POPSUGAR Fashion

Bon Mots: Our Favorite André Leon Talley Quotes

Oct 17 2012 - 12:48pm

The man of many capes is also a man of many sayings — and that's precisely part of André Leon Talley's great appeal. His innovative way with words brought class and sass to four cycles of America's Next Top Model, his insightful critiques bring levity to the monthly pages of Vogue, and his very presence front row at the shows has the magical ability to make even Anna Wintour seem like a barrel of laughs. How does he do it? "The fantasy that I live through every day is my own ability to entertain myself in my head," he's said [1]. In celebration of his 63rd birthday this week, here's a look back at some of our favorite Talley witticisms.

André Leon Talley

"I think I have an inner confidence about myself that allows me to be who I am. I'm not pretentious — although some people think I am — I think people see me."

Media Bistro [2]

At the CFDA/VOGUE Fashion Fund Awards in New York, November 2008

André Leon Talley

"Luxury: it’s not about going and buying the most extraordinary set of luggage or the most extraordinary ring or six-ply cashmere sweater ­­­— that's luxury, too — but luxury can also be you having lunch with your best friend Karl Lagerfeld."

Yale Daily News [3]

Lagerfeld and Talley at the Chanel Resort 2012 show in Versailles, May 2012

André Leon Talley

"Wearing clothes should be a personal narrative of emotion. I always respond to fashion in an emotional way."

CNN [4]

With Rachel Roy [5] at the Marc Jacobs [6] holiday party, December 2006

André Leon Talley

"I'd like to be remembered as someone who made a difference in the lives of young people — that I nurtured someone and taught them to pursue their dreams and their careers, to leave a legacy."

Time Out [7]

At the Fall 2011 Ralph Lauren [8] show, February 2011

André Leon Talley

"There's nothing worse than a woman with a camel toe at a cocktail party because then your eyes look at that and you don't want to talk to her. You throw your hair back and you keep walking."

America's Next Top Model

At the CFDA Seventh on Sale event in New York, November 2005

André Leon Talley

"Alber can make a dress that floats like a cloud."

People [9]

With Alber Elbaz at the Met Gala, May 2007

André Leon Talley

"Some days are good; some days are not so good. Some days are really exciting. Some days are just tedious. You just have to get up out of bed."

Media Bistro [10]

Talley at Marc Jacobs [11]'s Christmas party in New York, December 2005

André Leon Talley

"The greatest luxury is to be a kind, good person and to impart to humanity something that will enrich their lives, to have a moment with someone that you’ve imparted richness."

Yale Daily News [12]

In Paris for the Spring 2007 couture shows, January 2007

André Leon Talley

"You cannot live your life in the elitist world of fashion and not step out or you're disconnected. You have to realize that fashion is not the endgame."

Time Out [13]

Talley with Anna Wintour at the Calvin Klein [14] Fall 2007 show in New York, February 2007

André Leon Talley

"I don’t have a stylist. I am my stylist. I do it with fun, I spend all day doing it, and I got so many clothes that my house is bulging — it's about to burst at the seams."

Dave.FM [15]

Out in New York City, December 2002

André Leon Talley

"I'm a big proponent of the man bag."

Time Out [16]

Talley at the Spring 2011 Carolina Herrera [17] show, September 2010

André Leon Talley

"My relationship with Anna is one where we understand each other. We can communicate silently."

Media Bistro [18]

Wintour and Talley at the Chanel Fall 2012 show in Paris, March 2012

André Leon Talley

"Luxury isn't just clothing . . . Luxury is the luxury of seeing the green outside in nature. Luxury is the smell of fresh sheets on a line, which no longer exists because nobody’s washing their sheets and hanging them on lines. You can’t hang them on a line in New York because there’s too much dirt."

Yale Daily News [19]

Talley with his ride — a black BMW 7 Series Hybrid — outside the Fall 2011 Rodarte [20] show, February 2011

André Leon Talley

On how to see at fashion shows with sunglasses on: "You train — your DNA tells you. You got the glasses on because basically you want to be able to concentrate without people looking at your eyes and you just can see."

Dave.FM [21]

Anna Wintour and Talley front row at the Chanel Fall 2007 show in Paris, March 2007

André Leon Talley

"It's the most extraordinary privilege you can have — working in fashion."

— CBS's The Early Show [22]

At the Rachel Roy [23] Spring 2011 presentation in New York, September 2010

André Leon Talley

"Have knowledge of what you're talking about. Read and be curious. Always listen. Be prepared when you're doing something. That's especially true in the fashion world."

Media Bistro [24]

At the fifth anniversary CFDA/VOGUE Fashion Fund event in New York, November 2008

André Leon Talley

"So far, it's been a bleak streak over here in America! You know what? It's the famine of beauty. The famine of beauty, honey! My eyes are starving for beauty!"

The September Issue

Front row at the Marc Jacobs [25] Fall 2009 show, February 2009

André Leon Talley

"There is room in today's world for men to wear dresses."

CNN [26]

With Marc Jacobs [27] at the designer's Fall 2009 show, February 2009

André Leon Talley

"What's shocking to me is how important the red carpet is. At one point, I thought it was ruining [fashion], but I don’t think that anymore."

Fashionista [28]

With Renée Zellweger [29] at the 2003 CFDA Awards

André Leon Talley

"Be kind. Smile. I read this somewhere: 'If you smile, it means you are in control of your destiny.'"

Media Bistro [30]

Talley front row at the Bill Blass [31] Fall 2008 show in New York, February 2008


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