Black History Month Spotlight: Versailles ’73: American Runway Revolution (2013)

In an era known for protests and sit-ins, the 1973 Grand Divertissement at Versailles, made a statement of its own – a fashion statement. The legendary event pitting the five lions of French couture Givenchy, Dior, Ungaro, Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Cardin with five American designers Halston, Oscar de la Renta, Anne Klein, Stephen Burrows and Bill Blass created a cross-stitch of change across fashion, race, business and catwalks. When African American models Bethann Hardison, Pat Cleveland, Alva Chinn, Billie Blair, Norma Jean Darden, Barbara Jackson, Jennifer Brice, Romana Saunders and Amina Warsuma boarded the plane to Paris, they had no idea they would help change the course of fashion and pull off its biggest coup. Versailles ’73: American Runway Revolution tells this story.

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