The Gospel Ac­cord­ing to An­dre

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Living - - CINEMA - HI­LARY A WHITE

Cert: Club. Light House & Palas

Hail­ing from the seg­re­gated deep south, An­dre Leon Tal­ley de­cided from a young age he was fas­ci­nated by style. Fol­low­ing a move to New York in the mid1970s, he be­gan an as­cent through the fash­ion in­dus­try via Andy Warhol and Diana Vree­land, be­fore en­ter­ing the fash­ion press and go­ing on to be­come ed­i­tor of Vogue.

This unimag­i­na­tively-ti­tled doc­u­men­tary portrait from Kate No­vack hits some of the usual stum­bling blocks that come with film ex­am­i­na­tions of the fash­ion in­dus­try.

For starters, a lofty and sacro­sanct tone is taken to im­bue our sub­ject with heroic sta­tus — which seems like quite a bizarre thing when jux­ta­posed with the sheer in­dul­gence and fri­vol­ity of the fash­ion world.

Hy­per­bole is the very language of the in­dus­try, so you nat­u­rally reach for a pinch of salt when hav­ing to lis­ten to the likes of Tom Ford ex­pound Tal­ley’s unique im­pact, his as­tound­ing ge­nius and so on.

Flecks of the real Tal­ley are vis­i­ble only when he dis­cusses his younger days or the racial slurs he had to con­tend with — but too of­ten he is un­will­ing to let his fab­u­lous, flam­boy­ant guard down. Dis­ap­point­ing.

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