The Chiffon Trenches: A Memoir

Written by:
André Leon Talley
Narrated by:
André Leon Talley

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
May 2020
9 hours 38 minutes
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the pages of Vogue to the runways of Paris, this “captivating” (Time) memoir by a legendary style icon captures the fashion world from the inside out, in its most glamorous and most cutthroat moments.

“The Chiffon Trenches honestly and candidly captures fifty sublime years of fashion.”—Manolo Blahnik

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR • Fortune • Garden & Gun • New York Post

During André Leon Talley’s first magazine job, alongside Andy Warhol at Interview, a fateful meeting with Karl Lagerfeld began a decades-long friendship with the enigmatic, often caustic designer. Propelled into the upper echelons by his knowledge and adoration of fashion, André moved to Paris as bureau chief of John Fairchild’s Women’s Wear Daily, befriending fashion's most important designers (Halston, Yves Saint Laurent, Oscar de la Renta). But as André made friends, he also made enemies. A racially tinged encounter with a member of the house of Yves Saint Laurent sent him back to New York and into the offices of Vogue under Grace Mirabella.

There, he eventually became creative director, developing an unlikely but intimate friendship with Anna Wintour. As she rose to the top of Vogue’s masthead, André also ascended, and soon became the most influential man in fashion.

The Chiffon Trenches offers a candid look at the who’s who of the last fifty years of fashion. At once ruthless and empathetic, this engaging memoir tells with raw honesty the story of how André not only survived the brutal style landscape but thrived—despite racism, illicit rumors, and all the other challenges of this notoriously cutthroat industry—to become one of the most renowned voices and faces in fashion.

Woven throughout the book are also André’s own personal struggles that impacted him over the decades, along with intimate stories of those he turned to for inspiration (Diana Vreeland, Diane von Fürstenberg, Lee Radziwill, to name a few), and of course his Southern roots and faith, which guided him since childhood.

The result is a highly compelling read that captures the essence of a world few of us will ever have real access to, but one that we all want to know oh so much more about.
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Patricia T.

Not a fashionista but I do admire Andre for his class and character.

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I loved this book. I could tell how Andre was reliving the good and the bad parts of his life. I has great insight to fashion and his love of friends and family.

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Loved this book. Andre’s stories were exciting and juicy and not only fun to listen to, but you learn a lot about the fashion world and the passion these people have for it any why he loved it so much. Andre seems to be a giant gentleman with wonderful taste for the finer things and his family

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Judy W.

I loved André’s book! He had lots of juicy insights from the fashions industry that are fun, however, it’s his vulnerability about himself that stole my heart. I see him in such a new light. He’s a beautiful man.

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Andre R.

As with any memoir it's beautiful to hear ones story from their perspective & voice. "The Chiffon Trenches" a tell all of ALT's impeccable yet turbulent journey with his love of elegance, beauty & raw knowledge of clothing. We as the receivers go on his journey, from Hermès lined suits to precious & prowless moments with Karl Lagerfeld, John Galliano, Yves Saint Laurent, Andy Warhol, Anna Piaggi, Tom Ford, Marc Jacobs I mean the list goes on. This man lives fashion & with biscuit in hand suiting a couture Gucci kaftan will die FASHION. In my humble opinion press have chosen to focus on the "ice-blow-up" between he and Vogue's beloved Ana Wintour; How or Why is simply past me as she read the Galley Proof & to my mind nothing in the book seems vengeful or taste-less. Mere experience, mere perspective Ana needs him & he her. That is what I took. Though I'm sure André may have been a pain in the ass over the years, he is one of the last Living Legends once intertwined by the guilded in Fashion & High Society. Dude is overdue for respect! Now more than ever, I sense he feels need to let what has bottled up out! Does he.

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