Versailles '73: American Runway Revolution
a documentary about the most notorius fashion show battle
"Superbly told, enjoyably dishy.“ Los Angeles Times
Not many moments in life change the course of history, shatter the status quo and usher in a paradigm shift. But on November 28, 1973 at the Chateau de Versailles, such a moment took place. For the second time in history, the Americans stormed France in an epic battle. This battle, however would pit the French haute couture establishment -- Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior, Hubert de Givenchy, Pierre Cardin and Emmanuel Ungaro -- against American designers Anne Klein, Stephen Burrows, Oscar de la Renta and Halston. In front of an audience of royalty, millionaire luminaries and icons including Andy Warhol, Princess Grace of Monaco, Christina Onassis and Josephine Baker, the Americans catapulted ready-to-wear to global stardom. Their secret weapon was fresh, innovative designs and the tour de force, a collective of stunning black models who sashayed down the runway and into the hearts of the high-profile audience.
Versailles ’73: American Runway Revolution is a funny, extraordinary and often poignant collection of memories shared by the models, designers, journalists, patrons and other lucky enough to witness the night the changed fashion forever. The cast includes Stephen Burrows, Bethann Hardison, Marisa Berenson, Pat Cleveland, Grace Mirabella, Harold Koda, Dennis Christopher, Mikki Taylor and more.
“This is an excellent story, and Ms. Draper tells it clearly and stylishly, teasing out the interesting angles and repercussions. She gives you all the backstage drama and one-upmanship of ‘let’s put on a show,’ building to the appropriate climax: the big night.”
The New York Times
Liza Minnelli rehearses with the American models at Versailles in 1973 before the show.
American models including Alva Chinn and Barbara Jackson walk through the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles following the fashion show in 1973.
Pat Cleveland leads the models in the finale of the Stephen Burrows show at Versailles in 1973.