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Milan Fashion Week Fall 2013: That time I explained to André Leon Talley what “jumping the shark” means
André Leon Talley. Photo by ImaxTree.
Fendi show, I caught up with Andre Leon Talley to talk street style, what jumping the shark actually means, and what inspires him.
What shows are you excited for this week? "I’m excited for many shows. I can’t really say—I just got here. I’m here until the very end. I’m sure I’ll be excited by many things. I’m looking forward to
Prada, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana and those will be very exciting shows. And I’m also looking forward to a traditional show, Missoni."
You’re often featured on street style blogs. Why do you think street style is so special? "Street style has a youthful connotation—it’s the opposite of high style. It’s fun, it’s not static. It should be in perpetual movement. It’s a very important thing."
It seems as though street style has been co-opted by the mainstream—do you think street style is in danger of jumping the shark? "See, jumping the shark, I don’t exactly know what that means—but I know it’s a popular term. Tell me what it means."
Um, it’s from Happy Days— "I don’t know
Happy Days. Tell me what jump the shark means."
Sure, Fonzi on Happy Days, towards the end of the series, he was surfing and he jumped over a shark. And that’s when the show went off the rails. So, when a TV show goes bad, that’s jumping the shark. "Oh, okay. So ask me the question again."
Do you think street style is in danger of jumping the shark? "I don’t think it’s possible, because there are no rules—so it’s okay.
Street style is individual style." [At this moment, Cathy Horyn walks up behind us. “I got the interview!” she yells as ALT, referring to Karl Lagerfeld. “Good for you!” He replies, laughing. “You got backstage! And there he was, waiting.”]
Click through to read the full post & see more pics from Milan Fashion Week…
I’ll let you go, but thank you so much for your time. "Did I answer your questions? I hope so!"
Yes, thank you! That’s perfect. "Oh come on, ask me another. Ask me anything else."
Can you tell me about your television project? “No! I can’t tell you about that. That’s a secret.”
What inspires you right now? “Russia."
Have you been? “Yes, recently. The people, and the architecture, and the history. I love my Russian history. One of my favourite writers is Tolstoy, and I love reading
War and Peace over and over again because there’s always something new you learn about a character. His characters are universal, and you can see people you know in his characters. And I love Tolstoy and his wife—his wife was very devoted to him and he gives credit to his wife for absolutely having kept him going in his creative world. Because she kept all his diaries and took all his notes and was devoted to him until the later years in life.
What advice do you have for young people trying to start out in the fashion industry? “Never ever ever ever reject a call to go to Starbucks for someone who works above you. Do not be insulted if someone asks you, ‘Can you get us six Starbucks?’ Don’t think that’s an insult– you’ve got your foot in the door, learn from going to get the Starbucks.”
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