The 2017 Toronto International Film Festival has come to a close. "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" took the coveted audience award, Lady Gaga performed for the premiere of her Netflix documentary, "Bodied" director Joseph Kahn kicked the Beyhive and Guillermo del Toro's "The Shape of Water" emerged as the season's festival darling.
Explore the L.A. Times' full coverage of the hits and misses, the rising stars and emerging trends.
It's not everyday that one — especially as young, black and fabulous as myself — is able to look in the proverbial mirror and see what life could look like if racism, femme-phobia and other ills of the world fail to win. But that's exactly what took place Saturday as I interviewed fashion icon André Leon Talley (and director Kate Novack and producer Andrew Rossi) a day after his film, "The Gospel According to André," premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival.
I first encountered Talley through the modeling competition reality show "America's Next Top Model." As a judge for four seasons, he commanded attention. With a deep yet feminine tremble in his voice paired with a towering 6-foot-6 frame cloaked in the finest custom capes and caftans, he was undeniable. But while Talley was, and is, legendary in his own right for breaking glass ceilings during his multi-decade stint at Vogue magazine, I was swept up in his presentation of self. The bombast, the grandeur, the unbridled audacity had my inner gender-bender clamoring for liberation from the traditional conceptions of black masculinity I grew up with.
So, as he masterfully took over our festival photo studio, draped in a golden yellow caftan, I was in awe. My hands moist with excitement, I teetered on my 3-inch heels trying to grab a quick Snapchat video to document the moment. And then it hit me: This, at 67 years old, is what possibility looks like.