The Chiffon Trenches

Remember how much I loved Save Me The Plums? This was like that, but FASHION! I said this on Instagram that my other favorite genre (besides trashy thrillers and rich unsupervised teens) is memoirs from people who have worked in publishing. In college and my earlier years in New York, I dreamed of going to work for a magazine but it never happened for me. I love that world and have always really enjoyed reading about anything Condé Nast or Hearst; ESPECIALLY during its heyday of clothing allowances and black cars. And this was just so much fun to read. The book chronicles André’s rise from growing up in the Jim Crow South to moving to New York and working under Andy Warhol at Interview Magazine. From there he wound up at WWD, moved to Paris, then back to New York to Vogue. This book is positively dazzling. When it was over, I felt really sad to leave his glittery world.. Besides all of the glamour and fashion it also tackles some more serious (and timely things) like racism: the reason André left WWD and Paris was a terrible racist incident with a publicist at YSL. Therei s also some SERIOUS fashion tea. From his forty year long friendship (and falling out) with Karl Lagerfeld, to all things Anna Wintour, to the political dynamics at Vogue…. it’s fascinating. If you love fashion or the publishing industry this is a must-read. It’s simultaneously a frivolous distraction but also a really important book. I absolutely loved it. I have a book hangover upon finishing it!

Author: Andre Leon Talley