A.L.T.: A Memoir

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One of the most striking figures in international style offers a unique and unforgettable memoir of the two women who shaped his dreams, tastes, and character. “My grandmother and Mrs. Vreeland had similar ways of appreciating luxury,” writes André Leon Talley, “because they both believed in the importance of its most essential underpinning: polish.” In A.L.T., Vogue’s editor at large explains how a six-foot-seven African-American man from North Carolina became the influential fashion figure he is today, learning life’s most enduring lessons from two remarkable women: his maternal grandmother, Bennie Frances Davis, a woman who worked back-breakingly hard as a maid, yet taught him to embrace the world with a warm heart and an open mind; and Diana Vreeland, the inimitable editor in chief of Vogue and director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, who became his peerless professional mentor. In a rich, eloquent voice that resonates with both small-town wisdom and haut monde sophistication, Talley tells of the grandmother who encouraged his dreams and ambitions while instilling in him an abiding sense of dignity and style, and of the legendary fashion doyenne who took him under her wing as he rose to fame in the wild New York of the 1970s. Threaded throughout are stories of the man himself, who has survived thirty years in the “chiffon trenches” with eminent grace and style. Clear, elegant, and often magical, A.L.T. shines like a rare jewel as it illuminates three extraordinary lives.

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User Review  - pinkcrayon99 - LibraryThing

When Andre Leon Talley is not obsessing over the proper gloves a woman should wear, he is reminiscing on his childhood in Durham, North Carolina. Talley was sent to live with his grandmother, Bennie ... Read full review

A.L.T.: A Memoir

User Review  - Kirkus

Fashion's eminent Fabulous Person chronicles his metamorphosis from country boy to man about town, moving from the side of his beloved grandmother to his equally cherished mentor, Diana Vreeland.Vogue ... Read full review

Contents

Section 1
3
Section 2
19
Section 3
46
Copyright

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About the author (2003)

André Leon Talley received his M.A. in French studies from Brown University. He joined Vogue in 1983 as fashion news director and served as creative director from 1988 to 1995. After living in Paris for a number of years, he returned to Vogue in 1998 as editor at large. He was nominated for an Emmy Award for his weekly segment on Metro TV’s Full Frontal Fashion called “Vogue’s Talley.” He is a member of the board of trustees of the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia, where a Lifetime Achievement Award has been named for him. He lives in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York.


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