Andre Leon Talley judge America's Next Top Model

André Leon Talley is one to judge. Literally. Photo: The CW

"America's Next Top Model" got a boost from fashion's elite quarters as Vogue editor-at-large André Leon Talley made his debut as a permanent judge for cycle 14 of Tyra Banks' long-running CW network modeling competition.

Talley added his commanding presence to the judge's platform, taking over the seat formerly occupied by runway coach Miss J Alexander.

Full of fashionable flourishes, the industry icon seemed to have his fellow judges -- including Banks -- under his enigmatic spell.

The newly svelte Banks introduced Talley to the contestants, telling them he's a fashion legend whose influence extends "from here to Milan to Tokyo to London and beyond." In other words: He's the man, make a top-model impression.

And Talley -- who claimed he has never watched "ANTM" before -- made it clear his influence would be potent.

Wearing a dark robe and a horn on a chain around his neck, he spared 18-year-old foul-mouthed Alasia from a trip to the chopping block by declaring he would buy her first backside-exposing portfolio photo "in a gallery and hang it in my salon."

"Salon" was said with great effect, and Talley explained that it was a room where he might engage in great social discourse.

"Because he wants to hang it in his salon," Banks told the model, "you are not going home."

And we thought Talley's boss, Anna Wintour, had power and influence!

Talley critiqued another aspiring model's premiere pose by telling her, "You remind me of a 19th-century courtesan used to big rings and big men."

And when a model innocently exposed, um, way too much, he said, "You almost gave us a telescopic look into your nether regions, but you did it like a lady."

And to a model draped only in a bright scarf he declared, "My dear, if that were a Dior foulard, I would go out and buy it."

By the end of his first night, Talley already had his fellow judges repeating his catchphrase "dreckitude" to describe contestants whose poses were, in his words, "a mess, a wreck."

And the audience learned that getting the "dreckitude" moniker was killer news, indeed.

So it was for Naduah, a full-time mother with a shaved head and great cheekbones, who is no longer in the running to be "America's Next Top Model."

Talley was not the only fashion powerhouse to check in for the second episode. (The show premiered last week, but judging didn't take place until this week.)

Designer Rachel Roy contributed her fashions to a runway show and her expertise as a guest judge, as did celebrity hairstylist Sally Hershberger.

Did Talley's boss and confidante tune in for his big debut? Unlikely, he told "The Cut." As far as he knows, Wintour doesn't own a television; he's never seen her watch one.

Meanwhile, read what still-cranky former "ANTM" judge Janice Dickinson has to say about Tyra Banks.