Ava DuVernay is currently collaborating with The Inevitable Defeat Of Mister And Pete writer Michael Starrbury to write a script for the film adaptation of Robin Givhan’s 2015 book The Battle Of Versailles: The Night American Fashion Stumbled Into The Spotlight And Made History for HBO Films. DuVernay will also be producing Battle of Versailles under the watchful eye of the book’s author, alongside fellow producers Karen Glass and Angela Mancuso.
The upcoming fashion flick documents the game-changing 1973 fashion show that pitted the top five American and French designers against each other, in order to raise money for the restoration of King Louis XIV’s Palace of Versailles. The high-pressure show was viewed by the social elite of the time and Team America made the monumental decision to feature ten African-American models out of their 30 models stomping the catwalk. This innovation paid off and sparked the conversation for the fashion world to become more ethnically diverse.
French veterans YSL, Givenchy, Pierre Cardin, Emanuel Ungaro and Marc Bohan from Christian Dior put on an extravagant show with elaborate couture and a classical orchestra. Alternatively, the American underdogs Oscar de la Renta, Bill Blass, Anne Klein, Halston, Stephen Burrows and Anne Klein with her relatively unknown assistant Donna Karan opted for a more simplistic presentation, against a pre-recorded Al Green soundtrack. They were never meant to win, but America wowed the judges with their energy and fearlessly diverse models and the show put their designers well and truly on the map.
This is definitely Ava’s year to switch things up in Hollywood and on the silver screen. Her Oscar win for 2014’s Selma biopic got the ball rolling and now she has an OWN drama in the works with Oprah Winfrey, entitled Queen Sugar, and the Disney adaptation of childhood classic A Wrinkle In Time under her belt. You go girl!