Throwback Thursday: My Lunch with André


In 2009 I interviewed Vogue editor-at-large André Leon Talley over lunch at his (then) favorite French bistro in the city, Benoit. It was a hot August day and André was dressed casually in a cotton eyelet caftan made for him by Diane von Furstenberg, accessorized with silver Afghanistan bracelets, a Ralph Rucci tiger’s claw pendant necklace, and the shaggy fringe Prada bag of the season. “I’m a big proponent of the man-bag,” he said.

We bonded over a mutual love for The Golden Girls. “They have a sense of being at home, always wearing different robes and nightgowns. For me it’s one of the greatest shows ever. Helmut Lang loves The Golden Girls too,” ALT said. “He told me he used to rush home to watch it. It’s very uplifting and fresh, it just takes you away from the fashionable world.” Don’t you just love the thought of Helmut sitting on a chintz couch with a clicker in hand?

ALT was incredibly nice, even complimenting me on my dress. (“Who makes it?” Zara. “Oh.”) During the course of our interview (both of us politely eating salads we didn’t want to order), ALT spoke often about his quest to be warm and cozy. Comfort is the reason he wears those capes and robes and dramatic furs, and, apparently, his at-home chilling outfit is “Juicy Couture shorts, a Ralph Lauren polo shirt and Uggs.” Yes, Uggs. Crocs? “No!”

One of my favorite tidbits came after watching a fancy lady hobble past us on crazy stilettos. Suddenly, ALT declared high heels over, and said that women who stumble around in them look like oxen pulling carts. (I didn’t find it sexist. I agree that super high heels are medieval.)

At the end of lunch, he insisted that we split the chocolate crème brûlée “just for a taste!”

Read the rest here.