former employer, save a note about her clothing allowance mocking her own naïveté (4,000 pounds, or roughly $4,938) and what she saw as the disappointing narrative created after she was replaced: that she had fostered a den of privileged people like her. She doesn’t tell on any of the characters she met along the way — not Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge or Richard Gere. Instead there’s a chapter on the meaning of navy, as well as her own feelings about pubic hair and wearing bikinis, even with a body that isn’t airbrushed.

If Mr. Talley was always an outsize representation of fashion’s drama, Ms. Shulman spent her time at Vogue trying to bring it down to earth, and her book continues her work, offering up an argument for clothing not as the dream, but as a repository of memory and emotion, of everyday history — cultural, social and personal. That’s a valid point. It’s just not nearly as compelling as all of the poisonous fabulosity.

And it’s the poisonous fabulosity that may represent the future: not of fashion itself, but of its storytelling. The industry’s power structures are currently buckling under the force of the pandemic, scrambling for survival, and voices that would not have dared speak up even a year ago are sensing weakness.

Not long after the first excerpts from Mr. Talley’s book appeared, the designer Ralph Rucci posted his own screed against Ms. Wintour on Instagram, promising, “I have been working on all the evil memories” and “I will write about what I had to contend with concerning this very, very meaningless person.”

Meanwhile, the current issue of the French fashion magazine Dull contains an interview with Flavien Juan Nunez, one of the winners of the 2014 LVMH Prize for fashion design school graduates, who spent a year at Dior — and who suggests in the piece that the luxury behemoth only hired him to plumb his knowledge about his previous employer, Hermès.

The previously disenfranchised and disgruntled are no longer holding their tongues (or pens). If I were a fashion power player, I’d be biting my nails. Because odds are Mr. Talley is about to be a trendsetter once more.

by Anonymousreply 10Last Friday at 5:46 PM

people are starving and unemployed right now. no one has the regard for this Colder Than December beef!11!!1!

by Anonymousreply 11Last Friday at 5:57 PM

So Naomi Campbell flew Talley to an Arse Festival in Nigeria? Understandable.

by Anonymousreply 12Last Friday at 6:32 PM

I don't care I'm buying ALT's screed as soon as it's out.

by Anonymousreply 13Last Friday at 9:21 PM

Vanessa Friedman is pointless and no one reads her at all!

by Anonymousreply 14Last Friday at 9:42 PM
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