First Row and Backstage with Fashion TV

First Row and Backstage with Fashion TV

With Nan Devitt and John Cressey, Fashion TV

Thursday, November 19 at 12:00 p.m.
$10 members · $20 non-members · $40 V.I.P· $60 V.I.P "La Française"
Online via Zoom · In English

Register now

12:00 p.m. (Chicago), 1:00 p.m. (New York) and 7:00 p.m. (Paris)

VIP tickets: Hang out with our guests after the event thanks to a separate zoom link. Limited availability, reserve early! Series of 7 V.I.P tickets: $260.

V.I.P La Française tickets: Chicago only! Hang out with our guests after the event & enjoy half a bottle of Taittinger Brut "La Française". Please note: Champagne must be picked at the Alliance Française, 810 N. Dearborn St., during our business hoursA separate Zoom link will be sent the day before the event.


Nan Devitt was Paris field producer for the ground-breaking show Fashion Television from the mid-1980’s until the late 1990’s – a time considered by many to have been a golden age, before the onset of more corporate control of fashion house imaging. Fashion Television produced by Canadians for a world market was the first of its kind – a program dedicated to runways and les coulisses – offering access to designers backstage and in their ateliers. By virtue of its existence, the show fueled the breakout supermodel culture – turning Linda, Christy and Naomi (among many others) into household names.


When Nan Devitt and her cameraman John Cressey started out, no one in Paris understood why anybody would want to video a fashion show. They gained the trust first of the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne, then of the fashion houses and their star designers too. Devitt and Cressey spent many years thereafter enjoying insider access to a gloriously creative and almost quaintly genteel high fashion world that independent camera crews and fans of fashion only dream of now.

Join us for their freewheeling talk about how putting the runway on TV brought Hollywood’s A-list to the first row; paved the way for today’s influencers; and brought haute-couture to the people on the street…


This series is curated by Alexander Aubry; Patrizia di Carrobio; and Aimee Laberge – in partnership with the Fashion Resource Center the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC).



Free admission for this program is offered to students in Fashion Studies at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago. This project is partially supported by a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events.


Support and Save! Become an Alliance française member for as little as $75 a year for a culture and mediatheque membership.