Though she’s committed to two other sci-fi projects and OWN’s “Queen Sugar” drama series, “Selma” helmer Ava DuVernay has taken on another gig – she’s set to direct “The Battle Of Versailles” for HBO Films.
DuVernay and Michael Starrbury will co-write the film based on fashion journalist Robin Givhan’s 2015 non-fiction novel which deals with the 1973 Palace of Versailles fashion show which served as a fundraiser for the restoration of King Louis XIV’s palace.
The show pitted the top five French designers (Yves Saint Laurent, Hubert de Givenchy, Pierre Cardin, Emanuel Ungaro, and Marc Bohan of Christian Dior) against five then-unknown Americans (Oscar de la Renta, Bill Blass, Halston, Stephen Burrows and Anne Klein, who brought along her then-assistant Donna Karan) in front of an audience of the world’s social elite.
The French did a big-budget, two-hour extravaganza featuring elaborate set pieces and a live orchestra. The Americans a 35-minute show set to a pre-recorded Al Green soundtrack and backed by a line drawing of the Eiffel Towel.
Against the odds, the Americans won for their energetic presentation from thirty fearless models – ten of whom were African-American. By the end of the night, the industry would be left forever transformed.
DuVernay, Karen Glass and Angela Mancuso will executive produce.