André Leon Talley, a man forever dressed like he’s in the middle of getting a haircut, released his memoir, The Chiffon Trenches, today. 70-year-old ALT leaked some excerpts a few weeks ago, and they did not paint a very flattering portrait of his former Vogue boss Anna Wintour. ALT writes that she constantly fat-shamed him (whaaa, the editor of Vogue?!), traded in her old friends for a younger, more A-list crowd, unceremoniously dumped him from hosting the Met Gala red carpet and Vogue podcast for being too old, and, this is my favorite, says she isn’t “capable of simple human kindness”.
ALT recently discussed the book with Gayle King, and, unsurprisingly, said his relationship with Anna was iceberg levels of frosty (pre-climate change).
via Page Six:
Talley, 70, slammed the Vogue doyenne in his new memoir — due out Tuesday — and on Monday told Gayle King during a segment for “CBS This Morning” that “I think my relationship is in an iceberg with her,” adding, “I hope that it will not be that forever.”
Uhhh, I dunno, ALT, if you keep slamming Anna publicly, my guess is that iceberg will grow into a glacier (actually the opposite of science, but who cares, this is FASHION, DAHLING). Also, I learned a new word today! “doyenne: a woman who is the most respected or prominent person in a particular field”. Who knew? Everybody except me? Well, shit.
Sources close to Anna think she’ll be “extremely hurt” by the book, which ALT has called a “love letter” to her. Gayle asked him to clarify what he meant:
I looked at that André and I went, ‘Love letter?’ If that’s your idea of a love letter I’m thinking I don’t want you to like me at all,” King said. “How do you explain that? I thought this must be very painful for her to read. Seriously.”
“Indeed, it is probably very hard for her to read,” Talley replied. “It was painful for me to write this.”
“But it is a love letter because it’s a love letter about the joys as well as the lows of my life. And the joys of my life have been with Anna Wintour,” he explained. “I owe to her the pioneering role that I had of a creative director of Vogue. I was the first black man to ever be named such. I owe that to Anna Wintour. I owe her much. And I think, in turn, I think she owes me.”
When asked to elaborate on what Wintour owes Talley, he replied: “She owes me kindness and simple grace and being decent when things go south.”
Ahh, so I’ve figured out the flaw in ALT’s logic. He says Anna owes him kindness, but also that she isn’t “capable of simple human kindness”. To quote Mad Men‘s Trudy Campbell, “don’t go to the well, there’s no water there.”
Also, the more excerpts and anecdotes released, the less likely these two are going to make up. Vulture assembled the nine most “upsetting” Anna stories in ALT’s memoir. They include:
- Anna not getting the significance of Beyonce’s 2018 Vogue cover, in which Bey was given total editorial control over her photos and interview. ALT wrote a Washington Post op-ed about how important this was for the black community, but says Anna and other Vogue editors never responded to it, as they were “not capable of understanding”.
- A “racist jab” Anna made in response to ALT’s idea to include an African tribal photograph in a fashion spread. She allegedly replied “What have I done to deserve this underground influence?”, then told him not to worry about it when he called her on it.
- Anna treating him like an assistant when ALT accompanied her to some big fancy fashion award ceremony in Paris in 2011. She blamed him for losing her cell phone, forced him to hunt it down for her, before he discovered that she forgot in her hotel room.
The whole “cell phone” thing sounds like the end of The Devil Wears Prada. He should have chucked that phone into the fountain like Anne Hathaway did. But then he wouldn’t have gotten nearly ten more years of shitting-on-Anna content to dish about in the new book! Money, baby.