On Saturday, June 9th, I took an hour and half trip to Landmark Theater, in Chicago all by myself. I needed and wanted to see the documentary of Andre’ Leon Talley titled “The Gospel According to Andre” As traffic would make me late to the 4:30 showing, I still made it in time to see the documentary. For those of you who do not know who Andre’ Leon Tally is, let me share. He is considered a guru in the fashion industry and historian of style and fashion. He has worked with a number of people in the fashion industry such as Tom Ford, Ann Wintour and Karl Lagerfeld just to name a few. In addition, for many years he worked for Vogue as Fashion News Director. Okay enough about that … just google him already.
When I entered the theater my heart was beating so fast because of the excitement to actually get a glimpse into this Fashion Guru’s life . I didn’t know what to expected but, here I sat with my popcorn and my thoughts. During the movie there were many emotions I experienced. Laughing, and at times he made me think, sadness, but most of all the feeling of being thankful . Thankful, yes for his journey! I witness a documentary that touched my soul, it made me want to fight even harder for my dream and to be proud to be who I am.
As the documentary played out and I tentatively listened, I felt his pain when others didn’t accepted him for his knowledge and was called names and made to feel less than. It would be their lack of knowledge which caused them to belittle him to make themselves feel good. He held true to his faith, a lesson learned as a child. Now at the age of 68 years old, I feel like his getting ready to reinvent himself again.
He is known for his capes and caftan, which have become his coat of armor and over the years have been created to provide him clothing that will fit comfortably. However after watching the documentary, all I could think of is the story of Tamar where she tore her garment when her step-brother raped her, and as people decided how they would rape him of his knowledge and belittle him because he is an African American male, that study French Literature and was taught by the best, (Ms. Diane Vreeland). He decided long ago to put on his capes/ or caftan to protect his self against those in the industry that didn’t and still don’t accept him. Because of the things he can’t change about him.
I’m in awww of this movie, not because of the style and fashion but because without Mr. Talley people like Edward Enninful would not be Editor-in Chief of British Vogue. I highly recommend this documentary. There is so much to learn but, maybe just maybe people will see more than just a Black African American Gay Male but, and pioneer that paved the way!
Signed, The Understudy