Monday, November 10, 2014

MODA Presents Versailles '73

l-r Ramona Saunders, Pat Cleveland and Audrey Smaltz
l-r Smaltz, Deborah Riley Draper, Gail O'Neill and Stephen Burrows

Perhaps you have seen the 2008 film Bottle Shock, which tells the story of how a California chardonnay from Chateau Montelena rocked the French wine establishment in a 1976 blind tasting called The Judgement of Paris. Three years earlier, something similar happened in the world of fashion. The setting was Versailles, where New World designers Bill Blass, Stephen Burrows, Halston, Anne Klein and Oscar de la Renta faced Old World masters Pierre Cardin, Christian Dior, Hubert de Givenchy, Yves St. Laurent and Emanuel Ungaro. An equally stellar crowd had gathered to raise money for restoration of the palace and were treated to a battle royal of the runway. Now that watershed moment is subject of a documentary film by Deborah Riley Draper called Versailles '73, which was screened last week in conjunction with Inspiring Beauty: Fifty Years Of Ebony Fashion Fair, now on tour at MODA. Present for a panel discussion following the film were Deborah Riley Draper, Stephen Burrows, Versailles runway models Pat Cleveland and Ramona Saunders, journalist Gail O’Neill and Ebony Fashion Fair commentator Audrey Smaltz. What a treat it was to meet these game changers and to share some great looks from our Atlanta gathering.

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