I doubt Andre Leon Talley will take in a Durham Bulls game on future trips to the Triangle. One, the Bulls are seriously lacking in Louis Vuitton fan gear, and two, the larger than life editor-at-large of Vogue magazine took serious exception to SEPTEMBER ISSUE director R.J. Cutler’s comparison of the magazine’s superstar line-up of fashion editors to the Babe Ruth-era of the New York Yankees.
ALT (who is fabulous enough to rate an acronym) cried out “Who are the Bronx Bombers?” and indignantly denied any similarities to that Hall of Fame team. After all, Vogue, and subsequently the SEPTEMBER ISSUE, is about stilettos and couture, not steroids and curve balls.
Talley, who took up tennis only for the fun of buying a Louis Vuitton tennis racket case, water bottle trunk and towel, wore a tan alligator coat and large black plastic aviator-style sunglasses to the screening, toting a bulging Louis Vuitton planner. He was joined by Vogue creative director Grace Coddington, whose shock of red hair matched her crimson nails and blinged-out cross necklace sparkled from across the room, to talk about the documentary. The film, which not even all of the Vogue editors have seen yet, follows Talley, Coddington, editor-in-chief Anna Wintour and the rest of her staff during the nine-month process it takes to execute the magazine’s ad-heavy September issue.
Talley, a Durham native and N.C. Central University grad, said it was both exciting and unsettling to show the film in his hometown and at a theater he frequented as a boy. Growing up under the shadows of Jim Crow, ALT was relegated to the Carolina Theatre’s balcony when he came to watch movies like DRACULA with his uncle. But despite his success, international connections and bittersweet memories, ALT said he visits the Bull City often, and he even hopes to move back and be “an old man sitting on his front porch.”
After the show, Cutler declared the Full Frame screening to be the best yet, noting the audience recognized the film’s humor better than any other audience. But although Cutler may have logged the night’s most understated sound bite (“Anna [Wintour] has opinions”), Talley was full of juicy insight on the infamous fashion editrix herself:
- “I don’t think [Wintour] is scared of anyone but herself.”
- Wintour invited Talley to her wedding–along with all of her ex-boyfriends–and even had him hold her bouquet.
- “[Wintour] has no time to suffer fools and be charming.”