Fashion & Beauty

The Battle of Versailles: The Fashion Showdown of 1973

The first illustrated book to chronicle the dramatic 1973 face-off between French and American fashion designers, which left an indelible mark on the fashion industry, launched American designers as a global force, and challenged the cultural norms of the time.

Images from the archives of renowned fashion photojournalists Bill Cunningham and Jean-luce Huré—largely unseen until now—capture the behind-the-scenes drama, fabulous clothing, iconic models, and glamorous guests at this historic show. 

The show pitted French designers (Yves Saint Laurent, Pierre Cardin, Emanuel Ungaro, Marc Bohan, and Hubert de Givenchy) against their unsung American counterparts (Oscar de la Renta, Stephen Burrows, Halston, Bill Blass, and Anne Klein). With a guest list of 700 notables including Princess Grace, Marie-Hélène de Rothschild, Andy Warhol, Liza Minnelli, and Josephine Baker, this celebrated event has become legendary. The French designers built elaborate sets and played classical music during their presentation, while in stark contrast, the American designers used simple sets, played contemporary music, and had eleven black models, unheard of at the time. Ultimately, the Americans and their spirited models stole the show with their youthfully modern approach.

Photographs before, during, and after the show alongside excerpts from Cunningham’s private detailed diary are published here, unedited, for the first time.

About The Author

Mark Bozek is the founder/CEO of Live Rocket, producer/director of the film The Times of Bill Cunningham. Liza Minnelli is an actress, singer, dancer, and choreographer. Pat Cleveland is one of the first African-American models to achieve prominence on the runway and in print. Diet Prada is an Instagram account founded by Tony Liu and Lindsey Schuyler.

  • Publish Date: September 24, 2024
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Category: Design - Fashion & Accessories
  • Publisher: Rizzoli
  • Trim Size: 9 x 12
  • Pages: 288
  • US Price: $85.00
  • CDN Price: $115.00
  • ISBN: 978-0-8478-3560-7

Author Bookshelf: Bill Cunningham

Author Bookshelf: Liza Minnelli