THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ANDRE – A Review by Cynthia Flores
Calling all fashionable people of style, this documentary is a must see for those that follow the fashion world and want to know more about its history and one of its iconic tastemakers and curators of our times, Andre Leon Talley.
In this new film, one sees how Andre became the fabulous person he is despite being born in the segregated “Jim Crow” American South. His humble upbringing by a grandmother shaped him. She was a maid at Duke University for a boy’s dorm and deeply religious but never forced her grandson to be anything less than his imagination said he was. Unconditional love is what he called her.
His entire life he stood out in the crowd, not just for his fashion sense but also because he was a 6’6” tall black man. He has first-hand knowledge of Haute Couture’s most important figures at the height of its time. In the 70's, 80’s, and 90’s, from New York to Paris, in the various capitals of the collective fashion world, he was a man of power and influence. He was always larger than life and a brilliant editor and writer of all that was fashion. He joined Vogue, the best fashion magazine in 1983 and made it his goal over his thirty-year run to make it even better as their editor-at-large.
From the beginning, people liked him and valued his brilliant mind and eye for style. He was befriended by some of the most influential people in New York city such as Mrs. Diana Vreeland, Andy Warhol, and Karl Lagerfeld.
The documentary is not all of any one thing. It doesn’t get bogged down in the racism that Andre has lived through or just concentrate on the flashy clothes and the who’s who of the fashion world. Instead it’s a well balanced look at a life dedicated to fashion and its place in the world.
I’m a fan of this towering man, so it was a pleasure to get a better look at how he became an American icon. In the very beginning of The Gospel According to Andre he says “I don’t live for Fashion, I live for style. Fashion is fleeting, but style remains.” This new documentary isn’t groundbreaking, but it is an acceptable look at a man whose legacy will remain long after he’s gone. For that reason alone, I give this film a strong A- rating.
Directed by Kate Novack
Selig Rating A-
Running Time 1 hr 34 min
Limited Release June 8th at The Magnolia Theater
Starring: Andre Leon Talley, Naomi Campbell, Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs, Tom Ford, Whoopi Goldberg, Mark Jacobs, Karl Lagerfeld, Fran Lebowitz, Anna Wintour
The Selig Rating Scale:
A – Excellent movie, well worth the price.
B – Good movie
C – OK movie
D – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.
F – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn't paid for it.