The Gospel According to André
No one in the fashion world can afford to ignore André Leon Talley. This is partly because of his incredible fashion knowledge, vast network and strident opinions, and partly due to his hugely flamboyant appearance. As an African American over six feet tall, he stands out in the predominately white fashion industry. Talley doesn’t live for fashion, but for beauty and style. "Fashion is fleeting, style remains," he says early on in this documentary about the motivations behind this high priest of couture. Designers and fellow journalists talk at length in the film, which also features a lot of stunning archive footage. Talley grew up with his grandmother in Durham, North Carolina. He had a sheltered upbringing—stylish Sunday visits to church were the highlight of his week. This was the era of racial segregation in the United States: if his grandmother wanted to try on a hat in a store, she had to put a headscarf underneath to "protect" the white ladies from her black hair. Memories like this certainly contributed to Talley’s extraordinary drive to make it in the world of haute couture.
Josh Braun for Submarine Entertainment, Andrew Rossi for Abstract Productions
Roger Ross Williams, Ken Novack, Bob Acree, Lindsey Acree, Daniel Pine
Andrew Coffman, Thomas Rivera Montes