The Chiffon Trenches

The Chiffon Trenches

During André Leon Talley's first magazine job, alongside Andy Warhol at Interview, a fateful meeting with Karl Lagerfeld began a decades-long friendship with the enigmatic, often caustic designer. Propelled into the upper echelons by his knowledge and adoration of fashion, André moved to Paris as bureau chief of John Fairchild's Women's Wear Daily, befriending fashion's most important designers (Halston, Yves Saint Laurent, Oscar de la Renta). But as André made friends, he also made enemies. A racially tinged encounter with a member of the house of Yves Saint Laurent sent him back to New York and into the offices of Vogue under Grace Mirabella.

There, he eventually became creative director, developing an unlikely but intimate friendship with Anna Wintour. As she rose to the top of Vogue's masthead, André also ascended, and soon became the most influential man in fashion.
The Chiffon Trenches offers a candid look at the who's who of the last fifty years of fashion. At once ruthless and empathetic, this engaging memoir tells with raw honesty the story of how André not only survived the brutal style landscape but thrived--despite racism, illicit rumors, and all the other challenges of this notoriously cutthroat industry--to become one of the most renowned voices and faces in fashion.

Woven throughout the book are also André's own personal struggles that have impacted him over the decades, along with intimate stories of those he has turned to for inspiration (Diana Vreeland, Diane von Férstenberg, Lee Radziwill, to name a few), and of course his Southern roots and ongoing faith, which have guided him since childhood.

Title:The Chiffon Trenches
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780593129258
Format Type:

    The Chiffon Trenches Reviews

  • Petra-X

    "I don't give a damn about clothes, I care about the people who wear them". John Fairchild, owner of Womens Wear Daily (WWD). And so it seems does Anna Wintour, the author with his constant name dropp...

  • Elizabeth

    It's hard to believe now, but the 1990s to the early 200s was an era where fashion dominated the cultural landscape in a very different way than it does now. Fashion was dictated through the pages of ...

  • Ary Chest

    It was nice, afternoon read, but, sadly to say, nothing in this will resonate with me. I noticed a lot of book critics' frustration with the lack of activism in this book. It seems many think Mr. Tall...

  • Danna

    I was actually disappointed. The word that comes to mind is shallow. It reads like a love letter to people who were good to him financially or emotionally and a pissy gram to those who did him wrong. ...

  • Autumn

    ALT's memoir is a courtier's diary of late 20th and early 20th-century high fashion. An insider who is nevertheless always acutely aware of his position at court, as well as his humble roots, Talley p...

  • Roman Clodia

    You know that axiom, 'if you've got nothing good to say about someone then say nothing'? Seems like ALT has internalised it. Which may be very good for his soul but it makes this book duller that I ex...

  • Hannah

    Mostly this made me sad. Sad for Talley who seems deeply unhappy, but also sad for all the people whose mistreatment he alludes to.Review to come....

  • Sharon L.

    4 stars. I loved this book. Although it’s been described as a fashion world “tell all,” I think it’s far more than that. A keenly described and often tragic look at the fashion industry from a...

  • Ana

    For a light read, there was a lot in this book. A poignant history of ALT’s early life, his triumphs, his friendships, his traumas and heck of a lot of name-dropping. But it’s hard to find obnoxio...

  • Rachel

    This was a light yet highly enjoyable read. I know how knowledgeable and revered ALT is amongst his peers, but didn't know any of the background of how this came to be or how truly admired he is amid ...