//The Chiffon Trenches by André Leon Talley review – the emperor strikes back

The Chiffon Trenches by André Leon Talley review – the emperor strikes back

The former editor-at-large of Vogue dishes the dirt on his old boss Anna Wintour in delightfully over-the-top fashion

Not many of us are able to stitch a straight line from the dreams of childhood to our accomplishments as adults. But André Leon Talley can. As a boy, the writer of The Chiffon Trenches liked nothing more than to retreat to the library in downtown Durham, North Carolina, where he would then proceed carefully to examine the glossy pages of Vogue, revelling quietly in a world in which “bad things never happened” and Truman Capote seemed always to be throwing a party. Even today, he can remember how he loved to gawp at Gloria Vanderbilt in her little suits by Mainbocher, her Elizabethan-style ruffs by Adolfo, her pleated gowns by Fortuny (the latter she kept in coils, like snakes).

Cut to 2007. Talley, who has been working in magazines ever since he joined Andy Warhol’s Interview as a receptionist in 1974, is now US Vogue’s editor-at-large, in which capacity he is walking the red carpet at the Met gala, an annual ball thrown to raise funds for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s costume institute, and the gleaming jewel in New York’s social crown. This year, the evening, which has been overseen by his boss and longtime friend, Anna Wintour, the editor of Vogue, is themed around Paul Poiret – and, naturally, Talley is sporting an entirely appropriate salute to the great French couturier. Inspired by a costume worn by Merle Oberon in The Scarlet Pimpernel, and designed by Karl Lagerfeld, this floor-length cape of navy silk faille trails gloriously behind him, giving him the appearance of some crazy latter-day emperor – which, of course, he is, in a way.

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Read more: theguardian.com