Versailles '73: American Runway Revolution | Chicago Reader

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91 minutes · 2013

Conceived as a benefit to help restore the palace at Versailles, the 1973 runway show billed as the Grand Divertissement at Versailles pitted French and American designers against one another, forever altering the fashion industry, and also marked a turning point for African American models. Unfortunately this 2012 documentary on the star-studded soiree is unimaginative to the point of tedium. Director Deborah Riley Draper uses the same routine camera setup for dozens of interviewees; half the time, she can't be bothered to mike her subjects properly, and her use of archival footage is simplistic. Even the most dedicated of fashion historians might be disheartened by this shoddy account of a supposedly monumental evening.

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