Review: 'The Gospel According To André', The Fashion Icon Finally Tells His Story

So it was around 1995 or 1996, back when E! would cover fashion and air fashion shows and while I was sitting back and taking in all the high fashion, beautiful models and seeing the actual designers who made the clothes I started to notice this very large black man. Always in the front row and giving wild, or what my teenage brain thought was wild sound bites about the show. It wasn’t that long after that I learned that man’s name – André Leon Talley who at the time worked at Vogue magazine and just seemed like a grand wizard of fashion knowledge. He’s a staple in western fashion and now it seems it’s time to cover his life in film. The Gospel According to Andre is a documentary following Talley in his day to day life as he tells his story.  

Kate Novak, the director of this piece does a fine of job of letting the camera sit with Andre and let him tell his story and show his personality. There are plenty of interviews with people in life from when he grew up in North Carolina to his time at Brown University through his years the in New York nightlife and fashion world. Novak chooses to frame it in the weeks before the 2016 Presidential Election as Talley is worried about Hillary Clinton’s chances in the election to the time directly after. Talley has lived an amazing life and interfaced with so many greats in the fashion world from the press side to some of the major names at some of the biggest houses. The film also does a good job of allowing Talley to talk about some of his struggles with race in the fashion world and his choice on how outspoken he was about these issues. There really isn’t much talk about his sexuality and that might have to do with the fashion world and how much of a non-issue homosexuality is or a choice to not talk about it.
There really isn’t much to decry about the craft or structure of this film. It’s very entertaining and engaging for an audience. It might be held back by the fact its about high fashion and that’s a subject that everyone isn’t really into. Also, I don’t know if this film needs to be seen in theaters, it is a film that works very well on a TV at home being that a lot of the shots are so intimate and close that they don’t have the scale to really use the large screen of the theater. 

Rating: 4 out of 5