MixedAir MailThe longtime Vogue editor-in-chief and Condé Nast global editorial director and global chief content officer seems to exist in her own eco-system ... How did that come to be? Well, if you want answers, you won’t find them in this book ... [Anna] is deadly serious in her ambitions, and her creation of her own mythology is fascinating. She deserves a more acute analysis of her life. But perhaps she didn’t want it ... To what degree she collaborated in the writing of this book is unclear ... While we get some delightful glimpses into her home life...there is little examination of her professional skills, or of her weaknesses, from people operating at a similar level ... I would have loved to hear what the big-name designers—Giorgio Armani, Ralph Lauren, Donatella Versace—could add to this portrait ... She survives not because she is an excellent magazine editor, which she is, but because she understands power and what other powerful people want and need. How frustrating it is then not to get a greater understanding of how this enigmatic woman operates ... What is her opinion of … well, actually, anything? For that we will, unfortunately, have to wait for another book.
André Leon Talley
PositiveAirmailAndré Leon Talley, or A.L.T. as he is sometimes known, is a man whose life has been largely concerned with appearances, of every kind. His new memoir, The Chiffon Trenches, is a story of someone—and in this he is not unusual in the fashion pantheon—who seems to exist primarily in the reflected glory of others, and in particular of Karl Lagerfeld and Anna Wintour. His raison d’être was bestowed by them. And then removed ... For anyone who judges the worth of a memoir by how prepared the writer is to dish on those around them, The Chiffon Trenches will not disappoint ... Memoirs come in all shapes and sizes, just like fashion personalities. This one is a bumper edition of grievances about and glimpses into the personal lives of those who encountered the writer ... It is, naturally, a mesmerizing read, and one which a reader unfamiliar with this febrile world might well imagine to be fiction ... Leon Talley not only traveled far from the world of his upbringing, but his story is hugely influenced by how he feels about what it has meant to be a person of color. Throughout these pages, no matter how glamorous his days and nights, how famous the milieu, how well paid he might be, the issue of race is as visible as the color of his skin ... He loves his clothes, cares deeply about the creative process, and is a brilliant cheerleader for talent. But overriding this is his concern with his and others’ standing and clout.