The Versailles Models of 1973 were an entourage of some of the most beautiful and futuristic models in the world, who earned their reputation and fame thanks to an unforgettable and inspirational showing at the Grand Divertissement a Versailles fashion show in Paris, France.
The 11 models whose lives changed overnight after their dazzling beauty and effortless strut put them in the glaring spotlight, were Pat Cleveland, Bethann Hardison, Billie Bair, Jennifer Brice, Alva Chinn, Norma Jean Darden, Charlene Dash, Barbara Jackson, China Machado, Ramona Saunders and Amina Warsuma. Its also worthy to note that they are all of African-American descent which proves that even back then the allure of all things exotic was causing a bit of a stir in the world of fashion. These graceful beauties not only helped put five American designers on the map (Bill Blass, Halston, Oscar de la Renta, Anne Klein and Stephen Burrows), but they brought a certain level of public dignity to black women that sadly is still somewhat lacking today.
Deborah Riley Draper, 44, is on a mission to tell this enchanting story with a fairy-tale ending in her new doc, “Versailles ’73: An American Revolution”. She was inspired after watching a segment on ABC News, and was surprised that she had never heard about how these group of women had become trailblazers in an industry that isn’t always flexible when it comes to embracing certain types of looks.
After a lot of in depth research, intimate interviews, and even visiting the very imposing Palace of Versailles, Draper is confident that her film will be completed by March this year, just time for the Cannes Film Festival.
We absolutely can’t wait to see this amazing story come to life and finally celebrate the women behind the legend.