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Hilton Als starts this piece in the way of telling a third person story, “One night in the spring of 1993”. The piece takes a very narrative structure with Als telling the story as an onlooker with first hand knowledge of Talley and the moments and circumstances he depicts. He claims to understand everything about the atmosphere in which the story begins down to the way in which John Galliano accompanies Talley to the Gaiety Theatre, “rather like another accessory”. He makes use throughout the narrative of a “official bio” type of writing, “currently the creative director of vogue….Andre Leon Talley is, at forty-six, fashions most voluble arbiter….and promotor of glamour” (190). He also uses a listing technique at least twice creating a slick combo of narrative description and and essayistic quoting which reads almost like a series of flashbacks, “He finds moments in other people’s impulses (“I can tell you were about to have a moment”), work (What Mr. Lagerfeld and I were after in those photographs was a moment”)…” (190), Etc. The Majority of the essay is written in the present tense as if he is explaining it as it happens, and he makes use of dialogue quite frequently to show Talley’s extravagant and strange way of speaking with a combination of slang, and a French and British accent, and the demanding and somewhat rambling way in which he addresses his inferiors at work. Als also seems to pay homage to Talley’s diva-like superiority by referring to him consistently by his full name. The extravagant language Als uses in his descriptions and the flamboyant dialogue eventually exhaust the reader to a point of viewing Talley as a shallow diva, but Als catches the reader at exactly that point and takes a step back, moving out of the present and into the past to tell us a bit about Talley’s origins and youth. Als is able to then re-humanize Talley through his descriptions of Talley’s youthful infatuation with vogue and the sweet childish image of him imagining vogue encompassing his grandmother’s fashion sense. Even the idea of Talley speaking with a French accent is shown to be somewhat justified in that he has received a degree in French as apposed to being someone who simply puts on the accent because he views it as romantic and sexy (although that may be part of it) but really knows nothing about France or French culture. We also see a glimpse of what he would have had to endure to get to his place in the fashion world with his peers making comments as nasty as, “He’ll never be an editor-in-chief. How could America have that dictating what the women of America will wear” (201). Overall Als creates a seemingly full picture of a highly emotion-filled, passionate, and entertaining character of a man who manages to make standing out from the crowd an art and a career.

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