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Publisher's Summary

Discover what truly happens behind the scenes in the world of high fashion in this detailed, storied memoir from fashion icon and former Vogue creative director André Leon Talley.

During André Leon Talley's first magazine job assisting Andy Warhol at Interview, a fateful meeting with Karl Lagerfeld began a decade's long friendship with the enigmatic, often caustic designer. Propelled into the upper echelons by his knowledge and adoration of fashion, Talley moved to Paris as bureau chief of John Fairchild's Women's Wear Daily, befriending fashion's most important designers. But as Talley 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 developed an unlikely but intimate friendship with Anna Wintour, and as she rose to the top of Vogue's masthead, Talley became the most influential man in fashion.

The Chiffon Trenches is a candid look at the who's who of the last 50 years of fashion and proof that fact is always devilishly more fascinating than fiction. André Leon Talley's engaging and detailed memoir is his story of surviving and thriving in the notoriously cutthroat fashion industry amidst racism, homophobia and other challenges to become one of the most legendary voices and faces in fashion journalism.

©2020 André Leon Talley (P)2020 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic Reviews

"A memoir on thriving and surviving the cut-throat fashion industry amid racism and homophobia, The Chiffon Trenches charts Talley’s rise from humble beginnings to becoming one of the most influential men in fashion. From Talley’s first job assisting Andy Warhol at a fashion magazine, to his friendships with the late Karl Lagerfeld and Anna Wintour, The Chiffon Trenches makes for captivating reading for fashion fans and beyond." (Another Magazine)

What listeners say about The Chiffon Trenches

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Fashion fabulously told

It was an absolute joy to hear the voice of André Leon Talley give an insight into the world he experienced as he made his way from his difficult childhood , experiencing academic success, meet all the characters we have all heard about from fashion , art and high society and so eloquently pronounce the names. Which is why I chose the audible book. So I learnt how to say everyone’s name correctly! What a beautiful voice André has. His descriptions are so effusive and luxurious that it’s like being on some wonderful holiday with a friend walking in Paris. I have been a lover of style and the genius of many of the people he worked with. Fashion is art. It makes everyday beautiful if you want . Thank you André for your story. I felt so sad for you at times but you are a lover of beauty and will always see the best in the world and appreciate every little thing as a gift from God each day. A book to brighten your days.

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Deeetailed Dahling!

One would be hard-pressed to find a more detailed, authentic peek into the elusive world of fashion. I take my hat off to Andre' for his courage in revealing the hurt from his childhood, and I hope doing so provided him with some measure of therapy, if not closure. We all crave love, but it can often be found in less than conventional places, and we do reap what we sow, and the love Andre' has shown for the industry and its characters has obviously been repaid throughout his career. Delivered with the Authors unique sense of humour, and will have you in fits of laughter in part. I wish you health and happiness Andre'.

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incredible

I've listened to this 5 times over, ALT's voice is as encapsulating as his life story.

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Thank you

What an amazing life - beautifully spoken - when I reached the end I wanted to start again.

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ALT

Wow where to start This man has had one of the most fabulous and Decorated Carrier in fashion The story’s are amazing while on my walks I felt like I was there when he was taking about Karl in Paris and help Anna pic her met looks I will not go to far into the details as this is a must read (in my case listen) Thank you for this Andre

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interesting to hear about the amazing life ..

But he shouldn't have done the reading, it was distracting in parts with his theatrics

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  • M
  • 20-07-2020

Thank goodness Mr Leon Talley narrated this excellent book, as it truly brings the stories to life.

What a wonderful, genuine, honest and fascinating account of Mr Leon Talley’s experiences. This book gives you a unique insight into the golden era of fashion journalism; whilst also coming from a place of authenticity and true joy the author experienced from both his career, mentors and friends. What is refreshing about Mr Leon Talley’s book, is that he speaks candidly, yet with great respect. An eccentric, brave and inspiring book. I particularly liked an ending message, where Mr Leon Talley clarifies that in life, kindness and love are of the upmost importance.

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  • M. Pears
  • 22-06-2020

Andre is my new fantasy dinner party guest!

I absolutely loved this book, it is peppered with fascinating glimpses into the lives of the most famous people in fashion and art. ALT was on the front row for all of it and tells you his story like he is chatting to you on his couch. I often wondered who the enormously tall and stylish chap was sitting with Anna Wintour was and now I know and I’m a little bit in love with him.

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  • JoanneImage
  • 27-07-2020

So much detail

This is a really good Memoir. It's always better to hear a memoir being read by the author, but Andre walks you through the Chiffon Trenches and describes everyone's clothes and character so well that you feel as though your walking with him.

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  • Lee Bear
  • 16-07-2020

Honest, insightful & fashionable.

From his days as a child, working with Andy Warhol, to how he got to Vogue. His experiences with Anna Wintour, Naomi Campbell, Karl Lagerfeld, Grace Coddington and YSL to name a few. It was interesting to hear of the struggles and barriers of not just a black man, but also a black LGBTQ+ man of a certain age and the determination to be successful and powerful.

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  • elvis safari
  • 02-06-2020

Great details

Lovely and very detailed description of people's attires. Even some of my no fashion connoisseur friends still enjoyed the extensive fashion vocabulary used in this book, WONDERFUL 👏

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  • Marie-Laure
  • 06-11-2020

A lot of name dropping and little story

You don't learn much in this book, there is a lot of name dropping. I appreciate the insight in the fashion world, but it was maybe too superficial.

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  • Katie
  • 29-08-2020

Scathing and scandalous

If you loved The Vanity Fair Diaries you will go gaga for this. ALT does not hold back as he dishes the dirt on all the biggest fashion industry insiders, but also writes movingly about how traumatic childhood experiences shaped his adult life and career. His distinctive voice and narration make the audiobook all the more enjoyable.

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  • E
  • 20-09-2020

Amazing!!! Loved this book :)

Andrea Leon Talley is one of the most influential people in the fashion industry ...Yet he tells his tale with humility and honesty. If you are interested in fashion and fashion history this book is a real treat. Beginning at his childhood he goes through his life and pays tribute to the people that moulded him and made him the person he is today. It also contains lots of stories about many great designers, mainly Karl Lagerfeld and also the story of Andre's life and his love of his grandmother, Diana Vreeland and his religious faith. I came away from this wishing it had been longer and with a deep affection for Andre Leon Talley. A lovely man and a great book!

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  • Xavier
  • 24-08-2020

such an awesome story and life..

i love the same things he loves..such an i site i hope he gets to do allot more i. fashion and so hope meet him some day..i was always will be fan

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  • kari monaghan
  • 20-08-2020

Amazing !

So interesting i loved this book ! A must for anyone intersetd in fashion and Vogue . A fabulous insight into the fashion world by of of the surviving fashion greats

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