In one corner, you had the American upstarts: Anne Klein, Oscar de la Renta, Bill Blass, Halston, and Stephen Burrows. In another corner were the French fashion gods: Christian Dior, Hubert de Givenchy, Yves St. Laurent, Emanuel Ungaro, and Pierre Cardin. This scene played out not in a boxing ring but on a runway inside the gilded walls of Versailles in November 1973, when an elite crowd gathered for the “Grand Divertissement à Versailles.” Earlier this year, the Metropolitan Museum hosted a luncheon to honor models—including Pat Cleveland and China Machado—who walked in the controversial runway showdown, and now comes word that Robin Givhan (pictured) is writing a book about the event. The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and fashion critic, who last year decamped from The Washington Post to join Tina Brown‘s Newsbeast, has just inked a deal for One Night at Versailles: The Fashion Showdown that Changed Everything, which will be published by Penguin Press. Publishers Marketplace reports that the book will be “an in-depth look at how the ‘Grand Divertissement a Versailles’ set a diverse group of American designers against the lions of French fashion in a seismic cultural event and turning point in the history of American fashion.”
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