the life of a teenage fashionista

Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Battle of Versailles at F.I.T.

Last night I went to the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC for their Fashion Culture Book Signing on The Battle of Versailles: The Night American Fashion Stumbled into the Spotlight and Made History. This is written by Robin Givhan, a Pulitzer Prize winner for Criticism. I had the amazing chance to have her autograph my copy and speak to her for a bit after the show concluded. I am so excited to begin to read the book after hearing Robin illustrate the event in its entirety. 

Learning about the Battle of Versailles was very intriguing. Actually after listening to the facts, I think it should belong in a global textbook of some sort. The Battle marks the night of the Americans versus the French. It was a fashion show held in 1973 to raise money for the crumbling Palace of Versailles. At the time, the French were known to be the rulers of the couture world. America was known for casual sportswear which did not cut it. 

Seven hundred of the top celebrities, socialites, and anyone else in the know gathered at the palace on Novemeber 28, 1973 for a night that would shape the fashion industry as we know it today. The American designers in the show included: Stephen Burrows, Anne Klein (who was battling breast cancer at the time), Bill Blass, Halston, and Oscar de la Renta. They headed to France to compete against: Yves Saint Laurent, Hubert de Givenchy, Pierre Cardin, Emanuel Ungaro, and Marc Bohan from Christian Dior. 

There are lots of incredible and humorous details along the way leading to the battle, but overall the French had the victory when it came to design. Americans instead embraced their creativity and did something unfamiliar. They used models with vibrant energy and ten of the models were African-American which was revolutionary. This night marked a change in the way America would be viewed in the fashion world. We were more than sportswear, as we had our own talents that differed us from France. Today New York is known as the fashion capital of the world and events such as the Battle of Versailles is what gave us the chance to allow this to occur.

Since the theater was right across the street from the museum, I stopped there next. The last time I went to the Museum at F.I.T. was back in December, so they have switched up some exhibits since then such as Lauren Bacall and Yves Saint Laurent + Halston. I had to stop and look at the Faking It exhibit as well even though I saw it before. It gets better and better each time!



  1. That sounds like it was absolutely amazing. It is always wonderful to learn more and experience new things. Thanks for sharing your story and pictures! :)

  2. you look great and that looks like an interesting event

  3. That sounds like it was a great lecture and the exhibit look amazing!


  4. So interesting, I which I was there o:

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  5. It must have been so interesting!<3 Wish I had a chance to particpate in such an event one day dear!

  6. your blog is very interesting, great job:)

  7. Hey, what's up, you alright..?
    Great post hun, thanks for sharing.

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  9. nice post :) happy Easter. Kisses :)

  10. Sounds like such an interesting event, you looked lovely as well!

    The Velvet Black | UK Style & Beauty Blog

  11. Wooo, my future school! It looks like an amazing event! It sounds like such an interesting event to attend. I'm glad you had a good time!


  12. Can you imagine living in that era? Sounds like the perfect talk and exhibition to pp along to! x Rebecca - UK fashion blog

  13. That events seems very interesting !

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  14. Love the photos and your blog :3

    Ana, xo ♥

  15. Thank you so much for sharing this! I have added the book to my "to read" list!

    XX, SS || A Little Seersucker Sass

  16. Lovely post! :)

  17. Amazing post!!!

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  18. Great event!!! very interesting!!!
    Have a good week!! and my g+ for your post!!!!:)))

    Besos, desde España, Marcela♥

  19. wow, nice experience, thanks for sharing your visit to Fashion Institute.

  20. I think this is so inspiring, so really well done to you babe! Tamara

  21. Such an interesting day lovely, and the exhibition looked amazing. Would love to have seen the Lauren Bacall one :)



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