The August Wilson Center Honors Fashion Milestone With ‘Versailles ’73’


On March 3rd,  the August Wilson Center for African American Culture will spotlight an important moment in fashion history with a special screening of the documentary Versailles ’73: American Runway Revolution. The film will be shown as part of Glamazonia, a photography exhibition presented by FashionAFRICANA.

The film focuses on a chilly night in November 1973 , when the Americans stormed France in an epic battle that would pit the French haute couture establishment against innovative American ready-to-wear designers in a runway rumble for industry dominance. In front of a who’s who audience of royalty, jet-set millionaires, and icons, African-American models Billie Blair, Pat Cleveland, Alva Chinn, Norma Jean Darden, Charlene Dash, Bethann Hardison, Barbara Jackson, Jennifer Brice, Ramona Saunders, and Amina Warsuma walked the catwalk and helped American designers pull off a fashion coup that would be remembered for decades.

Essence Magazine Editor-at-Large Mikki Taylor, featured model Cleveland, and writer/director Deborah Riley Draper will host the screening. The event begins with a VIP reception at 4 p.m., with the film starting at 5:30 p.m. A Q&A featuring the director and cast members Taylor and Cleveland will follow, along with a tour of the Glamazonia exhibition. Tickets are  $25, $50 for the VIP reception, and are available for purchase at Showclix.


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