The Battle of Versailles

The Battle of Versailles

The Night American Fashion Stumbled Into the Spotlight and Made History

Book - 2015
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Conceived as a fundraiser for the restoration of King Louis XIV's palace, the world's elite gathered in Versailles' grand theater to view a fashion extravaganza of the best that French and American designers had to offer, while being entertained by Liza Minnelli and Josephine Baker. What they saw would forever alter the history of fashion. At the Battle of Versailles five Americans-- Oscar de la Renta, Bill Blass, Anne Klein, Halston, and Stephen Burrows-- faced off against the five French designers considered the best in the world-- Yves Saint Laurent, Hubert de Givenchy, Pierre Cardin, Emanuel Ungaro, and Marc Bohan of Christian Dior. Against all odds, the American energy and the domination by their fearless models (ten of whom, in a ground-breaking move, were African-American) sent the audience reeling. By the end of the evening, the Americans had transformed their place on the world stage and sowed the seeds for changing the way race, gender, sexuality, and economics would be treated in fashion for decades to come. The in-fighting between ego-inflated designers, the unforeseen obstacles in staging the show on a shoestring, the triumphant win, the vastly different fates of the designers post-show--Robin Givhan's meticulous research brings the event alive and places it firmly in the history of fashion, offering an intimate examination of a single moment that teaches us how the culture of fashion as we now know it came to be.
Publisher: New York, N.Y. : Flatiron Books, 2015
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781250053855
1250053854
9781250052902
1250052904
Characteristics: 310 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color) ; 25 cm

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CRAIGEEJ
Aug 24, 2017

The fact that Robin put the spot light on the Black Models was more than enough for me their battles against adversity within their own social structure and within the modeling sorority were insightful and reavealing as to how black women cope with preconcieved notions about their beauty and strength, they new they were special and engaging and took the moment and ran with it and became a beacon for the fashionistas world wide though the moments in the sun for women of color are still far and few they paved the way for economics and color in fashion to be an obvious choice for any designer worth his salt to be called one because the caucasian woman in the ivory tower is'nt exactly who he/she designs for today and speaking of today the color spectrum is as varied as the women it covers yet still the spectre of what sells is of course the dominating force regardless of color but to give a look personality ....Black women did that in '73 in SPADES (pun intended).

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