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Bethann Hardison, Daniela Morera, and Stephen Burrows at Le Grand Divertissement à Versailles - 1973. Photo by Rose Hartman.
Bethann Hardison, Daniela Morera, and Stephen Burrows at Le Grand Divertissement à Versailles – 1973. Photo by Rose Hartman.

The Battle of Versailles Fashion Show was an event created by Eleanor Lambert and Versailles curator Gerald Van der Kemp to raise money and to restore the famed palace.

Held on November 28, 1973; it pitted old world designers (Yves Saint Laurent, Pierre Cardin, Emanuel Ungaro, Christian Dior, and Hubert de Givenchy) and American relative newcomers (Oscar de la Renta, Stephen Burrows (designer), Halston, Bill Blass, and Anne Klein, who brought along her then-assistant, Donna Karan.With a guest list of 700 and notables such as Princess Grace, Andy Warhol and Liza Minnelli, the event became legendary

"The Battle of Versalles-1973" Marie-Helene de Rothschild with Princess Grace of Monaco.
“The Battle of Versalles-1973” Marie-Helene de Rothschild with Princess Grace of Monaco.
 Liza at Battle of Versailles
Liza at Battle of Versailles
'Versailles ’73' - Andy Warhol at Versailles with Yves Saint Laurent, Mary Russel, and Pierre Berge
‘Versailles ’73’ – Andy Warhol at Versailles with Yves Saint Laurent, Mary Russel, and Pierre Berge
Marisa Berenson, Halston and Liza Minnelli at the festivities. Famous Runway Showdown at 'Versailles ’73'
Marisa Berenson, Halston and Liza Minnelli at the festivities. Famous Runway Showdown at ‘Versailles ’73’

.Each designer was to submit eight designs for consideration. The Parisian designers viewed their competition as mere sportswear designers.The American designers used an unprecedented number (eleven) of Black models from the era. The American designers and their models stole the show.

10 African American Models...Battle of Versailles
10 African American Models…Battle of Versailles
American Fashion’s Night of Triumph: The Battle of Versailles
American Fashion’s Night of Triumph: The Battle of Versailles
Battle of Versailles

In 2011, The Huffington Post Game Changer Awards honored the African American models of Versailles with the Style Award. The models included Pat Cleveland, Bethann Hardison, Billie Blair, Jennifer Brice, Alva Chinn, Norma Jean Darden, Charlene Dash, Barbara Jackson, China Machado, Ramona Saunders, and Amina Warsuma

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The bold and beautiful models of the Battle of Versailles and the generation for whom they paved the way model spring's biggest trends.
The bold and beautiful models of the Battle of Versailles and the generation for whom they paved the way model spring’s biggest trends.
Le Château De Versailles...Hall of Battles
Le Château De Versailles…Hall of Battles
French designer Hubert de Givenchy
French designer Hubert de Givenchy
French designer Hubert de Givenchy
French designer Hubert de Givenchy
 American designers Halston and Bill Blass
American designers Halston and Bill Blass
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