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To Do, This Weekend: Check Out the André Leon Talley Documentary “The Gospel According to André”

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Well. My drears. He’s only the most fabulous man ON THE PLANET, of course. A mountainous creature of pure fashion, a luminary BEYOND luminaries, a wearer of caftans and choir robes and sleeping bag coats… he’s simply IT and now Andre Leon Talley is the subject of a must-see documentary opening inselectedtheaters TONIGHT.

via PAPER:

The Gospel According to André, which premieres May 25, director Kate Novack traces the legendary tastemaker’s beginnings in the Jim Crow South all the way to the top of his rise to the highest ranks of the fashion and media worlds as Anna Wintour’s counterpoint at Vogue and beyond.

Featuring fierce-as-fuck commentary by Fran Lebowitz, Anna Wintour, Whoopi Goldberg and MORE. Check out the super-fab trailer below.

via the LA Times:

Perhaps this is the greatest takeaway from Kate Novack’s documentary on Talley, titled “The Gospel According to André,” in theaters Friday — for all of fashion’s newly found interest in black and brown bodies and aesthetics on their runways and in their campaigns, André Leon Talley was fighting the good fight long before.

“I have fought quietly, not with placards,” he said. “I fight quitely to influence the culture. This [film] is a blessing that [Novack] had the vision to create this which is, for me, a summation of who I am after all these decades out there fighting.”

A long overdue meditation on the man behind the custom caftans and capes, the film charts his rise from modest beginnings in Durham, N.C., where he first discovered fashion through the pages of Vogue to being a receptionist-turned-writer for Andy Warhol’s recently shuttered Interview Magazine to, now, a former editor at large of Vogue who sits atop the steps at the Met Gala commenting on its attendees’ garb.

Featuring interviews from the likes of Vogue head honcho Anna Wintour, fashion designers Tom Ford, Diane von Furstenberg and Norma Kamali and celebs Whoopi Goldberg and will.i.am, “The Gospel According to André” pulls back the curtain on a cultural icon who often doesn’t get his due.

How did I overcome that kind of racism? I internalized and struggled with it…

Such was Novack’s intention, she said, highlighting that Talley has been in countless fashion documentaries about other people, brands and industry ongoings.

“He always steals the show, but always talking about everyone else as the supporting character,” she said. “And we know the fashion part of him, but I wanted to tell the story that we haven’t seen a million times — [about the] other part of him that is an enigma.”

Going into her first meeting with Talley, Novack, who has also produced documentaries including “Page One: Inside the New York Times,” said she was “nervous because he’s this big character and because he’s this big persona.” But after reading his autobiography, “A.L.T.: A Memoir,” she discovered his favorite church hymn was “Precious Memories.” That prompted her to think of “memory as a sustaining force” that she wished to bring to the picture. Talley was very interested from the beginning, she said.

“He wanted to go behind his childhood church and show me where he was baptized and he talked about how his life was very much like Truman Capote’s ‘A Christmas Memory,'” she said. “It wasn’t about ‘Let me show you my closet of 350 Hermès boxes’ — which he does also have and is totally fabulous.”

The result, of following Talley for over a year as the 2016 election was taking place, is a picture that earnestly portrays a man — billowing with justified aplomb — who succeeded in spite of the odds against him as someone black and from the American South whose size is deemed alarming, and gesticulations and mannerisms effeminate.


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