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A Christmas Story: Andre Leon Talley's Grandma's Wild Imagination

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This weekend, Vogue's contributing editor Andre Leon Talley led a Q&A session with designer Diane von Furstenberg at the Savannah College of Art and Design. Talley told a particularly funny anecdote from his internship days with legendary editor Diana Vreeland:

She gave me more things to do—go do this, and go do that. I learned so much. The best thing was that after the [Metropolitan Museum of Art] show, she took me into her office and said to me, "You will not go home over Christmas. You will stay in New York. It will happen for you. You cannot go home over Christmas."

I'd never been away from home for Christmas. But I said, "Okay Mrs. Vreeland, I will stay in New York."

So I had a very bleak Christmas.

Christmas Eve, I was in my friend's apartment—he'd gone to his parents' house—and there was nothing in the cupboard to eat. There was Hershey's chocolate syrup, so I took a can opener and opened it. And this beautiful silver spoon. And I just sat there, eating Hershey's chocolate syrup.

And the telephone rings and it's my grandmother. She said, "How are you?"

"I'm fine."

"I'm sending your father right now, he's driving up in the night to come get you. He's bringing you home for Christmas."

I said, "I'm fine. Mrs. Vreeland said I can't go home."

"No no no, your father is coming in the car, overnight. You're coming home."

I said, "Everything's fine, why do I have to go home?"

"I want you home," she said. "Because I know exactly what you're doing."

I said, "What is that?"

"You're sleeping with a white woman!"

· All SCAD coverage [Racked]
· Inside the hallowed halls of Savannah College of Art and Design [Racked]