The Chiffon Trenches
This month is very crazy for me. I am starting SCHOOL, it's my birthday, and there's a ton of things happening at MDJ that require my attention. That's why I wanted to read this memoir. I have long admired ALT and am looking forward to digging into this book as a welcome escape from everything else going on. If you don't know who Mr. Talley is- congrats. You're in for a treat. André rose in the ranks to become the most influential man in fashion- despite being black, overweight, and a man! The cards were stacked against him but, guided by his passion for fashion and relentless ambition, André persevered and has lived a highly compelling life. I am so excited to jump in! I love any book about someone who- despite challenges- rises to the occasion and fashion is one of the most CUT THROAT industries out there. Hope you love it too. Xoxo. Buy it from a black-owned bookstore if you can!
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the pages of Vogue to the runways of Paris, this deeply revealing memoir by a legendary style icon captures the fashion world from the inside out, in its most glamorous and most cutthroat moments.
“The Chiffon Trenches honestly and candidly captures fifty sublime years of fashion.”—Manolo Blahnik
During André Leon Talley’s first magazine job, alongside Andy Warhol at Interview, a fateful meeting with Karl Lagerfeld began a decades-long friendship with the enigmatic, often caustic designer. Propelled into the upper echelons by his knowledge and adoration of fashion, André moved to Paris as bureau chief of John Fairchild’s Women’s Wear Daily, befriending fashion's most important designers (Halston, Yves Saint Laurent, Oscar de la Renta). But as André made friends, he also made enemies. A racially tinged encounter with a member of the house of Yves Saint Laurent sent him back to New York and into the offices of Vogue under Grace Mirabella.
There, he eventually became creative director, developing an unlikely but intimate friendship with Anna Wintour. As she rose to the top of Vogue’s masthead, André also ascended, and soon became the most influential man in fashion.
The Chiffon Trenches offers a candid look at the who’s who of the last fifty years of fashion. At once ruthless and empathetic, this engaging memoir tells with raw honesty the story of how André not only survived the brutal style landscape but thrived—despite racism, illicit rumors, and all the other challenges of this notoriously cutthroat industry—to become one of the most renowned voices and faces in fashion.
Woven throughout the book are also André’s own personal struggles that have impacted him over the decades, along with intimate stories of those he has turned to for inspiration (Diana Vreeland, Diane von Fürstenberg, Lee Radziwill, to name a few), and of course his Southern roots and ongoing faith, which have guided him since childhood.
The result is a highly compelling read that captures the essence of a world few of us will ever have real access to, but one that we all want to know oh so much more about.