Hello, fellow readers. This post has been long overdue and yet I am still posting it. As a fashion lover, blogger, IG user, Twitter chirper; I still do not consider myself a “fashionista”, “trendsetter”, or”influencer” like many do. Do I have a following? Yes. Do I recommend things? Yes. I recommend certain brands that I believe in and that I myself have bought the merchandise. Does that make me an “influencer”? I guess to me yes and no. I mean, yes as in that moment but no too because it is not my constant feed and I feel like my blog is more of an opinion point of view and reporting than filled with ads and paid posts.
I am by no means a Kardashian, a Hadid, a Cameron Dallas. Which brings me to the point of my post. When I think about influencers, I do not associate that word with social media or any of these newbies that just talk about fashion or the ones that report without any knowledge or research. To me, a fashion influencer is someone who makes you dream, makes you fantasize about belonging to this avant-gaurde world that is being described. That makes you believe that you too, can be part of his/her world. I remember buying Vogue and the anticipation of reading the column “Life with Andre” in every issue, wondering what it will be this time. It was through this column that I also discovered names like Yves Saint Laurent, Coco Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld, Balmain, Givenchy, and Christian Dior. The column introduced me to the new designers like Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, and Marc Jacobs but it also introduced the New York City socialites that loved to be dressed in Oscar de la Renta and, my favorite designer, Carolina Herrera.
If you know who I am talking about then he needs no introduction, but to those, this legend, this influencer, this ICON, is André Leon Talley. I never knew much about ALT or I should say, I was never curious to do research about him. To me, he was fabulous and interesting in that present moment. I agreed with many of his fashion reviews and understood his many ways of speaking. ALT was the one, after the passing of the late Alexander McQueen, who really nailed the perspective Sarah Burton was coming from on her Fall/Winter 2011 collection for the house and that Kate Middleton should hire her for the royal wedding. That collection was truly feminine, regal and royal. Even though it was titled The Ice Queen and her court, it just made perfect sense for Middleton to tap them for her big day, and alas she did! Just a beautiful wedding gown.
So, why dedicate a post to this ICONIC persona? Why now? Talley was busy this late spring/early summer doing press for his documentary, “The Gospel According to Andre”, which I went to see and just never came around to write about. It is on most streaming services since September and I recently took a second viewing. My love for Carolina Herrera was the main reason I ventured in fashion but it was my love or more my admiration for Talley that made me want to fashion editor, critic, heck even the blogger that I am today. I studied every reference, read on all the fashion show reviews, bought into Vogue and memorized the Who’s Who in Fashion.
The documentary does a magnificent job in providing what type of person Andre really is. It taps on his struggles from Durham all the way to Paris as a WWD reporter. He definitely likes to name drop, he does eloquently on film as much as he does in his writings. I love that whenever he talks about Mrs. Vreeland, his face lights up just as you hoped it did when he describes meeting her for the first time and then when they show him Mrs. Vreeland iconic red dress from Valentino. Of course, the documentary touches on more than the fashion side but it is well mixed with his daily struggles. After all, this fashion powerhouse is human, as many of us have health concerns. I loved his fur coat as well as some of the celebrities that make cameos, who he is styling for events. His passion for fashion is very well alive and you see it throughout the documentary. He is respected, he is loved for the who he is.
At the end of the day, this man is extrovert and he knows it. He is full of life, full of knowledge that this film will inspire you and make you want to go out and conquer your dreams. Andre inspired me back in 90’s and early 2000’s with his column in Vogue magazine. It made me go to fashion school, work hard and gain industry experience. Watching this documentary for the second has inspired me again: to blog more than I used too and to keep pushing my podcast further. After all, one of my main goals is to be the latino version of him, but honestly, no one can replace ALT.