Monday, May 21, 2012

Versailles 73: American Runway Revolution

Pat Cleveland

Billie Blair 

Alva Chinn

Charlene Dash

Bethann Hardison

Amina Warsuma (I could only find this little photo of Amina Warsuma, if anyone has a larger one, I would love to see it.  But don't you just LOVE the Zandra Rhodes she is wearing?!)

China Machado

were the models of Versailles in 1973.

In January of last year I went to a lunch at the Metropolitan Museum of Art to celebrate the models of that infamous friendly competition between American fashion designers and French designers .  Oscar de la Renta spoke (a lot), Donna Karan spoke too and Stephen Burrows managed to get a few words in.  And the women we were there to celebrate, the models of that evening in Versailles in 1973, unfortunately barely had a chance to speak at all.  The only little anecdote we heard was that there was little food and lots of people fighting .  And I wanted to hear so much more.  Happily debuting during the Cannes film festival is a new documentary, Versailles 73: American Runway Revolution and it looks like there will be hopefully be more models and less Oscar.  You can see the preview here.

And I am absolutely thrilled to have at RARE vintage a Halston dress very similar to one photographed on the oh so fabulous Pat Cleveland.

`  Pat Cleveland in the Halston gown.  Image from Halston An American Original by Elaine Gross and Fred Rottman.

This dress is BEAUTIFUL!  It is a wrap dress which is of course very typical of Halston.  It is in a heavy emerald silk taffeta with a black silk sash for the waist and what many people often forget about Halston is what a superb craftsman he was.  To accentuate the nipped and fitted waist, Halston "padded" the interior hip area with integral silk organza panniers.   (I will be adding photos of the interior shortly)  The sleeves are gathered at the wrist and for that very American sportswear feel, can be worn pushed up on the arm.

Halston emerald silk gown.


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