Ava DuVernay To Direct ‘The Battle of Versailles’

The work load is anything but slowing down for Ava DuVernay.

The writer-director has her hands on multiple projects – namely Queen Sugar debuting on OWN and Disney’s A Wrinkle in Time, she’s now working with HBO Films to direct The Battle of Versailles.

The film centers on the fashion show that broke racial barriers and put American designers and Black models on the map and pulls from The Battle Of Versailles: The Night American Fashion Stumbled Into The Spotlight And Made History by fashion journalist Robin Givhan.

The 1973 Palace of Versailles fashion show was a fundraiser for the restoration of King Louis XIV’s palace. The event pitted five French designers inclusive of Yves Saint Laurent, Givenchy, Pierre Cardin, Emanuel Ungaro and Marck Bohan of Christian Dior against then-uknown American designers Oscar de la Renta, Anne Klein, Donna Karan (then Klein’s assistant), Stephen Burrows, Bill Blass and Halson against each other in front of an audience of the social elite.

While the French designers prepared an extravagant two-hour production with a live classical orchestra to kick off the evening, the American designers constructed a 35-minute showcase with a pre-recorded Al Green track playing the background and an Eiffel Tower backdrop.

The Americans were the victors of the night due to the energy of the fashion show. Adding even more excitement to their victory was that 10 out of their 30 models were African American. It was a total groundbreaking move!

DuVernay also serves as a co-writer and executive producer on the project.