Film Review: A Fashionable Life in ‘The Gospel According to André’

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionE-mail page to friendE-mail page to friendPDF versionPDF version
No votes yet

CHICAGO – He’s not a household name, but his influence has affected the closets of those households. André Leon Talley (“ALT”) is a New York City fashionista of the highest order, despite a background that would never predict that fate. But a person in the right place at the right time with the right work ethic can product magical results, and “The Gospel According to André” conjures that journey for Talley.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

In a crisp document of the life and times of ALT, by director Kate Novack, “The Gospel…” uses a parallel of the 2016 election as a backdrop for his past accomplishments, and the results of that election end up in an unexpected scene. The rest of the show is the life story – of an African American boy coming from the Jim Crow American South and driving the media of fashion – and the talking heads around that story, the cream of that fashion in an era still influential but also elusive. The larger-than-life figure of André Leon Talley presided over it all, in oversized caftans made by the top designers. As the subject of the documentary says, “fashion is not art, it is hard work.”

André Leon Talley was born in Washington, DC, but grew up in the North Carolina during the 1950s segregation of whites and African Americans in the South. Raised by his grandmother, who was a housekeeper for a fraternity at North Carolina University, Talley was encouraged in his love for order and fashion. And despite being a lower middle class African American gay man from the Jim Crow south, steered his life force toward that goal.

After graduating from Brown University, the place he went to to escape his roots, he ended up in 1974 New York City. His world turned around when he volunteered for a fashion exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and caught the attention of Diana Vreeland, at the height of her power as editor-in-chief at Vogue fashion magazine and curator of the exhibit. ALT’s influence exploded from there, as he rose to editorial prominence in several fashion magazines, including Vogue.

“The Gospel According to André” opens in Chicago on June 1st, part of a nationwide release. See local listings for theaters and show times. Directed by Kate Novack. Rated “PG-13”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “The Gospel According to André”

Andre1
André Leon Talley is Profiled in ‘The Gospel According to André’
Photo credit: Magnolia Pictures

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “The Gospel According to André”

User Login

Free Giveaway Mailing

TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • It's NOT ALL About You John Michael

    CHICAGO – John Michael epitomizes the art of the monologue. The Chicago transplant, by way of Dallas, is moving on (he says temporarily) from the city that inspired his last show, “Meatball Seance,” after notorious and successful runs of his other one-man shows, “John Michael and the Order of the Penix” and “Dementia Me.” His farewell performance is his latest, another laugh riot, “It’s NOT ALL About You John Michael,” and will take place at Mary’s Attic in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood on March 1st, 2019. Click here for details, including ticket information.

  • Soccer Player in the Closet, The 2

    CHICAGO – Connecting to the theater collective Nothing Without a Company means a couple of things. One, you may visit parts of Chicago you’ve never seen before – in this case a plant store in an industrial area south of Humboldt Park – and two, you will see some daring and outside-the-box stagings. “The Soccer Player in the Closet” is their latest production – a World Premiere – and it provides what the title implies and beyond. The play runs through March 17th, 2019. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

Advertisement



HollywoodChicago.com on Twitter

archive

HollywoodChicago.com Top Ten Discussions
tracker