Anna Wintour, Tom Ford on André Leon Talley’s Property Public sale

Picture: Elliott Jerome Brown Jr.

The title alone he would have beloved: “The Assortment of André Leon Talley.” On January 27, simply over a yr after the legendary trend editor died on the age of 73, Talley’s worldly possessions went up on the market via the primary of a sequence of on-line auctions at Christie’s. A reside public sale might be held in New York on February 15. (Proceeds from each go to his former church buildings, Abyssinian Baptist in New York and Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist in Durham, North Carolina.) The 460 tons inform of his tastes, his friendships, and possibly just a few issues that his two memoirs by no means divulged. There are caftans galore in couture silks and satins and a number of units of monogrammed Louis Vuitton baggage — constant, maybe, with the imaginings of a younger man from the South who noticed himself dancing on the tables at Membership Sept in Paris. There’s a heart-shaped Valentine’s field from Andy Warhol and a unprecedented variety of images, notes, and drawings from buddies, together with Karl Lagerfeld, proof that at the same time as that shut relationship faltered, Talley nonetheless valued it. A dozen of his most intimate buddies — a gaggle that included Anna Wintour, Tom Ford, Marc Jacobs, and Pat Cleveland — every chosen one merchandise from the public sale catalogue that stirred a reminiscence or mirrored his character.

Lot 144: Pink satin night sneakers with rhinestone buckle, Roger Vivier

Lot 260: Monogrammed hardsided shoe case and suitcase, Louis Vuitton

Pictures by Elliott Jerome Brown Jr.

After one of many couture exhibits in Paris — Yves Saint Laurent, I feel — I had lunch with André on the restaurant L’Avenue. We shoppers had been all ready for the home to get the samples again to the showroom so we may go and check out them on; it was a mad sprint to suit into any earlier than Nan Kempner acquired them. That day, André was carrying this purple alligator coat, and he was so pleased with it; he stored speaking to me about how “the whole lot needs to be alligator!”

I used to be anxious to recover from to the Saint Laurent showroom. We acquired as much as depart, and it was pouring rain.
I mentioned, “, we’re shut by. We may make a run for it.” And he mentioned, “For those who suppose I’m going exterior with this brand-new alligator coat, you’re loopy!”

To me, as a Southerner, alligators are in the identical genus as cockroaches. They’re pests. I mentioned, “Alligators reside within the water within the first place. What’s going to occur if it will get moist?” Keep in mind how André used to scream? Nicely, he let loose that scream. And he took my hand and mentioned, “We’re having espresso and dessert. We’re ready this out.”

It took two hours. After all, by the point I acquired to the showroom, all the great samples had been snapped up. He was pretty and snarky and one of the vital entertaining individuals I’ve ever met.

Lot 175: Inexperienced-and-white caftan, Diane von Furstenberg
Picture: Courtesy of Lisa Love

André was bigger than life in the whole lot he did, however as a houseguest he really surpassed expectations. He’d go to us within the summers, wearing certainly one of his extremely stylish caftans, and immediately be a supply of enjoyment and the middle of our transfixed consideration. This was very true of my younger nieces and nephews: The youngsters adored André and noticed him as a grasp of ceremonies, ringleader, Pied Piper, and summer-house CEO. We had a convention of creating brief movies, and André took to this exercise like Orson Welles, using round in our golf cart, establishing photographs, telling everybody what to do, and, in fact, usually casting himself in a starring function. You could possibly hear him wherever you had been, and also you all the time wished to be a part of no matter he was doing. This {photograph}, which has delight of place in our giant gallery of household images (that’s our canine Scout), takes me proper again to these magical visits — and jogs my memory simply how a lot I miss him.

In 1979, I acquired an task from W to {photograph} Diana Vreeland. I arrive at her house, 550 Park, knock on the door — and there’s André. Vreeland was additionally there, however André was towering behind her and made the larger impression. We had been solely acquaintances then: I had met him at Interview round 1974, when he was sitting on the entrance desk in his safari swimsuit and shorts. However I acquired the full-on André at Vreeland’s house as a result of he was the editor of the story and the author. I imply — he acquired bossy. He wasn’t gratuitously grand; there was goal to it.

Lot 146: A portrait of Diana Vreeland at dwelling, Jonathan Becker

This was an vital portrait, and he was attempting to impress me with that.

Vreeland was past vital to him. It had roots in his relationship together with his grandmother. He took nice care of Diana, and she or he appreciated him as in all probability nobody else did. She went blind, and he would sit and browse to her endlessly. It was in all probability the saving grace of her latter years.

Lot 146: A portrait of Diana Vreeland at dwelling, Jonathan Becker

There may be an deserted high quality on this portray that I want André had allowed himself to expertise extra of. There was a deep romantic inside him that I don’t suppose he ever totally realized besides via unrequited friendships, however possibly for André that was sufficient. He was a caravan of desires, however there have been all the time items lacking.

Lot 182: These Boots!, Garrett Rittenberg (dedication: “For André”)

Tales of his grandmother had been famend, but I didn’t know a lot about his mother and pop till his final ebook got here out. He sat on feelings, brewing and stewing, and for those who requested what was happening on the improper second, he would merely disconnect. Nonetheless, there isn’t a day I don’t lengthy for the landline to ring: “Darling, the place have you ever been!” And off to the races we might go.

Lot 182: These Boots!, Garrett Rittenberg (dedication: “For André”)

Lot 277: A Chinese language-wallpaper six-panel display

Lot 194: A drawing by Charles James

Lot 101: A portrait of André, Dustin Pittman

Lot 308: An Italian neoclassical-style demilune aspect desk

Lot 209: Untitled (Two Males in Hats), Antonio Lopez

Lot 319: Aluminum and parcel-gilt elephant-form wine bucket, Arthur Courtroom

Lot 315: Considered one of two pure amethyst geodes

Pictures by Elliott Jerome Brown Jr., Elliott Jerome Brown Jr

I should have given these circumstances to André, as a result of the exhausting circumstances with the graffiti had been made for the runway solely. And so they didn’t truly perform as a result of Vuitton didn’t need the luggage stolen. So that they weren’t practical; the locks didn’t open. That’s a really particular assortment to me, and I’m positive having them was thrilling to André. Once I observed them within the catalogue, I believed, Oh, I’d wish to bid on these.

I used to be on the prepare station in Paris on my option to spend the summer time with Karl Lagerfeld within the south of France, and this very tall, slim younger man got here towards me. He had glowing eyes. He was in love, it appeared, with one thing inside himself. He mentioned to me, “Oh my God, you’re Pat Cleveland!” I used to be astonished. He had apparently written some letter to Vogue asking about me as a result of I had achieved these exhibits for Style Truthful with Mrs. Johnson from Ebony journal. He grew up these photos. Anyway, I needed to depart on the prepare.

I went again to New York. At some point, I used to be visiting a good friend, Peter Lester, and I am going into his home, and sitting there’s André. I used to be like, I acknowledge this younger man! And he stood up and he gave me a hug. I mentioned, “Oh my gosh, how are you doing?” And he mentioned, “I’m on the lookout for a job.”

I used to be shut buddies with Andy Warhol; earlier, Peter had wished to put in writing, so I’d launched him to Andy at Interview. So I turned to Peter and I mentioned, “You’re working at Interview. Why don’t you introduce André to Andy?”

Later, when André had the job with Andy, we began speaking about Mrs. Vreeland. And I mentioned, “I feel Mrs. Vreeland wants some assist over on the museum. You must meet her.” And after I noticed her once more, I mentioned, “If you’d like an assistant on the Met, I do know one.” And earlier than you knew it, André was working together with her.

I picked this print of Mrs. Vreeland as a result of their love story is so intense. André stayed together with her when she actually wanted somebody close to. He was capable of give her the consolation and the friendship that she wanted from somebody as fancy and as dreamy as André.

Lot 284: Opalescent-glass Domremy vase, Rene Lalique

Lot 143: Black silk kimono, John Galliano

Pictures by Elliott Jerome Brown Jr.

This collage brings again reminiscences of the loopy, magical time André and I spent chronicling French trend for WWD and W in Paris. This was approach earlier than André’s caftan-clad years. He wore trim, tailor-made, bespoke Dior fits on our many visits to the inside sanctums of one of the best couturiers, and his thumbs-up on a set was one thing French designers prized mightily. I loved making “actual home-cooked” dinners for him adopted by dancing at Membership Sept, throughout which he would toss me up within the air again and again. At that cut-off date — the late ’70s to early ’80s — André was the human embodiment of an exclamation level.

I made garments for André till the tip of his life, typically simply easy caftans — some in taffeta and a few in plain cotton poplin for dwelling. He was all the time very particular concerning the form of taffeta that he wished, and I’d ship him swatches prematurely.

This coat is certainly one of my favorites. Extremely opulent and one thing that few males may pull off, but it surely suited André fantastically. It’s regal, and so was André.

Lot 228: A Paloma Picasso tie

Lot 295: Regency-style ebonized corridor chair

Lot 271: A mahogany coat-display stand

Lot 231: Sleeveless tunic printed with Pina Bausch imagery, Ralph Rucci

Pictures by Elliott Jerome Brown Jr.

André was one of many first individuals to encourage me to proceed to color portraits. Once I lived in NYC on Fifth Avenue and seventeenth Road, he used to return by my loft and hang around. I used to be simply desirous about being with him and watching him. We acquired on like a home on fireplace.

Every thing needed to be bigger than the very pinnacle of life for André. So it comes as no shock that after I started to decorate him, the whole lot needed to be heightened to a degree above couture. He would sit again like a toddler selecting coloured jelly beans and rip swatches from coloration playing cards in his merchandising insanity.

That is probably the most majestic and commanding design that I ever made for him. We referred to as it the Shogun Gown Imperial. He wished it for his official portrait and to put on to “extremely vital occasions.” The fabric was vanilla with vast black stripes that ran the size of it. I made a decision to “floor” it with the stripes working across the circumference on the backside, and to attain this, we needed to create dozens of deep darts to curve the coat. We created sleeves folded up into one another after which lengthy, trailing ties with a reference to the movie The Blair Witch Venture … After all, at his fittings, he roared over the perverse reference.

Lot 228: Yellow printed silk Interview scarf

Lot 155: Limoges porcelain luncheon plates embellished with drawings by Jean Cocteau

Lot 283: American silver flatware service, Vera Wang

Lot 430: Gold wristwatch, Paloma Picasso for Tiffany & Co.

Lot 55: Chanel amethyst-geode and Gripoix-glass pendant brooch

Lot 391: Unsigned Chanel Gripoix-glass pendant

Lot 390: Chanel glass and fake-pearl pendant brooch

Lot 139: Black leather-based pillbox hat, Gema Galdón (customary from a classic Loewe jacket)

Lot 392: Chanel Gripoix-glass and fake-pearl clip brooch

Lot 424: Set of oversize heart-charm equipment, Roger Vivier

Lot 309: Dinner plates, Keith Haring for Villeroy & Boch

Lot 295: Regency-style ebonized corridor chair

Pictures by Elliott Jerome Brown Jr., Elliott Jerome Brown Jr./Elliott Jerome Brown Jr.

Leave a Comment