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Chic & You: The Film Series • Battle at Versailles

  • Thursday May 19 at 6:30 p.m.

  • Free for members and students* • $15 Non-Members

  • *Register with .edu email address or present Student ID

  • In English • Glass of bubbles included

  • On-site • 54 W. Chicago Ave.

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Put your best foot forward when we roll out the red carpet for you with the chic-est film series in Chic-ago! A flute of bubbles included. Enter a chance to win a getaway one-night stay at the Sofitel at each screening!

Battle at Versailles 1973 (2016, Fritz Mitchell, English, 61min.)


Go behind-the-scenes for the Battle of Versailles!

How did the 1973 Battle of Versailles change the course of fashion history?

The showdown took place over the course of a memorable and very long evening at the Palais de Versailles in front of guests such as Grace Kelly, Jane Birkin, Andy Warhol, Josephine Baker. It pitted five French Haute-Couture houses (Yves Saint Laurent, Hubert de Givenchy, Emanuel Ungaro, Pierre Cardin and Christian Dior) against the champion of American prêt-à- porter (Halston, Oscar de la Renta, Bill Blass, Stephen Burrows and Anne Klein). The French had staged set, live rhinoceros and 17th century music, but the Americans had Black models like Pat Cleveland, Alva Chinn, Billie Blair, and Bethann Hardison dancing and voguing and storming the stage along with a little help from Liza Minelli. “Americans came, they sewed, they conquered,” was the Women’s Wear Daily headline the next day.

“The November 1973 event was made possible by the meeting of legendary fashion publicist Eleanor Lambert and Palace of Versailles curator Gerald Van der Kemp, who was seeking opportunities to fundraise for palace renovations. The once-immaculate compound of Louis XIV had seen better days and needed restorative work. Eleanor proposed a dinner and fashion show that would feature both French­ and American designers. At the time, the French were the only designers who seemed to matter in the industry. They were the couturiers, the trendsetters. Everyone else, Americans included, just followed their lead. So the narrative went until the Battle of Versailles.”
-Town and Country

Alex Aubry, Director of the Fashion resource Centre at the School of the Art Institute Fashion Department, co-curator of our first Chic and you Series who brought us programs with French couple and fashion influencers, The Young Emperors, the couturiere Sophie Theallet, and supermodel Veronica Webb. Alex was previously International Features Editor for Harper’s Bazaar Middle East.

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