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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Style File: Andre Leon Talley

"When people ask if I have any advice to give about fashion, it's always the same: Follow your own pace, your own instincts, no matter what. You'll get it right."---Andre Leon Talley, "A.L.T. A Memoir"
Happy Rainy Wednesday!
Today’s Style File is almost long overdo! This week's style spotlight shines on fashion veteran and Editor at Large of Vogue….

...Andre Leon Talley!
As one of the few people of color holding any sort of position at the Bible of Fashion Magazines, Vogue, he needs to be addressed! First a little background...
Andre Leon Talley was raised in Durham, North Carolina by his impeccably stylish, polished, and pressed grandmother Bennie Frances Davis.

After attending North Carolina Central University, he received a Masters in French literature from Brown University.
He was in works to get a PhD in French, but cut his studies short to come to New York and work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art where he met Diana Vreeland, Vogue’s former Editor in Chief. Vreeland took him under her wing, and the rest is fashion history!

He started as a writer for Women’s Wear Daily, and joined Vogue in 1983 as a fashion news director. He served as Vogue's creative director from 1988 to 1995, then moved to Paris from 1995-1998 to serve first as W Magazine's Parisian fashion editor, then Paris Bureau Chief. He returned to Vogue in 1998 as Editor at Large--he’s been at Vogue for about as long as I’ve been alive!

You can now find him styling, traveling to shows (that you can read about in his monthly "Life with Andre" column in Vogue), and sitting front row next to the Queen of Fashion, Anna Wintour.
About his look, he says in his memoir, “As a young man my style became gradually more outrageous, until it has settled into what it is today: an eclectic mix of the bespoke and the extraordinary…”

I owe much of my ideal of fashion to the late Duke of Windsor’s outlandish plaid suits…”

“…Manolo Blahnik custom makes shoes for me, and Karl Lagerfeld designs special clothes for me at Chanel and Fendi.”
He continues, “My propensity of showing up wearing fancy robes has to do with two things: my physical size (if you are six feet seven inches tall, you might as well wear a beaded caftan) and my intense love of glamorous things.

ALT makes his mark in capes of varying lengths, colors, and hues….
And make a statement bags and scarves in patent leather and designer prints.

Monsieur Talley is a highly influential, outspoken fashion maven, and has had a hand in styling artists of color like Jennifer Hudson and supporting designers of color like Rachel Roy and Tracy Reese. Maybe one day soon he’ll have a hand in mentoring a few fashion journalists of color? Like me, perhaps?
Smootches!
PS Need to know more? Pick up his Memoir...

Here at www.amazon.com...or pick up A.L.T 365...

here.
PSS If you’re a real fashion sleuth, there’s a great article by Hilton Als from the New Yorker about Mr. Leon Talley. The article is a great narrative about ALT, and shows a more critical view of him. It’s a must read!!! I tried to find it online, but no such luck:(
PSSS Thanks to Intern Suzie for providing a few pics!
PSSSS The survey continues. If you've ever purchased anything you saw on The Fashion Bomb, let me know! E-mail me at thefashionbomb@gmail.com!

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

gah! some foolywang material he is sporting.

but he sure has ambition and thank goodness for a black man influencing the height of fashion.

Anonymous said...

For real, why is he the only black person at Vogue? They really can't have anyone else up in there?

SHIKA said...

MR.ANDRE WAS MY FIRST GLIMPSE INTO FASHION INVOVLING A PERSON OF COLOR. HE WAS NOT THE PROP MODEL OR THE ASSISTANT TO THE TOP GUY, HE WAS THAT GUY. HE IS THE REASON WHY I'M PURSUING THE FASHION BUSINESS. IF A BLACK PLUS-SIZE COUNTRY BOY CAN TAKE OVER THE HAUTE COUTURE WORLD OF FASHION SURELY I CAN AT LEAST KNOCK DOWN A FEW DOORS.

Anonymous said...

Great post, thanks for the info..

Pretty Girl said...

I liked this post a lot. I really admire Andre and his style choices. I see J-hud is his new muse!

Anonymous said...

Andre seems like a very nice guy, but to be quite honest, he looks foolish in those capes, outrageous scarves, etc. Throwing a ton of designer accesories on all at once doesnt make him fashion forward nor chic. He looks clownish.

Anyhoo, I enjoy your posts Claire..Keep them coming.

Gabrielle said...

I (heart) andre!! and his memoir is just wonderful...pick it up see what makes him tick.

Anonymous said...

he is fabulous, didn't you read his fashion advice? Follow your heart--so who are we to say that he looks foolish or clownish. He's doin him, so you can't be mad at that. Let him live! He is doing it in an outlandishly stylish way. He gets kudos for being his own person,for being so successful, and supporting other people of color in the industry. I love it!

Anonymous said...

he duz not support people in the industry. he doesn't have a black assistant and I challenge you to find someone black walking the halls of Vogue.

Anonymous said...

Hey 2:12 anonymous...

I'm black and have walked the halls of Vogue (and I'm not the only one, either), so while the world of high fashion may be somewhat homogenous, black people have been making their mark, too.

Anonymous said...

oh my goodness. no. why him. WHY HIMM!!!!

Anonymous said...

I've actually heard that he is a GREAT supporter of people of color. He has recommended a friend of mine MANY times for jobs. He IS flamboyant but on the other hand he is "the man" and can do anything he pleases.

Anonymous said...

Loved this post Claire! Andre is a true gem, capes and all.

coco_fiere said...

Love him! He's been known to devote his column to the issue of not enough black models on the runways and name names--so you gotta love him for that. I love the fact that instead of crouching or trying to hide his height, he embraces and flaunts it. I mean if you see a 6'7" man you're gonna stare so I love that he does the capes and large bags to further hold attention.
Now, am I the only one who wondered how Britney got on the same photo with two of the biggest names in utter fabulousness (A.L.T. and Kimora)? LOL Great post, as always.

SunshineStyles said...

I admire his accomplishments, but I think what he did to Jennifer Hudson at the Oscars was appalling. That gold leather space jacket totally ruined her look, and made her the object of mockery on what should have been her night of triumph.

Anonymous said...

Count me in as an Andre fan. If not for him, we wouldn't have gotten Jennifer Kate Hudson on the cover of Vogue. Remember, Ms. Wintour, fan of the stick figure, still has an iron grip on that mag.