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23-03-2004
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André Leon Talley
From Fashion Cheerleader to Narrator
By RUTH LA FERLA

Published: March 23, 2004-NY Times



André Leon Talley stood in a corner of a downtown Manhattan rehearsal studio last Friday, looking on imperturbably as one elastic-limbed dancer approached another, unzipped her partner's costume and in one seamless motion pulled off her skirt.

Mr. Talley, Vogue's editor at large, had more pressing matters on his mind, matters that rendered him oblivious to the genteel striptease taking place before his eyes. One of fashion's most vociferous cheerleaders, Mr. Talley has turned his attention to the theater, and specifically to polishing his lines, which he will recite next month when he narrates "The Owl and the Pussycat," the fabled Martha Graham dance piece. It will be revived on April 14 at City Center.

Mr. Talley, who has never acted or danced a day in his life, save for a brief appearance in a high school play, has taken on the role originated by Liza Minnelli in 1978 with a mixture of pride and trepidation. "I'm scared," he acknowledged, an unaccustomed tremor in his otherwise smoothly sonorous voice. "This is serious — I want to live up to the standards of these people," he said, alluding to the Martha Graham Dance Company.

True to his word, Mr. Talley has not only unfailingly attended rehearsals twice a week since January, but he has also made the ultimate sacrifice for his craft, going on the strictest of diets. "So much for chocolates and saffron risotto," he said ruefully.

His efforts have paid off. Indeed, his costume, a three-piece tweed suit created by Ralph Lauren expressly for his professional stage debut, fairly swam on his 6-foot-7 frame. "I need a second fitting," he said as he lovingly stroked the herringbone sleeve of the jacket. The costume was inspired by Edward Lear, the 19th-century English poet and botanist who composed the title poem and who, Mr. Talley let drop, was rumored to have once been Queen Victoria's lover.

Stage fright and all, Mr. Talley called his experience calming, even therapeutic. Although he has no designs on a stage career, he hopes to carry something of the unswerving discipline of dancers into his day-to-day life.

"Whatever the circumstance, they maintain an enormous respect for one another," he said. "It's the kind of thing we don't give or get in the fashion world, where everyone — myself not excepted — thinks he's all that, and a bag of chips."

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Last edited by BetteT; 14-09-2012 at 11:54 AM. Reason: Correcdting typo.
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23-03-2004
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Andre Leon Talley
Well, at least he's not wearing one of those hideous Sean John suits for that gig...

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23-03-2004
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How awesome! That's a show I'd love to see, ALT or not. I love Edward Lear, I love ballet, and it just sounds so fabulous.

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23-03-2004
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flaunt the imperfection..
 
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am i imagining it...or is andre softening up in his later years...he seems a little less ridiculous each year...or maybe i'm becoming more tolerant...i don't know ..but he doesn't annoy me the way he used to...he still scares me a little though

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23-03-2004
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I sat behind him at the DVF show in Feb. He had on a hugh fur coat and everyone within 20 feet of him was bowing and scraping to his every whim. Talk about Power with a capitol P.

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23-03-2004
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flaunt the imperfection..
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by model_mom@Mar 23rd, 2004 - 6:33 pm
I sat behind him at the DVF show in Feb. He had on a hugh fur coat and everyone within 20 feet of him was bowing and scraping to his every whim. Talk about Power with a capitol P.
model mom...what row was andre seated in...do you remember...he made this big to do about not wanting to be seated in the front row and i was just curious if he actually sat in another row or not... i skipped shows this season, so i wasn't there...

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23-03-2004
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Quote:
Originally posted by softgrey+Mar 23rd, 2004 - 6:36 pm--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(softgrey @ Mar 23rd, 2004 - 6:36 pm)</div><div class='quotemain'> <!--QuoteBegin-model_mom@Mar 23rd, 2004 - 6:33 pm
I sat behind him at the DVF show in Feb. He had on a hugh fur coat and everyone within 20 feet of him was bowing and scraping to his every whim. Talk about Power with a capitol P.
Quote:
model mom...what row was andre seated in...do you remember...he made this big to do about not wanting to be seated in the front row and i was just curious if he actually sat in another row or not... i skipped shows this season, so i wasn't there... [/b]
He was in the front row ,but in the smaller back room where the stairs are. It was so packed, but worth every minute!

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Last edited by BetteT; 14-09-2012 at 11:59 AM.
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23-03-2004
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flaunt the imperfection..
 
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yeah...it was a good show this season...i loved the hunter/woodsy looks...her shows are always packed...tons of japanese buyers...she's pretty big over there...it's not that easy to get a ticket...did ali do the show?...

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Last edited by BetteT; 14-09-2012 at 12:00 PM.
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23-03-2004
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Yes, It was so exciting for her to be with all the "BIG GIRLS" Diane said Ali had a killer walk and you are not going to believe this but she painted Ali's toenails!!!!! Everyone at the agency went nuts when she told them. Ali did her "looks" too, Hair and Make-up. A very memorable evening for a little ole country girl.

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Last edited by BetteT; 14-09-2012 at 12:00 PM.
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23-03-2004
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j'adore Andre, and i'm so glad that due to a tFS i read his fantastic book ALT



i do remember model mum talking about Andre's 'first but on the side row' during NYFW


Last edited by BetteT; 14-09-2012 at 12:03 PM.
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24-03-2004
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Quote:
Originally posted by faust@Mar 23rd, 2004 - 3:43 pm
Well, at least he's not wearing one of those hideous Sean John suits for that gig...
lol

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24-03-2004
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I really think Andre is great, he just seems like he would be fabulous to be around, like it would most definetly be an adventure..

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24-03-2004
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My grandma is in pretty close acquaintance with Mr. Talley ( i have no idea how that came to be...but he was good friends with my great aunt, who just died a year ago)

I met him once when I ws visiting NY and he was doing a book signing at Bergdorf's. I found him to be extremely gentleman-like, and very very friendly.

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31-01-2005
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he is unbelievable

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31-01-2005
  15
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He is fabulous! I love him!!!! One of the greatest personalities working in fashion.

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