“It’s too soon to say what my favorite collection is. There is a mood that I think is strong which is dress up, dress up. Dress up with a capital D,” says André Leon Talley, the Vogue editor and reality-television judge extraordinaire. He is sitting in the back of his black chauffeured BMW, draped in a Louis Vuitton monogrammed fur scarf that is so big and luxe it’s practically a throw, his head capped with a fedora tipped down toward his nose, just so. It is Monday night, just before the Ralph Rucci show, and Talley has invited us here to talk fall 2011 New York Fashion Week. “It’s dressier for the American market than it’s been in a long time, and perhaps in the sensibility of dressing up, some may have gone off the cliff and overboard — but I’m not going to say who that is,” Talley says with a laugh. “But we’re not looking for retro glamour, we’re looking for modernity and youth and youthfulness and sexuality that’s contemporary and urban. But I do think the trend of dressing up is a good thing.”
The beige leather seat we occupy behind the driver is the most comfortable one we will occupy all Fashion Week. A hand knocks on the window behind us as Talley pontificates. We turn around to see those knuckles belong to Whoopi Goldberg. “Love! LOVE!” Talley exclaims. “Teddy, get out, escort her up,” Talley tells his dapper assistant, as the locked windows fail to open. “I don’t know why I can’t do these windows. Sir, you’re going to take Whoopi to the Armory when we leave here,” he instructs her driver. That would be for the Marc Jacobs show, of course.
Now do enjoy a sound bite from this most fabulous of interviews: