Andre Leon Talley, also known as "Monsieur Vogue" for his outsized role at the fashion magazine, once wrote an endearing book about growing up in the segregated south. It featured his church-going grandmother who raised him and instilled in Talley a love for fashion, including an indelible belief in the power of white gloves for ladies.

My fondness for Mr. Talley took a hit this morning when I read Maureen Dowd's revealing piece on him. It seems that Mr. Talley was for the Trumps before he made a few nice remarks and the fashion world threatened to turn on him (it was a little bit like being a Republican member of the Electoral College, apparently):  

But André walked into a sartorial buzz saw when, amid buzz that he might be called on to give Melania advice about her Inaugural gown, he echoed some of those sentiments recently to a Daily Mail reporter, saying that Melania was “a wonderful person to be with” and that she “will be one of the great stars in the administration.” He capped it off with optimism: “I hope there will be a great, great Trump presidency.”

It didn’t take long for the guillotine to fall. One friend emailed him, “Oh my God, you have gone to the Evil Empire!!!!!”

He agonized about the “tragedy of ruptured friendships” to me in an email, saying about Melania: “She’s a nice person. I do not endorse Trumpism on any level. So why can’t one be positive and want her to shine? I mean, it’s good she cares about napkins, crystal, dinner plates with gilded edges to the point of over the top, and abundant flower arrangements. In the end, why pick on her when they should be picking on her husband’s billionaire cabinet and his seeming readiness to turn the country back towards oppression, anti-Semitism, anti-culturalism, etc.”

As we sit in the hotel lobby, he muses: “I’m not a big person in the world. I’m maybe a big figure in the fashion world. I mean, sort of iconic. But I don’t want to get phone calls in the middle of the night, telling me I’ve gone over to Trumpland and I’m going to Darth Vader because I said nice things about Melania. I voted for Hillary Clinton. I registered in North Carolina because it mattered. I went through hoops of fire to get my absentee ballot. And, quite frankly, I thought she would have brought back the pantsuit. I thought the gray trouser suit designed by Ralph Lauren she wore with the purple satin shell and the lapels matching the blouse was brilliant. The elegant anthracite gray dry wool actually was slimming.

“Melania, who opted at 3 a.m. for a palazzo jumpsuit, with one arm exposed and a flounce over the other — it seemed to me too Mar-a-Lago, a huge, full-volume jumpsuit. Trying too hard. And I am so tired of the long hair falling on both sides of her face. She has to upgrade her coiffure.”

But isn’t he worried that many of those on the left who complain about Trump as a dictator are acting dictatorial? Not one good word can ever be said about anything that happens for the next four or eight years? Is it fair to hold Melania and Ivanka responsible? Or are they putting a lovely gloss on some of Trump’s unsavory rhetoric and actions?

“Listen, Melania made her choice,” he replies. “She married the man, so she’s got to go with the territory. She’s Mrs. Trump.”

I remind André that he told me that, at the 2005 wedding, it seemed as if “Donald Trump was a cool guy.”

“He became the master of darkness, the master of the dark empire, as he became more powerful, as he started with birtherism and in the campaign,” André says now. “Birtherism is terrible. It was a terrible thing he did to Obama. And he never let go. ‘Make America great again.’ A lot of people think that means make America white again.”

The piece starts with Talley's nasty comments about the Trumps, which become especially interesting when you realize that there is a back story.

Fashion is fashion. You can't entirely blame Talley (though you can be disappointed by him) for trying to stay on top in this shallow world. But the interview is a reminder that fashion is fashion, not substance (there is a great quote in the column about how Michelle Obama made fashion "substantive"), and mature people take it for what it's worth.

And now we know what friendship with Mr. Talley is worth–not much.

He will never blow Melania Trump another air kiss.