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André Leon Talley Shuns Athletic Risks, Embraces Sitting in One Place for Four Hours

The Metropolitan Opera opened its new season with Das Rheingold, the shortest of Wagner’s Ring Cycle operas at two-and-a-half hours with no intermission, and André Leon Talley was psyched. “I love sitting through long things,” he told the Cut during pre-show cocktails. “I mean, Gone With the Wind I will sit through; I love sitting somewhere for four hours, for anything. I love being on a train. I love sitting down for four hours. I think it’s the most wonderful thing to be able to sit somewhere and concentrate on something for more than two hours. I just went to Bayreuth for Lohengrin, for Wagner, and that was fabulous, and I loved sitting on those hard benches for three hours.” However, the Vogue eminence doesn’t like waiting around for things that are not fabulous. “Waiting in line for something mundane is very boring,” he said. “Waiting for my doctor to see me and waiting for my dentist to see me, yes, that is boring.”

This new production has a set designed by Cirque du Soleil and performers dangling 30 feet above the stage, so what’s ALT’s most adventurous feat? “I suppose the most daring thing I’ve ever done is try to water ski,” he said, eliciting laughter from his pal Maureen Dowd. “And that was not successful,” he added. “However, I don’t take that kind of risk. I only take risks in couture, but I don’t take risks in athleticism.” You read it here first: sitting is the new water skiing!

Meanwhile, Dowd said she was nervous about what André would think about the vintage, non-designer dress she wore to the opera. “I was really scared,” the New York Times columnist told us at the post-show dinner. “And he told me my dress was a combination of Blanche Dubois and the prom, which is not what you want to hear, really,” she added. “Just doubly kind of harsh.” But ALT insisted that Dowd looked wonderful, and that his assessment was a compliment. “Vivien Leigh in that beautiful tulle dress at the end of the film is breathtaking,” Talley said. “Her, you know, remnants of the old days, I thought it was fabulous.”

See more photos of fancy people at the event on WWD Eye Scoop.

André Leon Talley Shuns Athletic Risks, Embraces Sitting in One Place for Four Hours