by André Leon Talley
Photographed for the February 2010 Issue of Vogue by Annie Leibovitz
Inspired by his addiction to style and the fashion worlds from New York to Paris, Diddy’s new album, Last Train to Paris (to be released December 14), is a brilliant fusion of stream of consciousness and beats that bring to mind the broken cadences of avant-garde jazz. During Fashion Week last year, he sent out the call via e-mail and voice mail to high-fashion friends to come to his studio to participate in the record. I was somewhere doing what I usually do—previewing a collection or sitting around on the fourth floor of Manolo Blahnik’s midtown shoe emporium—when I received the invitation. Rushing to his studio, I thought about what I would say on the album, which inspired his February 2010 Vogue fashion shoot with Natalia Vodianova, photographed by Annie Leibovitz and styled by Grace Coddington, in which he appeared with the swagger and elegance of Cary Grant in a gorgeous shawl-collared camel double-breasted coat by Tom Ford. It wasn’t his first shoot with the magazine. In another Annie/Grace collaboration, for the October 1999 issue, he looked as dramatic as a thirties screen idol, escorting Kate Moss, dressed in couture, around Paris.