June’s poster girl is late to the game, and we only have ourselves to blame. André Leon Talley, where have you been all my life?? I only caught up with Cycle 14 of America’s Next Top Model this week since the summer holidays have started and there’s time to be sucked into watching episodes back to back. The new judge is, in the words of Tyra, F.I.E.R.C.E. He’s replaced Miss Jay, runwaycoachanddivaextraordinaire, but in his spare time he’s the Contributing Editor at American Vogue and is consequentially one of the most powerful people in the fashion industry, making or breaking the careers of all kinds of starlets, designers and models and photog’s alike, all of which was caught on candid camera in the documentary The September Issue. He was the hot ticket who introduced MObama to Jason Wu and had us all swooning that we’ve finally a First Lady who knows fashion.
That said, he clearly has a sparkling sense of fun in joining fashion’s flagship in trash TV. On Tyra’s show we really love him for being just as crazy as the lady herself, uber-camp (watch here as he introduces a new word) but also his extrème sohistication; he constantly drops french phrases in now and again, and no wonder since he has a Masters in French from the prestigious Browns University. At the same time, he makes himself approachable to the point of being the big ole teddy bear on the panel, total constrast to megabitch Janice Dickenson, and often softens criticism with compliments, declaring in one radio interview his aim is to build the girls, not break them. André judges each photo with his own high fashion, artistic critical eye; kind but intelliegent? Yeah, make that the extact opposite to Janice.
Plus he’s just way too cool for school, might have once worked for Andy Warhol y’know, back in the day and his style is to die for – his gorgeous silky kimono-style robes are a dream and give him a royal air he plays up to so well, and the accesories are just wild. He has some fabulous necklaces with animal fangs on, wore a giant pirate hat and mask for Marc Jacobs’ holiday party and we loved the ANTM panel when he had a cane with him and gesticulated with it. Genius! Best of all is the Anna Wintour style wearing-sunglasses-indoors-and-at-night-all-at-once-even-when-trying-to-see-shit-like-shows. Can’t get more high fashion than that, baby. His biography ALT A Memoir is definitely on the summer reading list – way better way to waste away the days than watching Youtube videos back to back, we dare say….