First Row & Backstage with Fashion TV

First Row & 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 ·
Online via Zoom · In English

Register now

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


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.


John Cressey is the founder and director of Paris Télévision Centre Ltd. A man who has been filming for fashion since 1981, Cressey has been the photo director for several projects, including Rêves d'Afrique and music videos for artists such as Johnny Hallyday and JJ Goldman. Cressey has 20 years of experience filming documentaries, and has also worked on two fashion television programs, Fashion File and Fashion Television. Recently, Cressey acquired "La Cave d'Edouard", an art gallery/wine store in Montmartre. 

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; the Lycée français de Chicago; as well as students of French at Loyola University and DePaul University in Chicago; University of Wisconsin - Madison: Washington University in Saint-Louis; and Oberlin College. This project is partially supported by a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events.


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