“Fashion’s been very good to me,” says André Leon Talley, tucking right into a filet mignon at our secluded nook desk contained in the Carlyle lodge. We’re right here to speak about Kate Novack’s new documentary on his life, The Gospel In response to André, which he loves and is proud to have out on this planet—even when the filming of it “was a bit like open-heart surgery,” says André, who’s dressed at present in “a typical Marrakech maroon shirt over a silk caftan very much like what the men in North Africa wear” and a quilted scarf constituted of classic materials by Jeanette Farrier. “Kate saved begging to enter my rooms and see my garments—and I let her have a bit peek—however I wasn’t having her rummage by my closets! Ugh! Possessions are an excessive amount of after a sure age.”
The movie—shot variously in André’s bucolic colonial home in White Plains, New York; his grandmother’s home in Durham, North Carolina, the place he was introduced up; and out and about in Manhattan—rummages by all the pieces else in André’s life, starting along with his precocious childhood. “My bed room was wallpapered with pictures out of Diana Vreeland’s Vogue,” he says. “Jane Holzer, Pauline de Rothschild; I did not paper my room with Joe DiMaggio and Burt Reynolds.” It goes on to trace his apprenticeship with Vreeland on the Metropolitan Museum’s Costume Institute, his work at Andy Warhol’s Interview journal, his Vogue years, and past. It’s a life directly glamorous, glittering, eventful, and . . . colourful.
“Mrs. Vreeland wouldn’t say, ‘Would you please put the gold lamé dress on the mannequin?’ André says earlier than settling right into a gleeful, jaunty impression. “She would say, ‘Cleopatra!’ After which she’d get up and begin performing like Cleopatra, and she or he’d say, ‘Now, you know she’s a teenage queen, and she or he spends all her days within the solar, and she or he’s superbly tan, on this stunning backyard with stunning albino peacocks trailing behind her—they’re her favourite pets. Now get cracking!”
Watch the official trailer for The Gospel In response to André:
And whereas the documentary’s many boldfaced names—Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford, Diane von Furstenberg, Valentino, and Whoopi Goldberg amongst them—add wattage to André’s full of life life, it’s the glimpses of his early life in North Carolina that present each poignancy and perspective whereas illuminating what stands out now as a singular imaginative and prescient.
“I loved my home and my family,” André says. “I went to school and to church and I did what I was told and I didn’t talk much. But I knew life was bigger than that. I wanted to meet Diana Vreeland and Andy Warhol and Naomi Sims and Pat Cleveland and Edie Sedgwick and Loulou de la Falaise. And I did. And I never looked back.”
Certainly—it’s a life so wealthy, so totally packed, that our modern world generally pales as compared. This yr’s Oscars, for instance? “Helen Mirren standing subsequent to a jet ski? No. Give me Barbra Streisand stumbling up the steps in an Arnold Scaasi see-through pantsuit, or Katharine Hepburn in a turtleneck and a pair of slacks like she simply walked off a golf course. I modified the channel and watched Marlene Dietrich in Shanghai Specific. I imply: Mary J. Blige in white Versace? Stunning. Jimmy Kimmel: No. Let’s have Ellen DeGeneres and Whoopi Goldberg. Let’s deliver girls again.”
I ask André what he makes of the #MeToo theme that appears to be informing our world in new methods virtually day by day. “I think it’s great,” he says, con brio. “You must absolutely groove with the moment you’re living in. Life—like fashion—should be liberating and individualistic. It’s not about trends; it’s about what makes you feel great. And that’s something I’ve pursued all my life.”
André talks up his favourite American designers under.
Tom has managed to be what each designer desires to be: not solely a designer however a poet, an artist, a filmmaker, a perfumer. He doesn’t observe anybody; he makes his personal guidelines and does what he desires to do. For me, he’s at all times echoed the sophistication of the ’70s, when dazzling, unapologetic, in-your- face glamour was at its top—Bianca Jagger in a white satin go well with; Diana Ross, Studio 54.
I did her first interview ever, earlier than she was even in vogue. She used to return to the Met ball from South America, and she or he at all times had essentially the most extraordinary clothes from Paris that no person else may discover—and her personal designs replicate that type of glamour. I liked the finale of her final present, together with her trademark white cotton shirts and massive dinner skirts, lengthy with brilliant colours, with trains of silk. It was very American, like Slim Keith or C. Z. Visitor.
Ralph has, for 50 years, been listening to no person apart from himself whereas reinterpreting and redefining definitive American model—largely as considered by the prism of cinema. His collections aren’t simply collections—they’re epic narratives, they usually’re whole existence: The Nice Gatsby or some French Riviera fantasy or, on this case, the West. Who else cuts such a broad swath?