Savannah Magazine

The Authentic Savannah

JF17Cover

JF17Cover

Fall16Cover

Fall16Cover

FallWinter16Cover

FallWinter16Cover

Tag Archives: Savannah College of Art and Design

PSW Students Those Busy Bees! SCAD president and founder Paula Wallace unveils Savannah Songs to celebrate Georgia Day.

Read More »


Meet some of SCAD's shining stars of fashion before the annual SCAD Fashion Show.

Read More »


In town for SCAD Style, Fern Mallis shops Savannah and stops to talk about not making plans.

Read More »


[caption id="attachment_8629" align="aligncenter" width="360" caption="Marisa Berenson, Halston and Liza Minnelli from "Versailles '73""][/caption]

In this age of anything-goes style choice, have you ever wondered what a real fashion revolution looks like?  Danielle Austin gets a glimpse.

Thanks to Versailles’73: American Runway Revolution, a documentary written and directed by Savannah-native Deborah Riley Draper, you can relive the night in November 1973 when five American designers won the most profound battle in fashion history.  Their weapons of choice: Fresh, ready-to-wear designs and bold African-American models who marched like soldiers and turned like dancers. Draper doesn’t leave any casualties on the battlefield in this carefully crafted film—a true David-and-Goliath story that pits the reigning fashion capital of Paris against the upstarts from New York.  Draper examines every angle, from the catfights behind the scenes to the catwalks that turned the fashion industry upside down.  And, of course, she does it with style. The film opens with archival footage of Walter Cronkite reporting about the lavish fundraiser that helped restore The Palace of Versailles.  Then, the film cuts to a whirlwind of fashion photos and fast-paced music from the ‘70s as the opening credits roll.  The story unfolds through a series of interviews and well-placed documents, photos and videos from 1973. [caption id="attachment_8631" align="aligncenter" width="576" caption="Designer Stephen Burrows. Photography courtesy of SCAD."][/caption] The mastermind behind the fundraiser-turned-fashion throwdown, publicist Eleanor Lambert, knew that an international runway challenge would put her clients Anne Klein, Stephen Burrows, Bill Blass, Oscar de la Renta and Halston—as well as New York—on the fashion map.   But these newcomers were going up against established French heavyweights—Yves St. Laurent, Hubert de Givenchy, Pierre Cardin, Emanuel Ungaro and Christian Dior designer Marc Bohan.  And even though Lambert wasn’t necessarily planning on a fashion revolution, she believed wholeheartedly that a change was gonna come. “Eleanor Lambert was tough, but she loved American fashion and she thought we had a voice and she was set to prove that to the world. And she did, there in Versailles in 1973,” recalls Burrows in the film. The French might have been reluctant to hear that voice, but by the time the show was over, they had to admit that American designers had changed the course of fashion.  And in more ways than one. While most people are aware of the affects this show had on the descent of haute couture and ascendance of ready-to-wear designs, a story that isn’t as commonly told is how it broke down barriers for African-Americans models in the fashion industry. After seeing 12 black models walk in the American show, audience members were shocked—in the best way possible.  These women exuded a radiant energy with each step they took.  It was unlike anything anyone had seen on the traditional European runways and they couldn’t get enough—an attitude that has since changed in today’s fashion industry. [caption id="attachment_8632" align="aligncenter" width="576" caption="Model Pat Cleveland. Photography courtesy of SCAD."][/caption] But Draper allows us to reminisce about a time when the fashion industry celebrated our differences through the riveting and often humorous first-hand accounts of Versailles models Pat Cleveland, Billie Blair, Alva Chinn, designer Burrows and a variety of art historians and curators—some of whom Draper interviewed at Versailles. “To be able to shoot in the actual theatre and the King’s apartment and go to all the places that the girls had described, I felt like I was there 9in ‘730,” said Draper.  And so will the viewers watching the film. Even though it took 40 years for someone to tell this truly American story, it’s apparent that Draper was the one to tell it.  Cast members Burrows, Cleveland and Silver agree.  All three were on hand with Draper for a panel discussion following the screening. [caption id="attachment_8630" align="aligncenter" width="576" caption="Stephen Burrows, Pat Cleveland, Cameron Silver and Deborah Riley Draper at the SCAD Museum of Art for SCAD Style 2013. Photography courtesy of SCAD"][/caption]

Versailles ’73: American Runway Revolution might have been Draper’s directorial debut, but the film feels as if it was made by a seasoned documentarian.  And pretty soon she will be. She’s already working on another fashion documentary about model Donyale Luna as well as two features films, one of which Savannahians may get to be a part of.

“I think when I’m going to do my feature, I’m going to come home and shoot it because there’s so much talent here [Savannah] and a lot of movies are shot here. Plus it will be good to be home,” said Draper.

Read Danielle's Savannah Morning News opinion piece on racism in the fashion industry HERE >>

Read More »


A celebrated interior designer brings her vision for an inspired life to SCAD Style.  See the possibilities.

Read More »


SCAD Style kicks off with a lesson in celebrating style from Tiffany & Co.'s design director.  Take notes.  

Read More »


The 15th annual Savannah Film Festival opened with a walk along the red carpet and a montage of the films, honored guests and signature moments that have made this "the nicest film festival in the world."

Photo courtesy of SCAD

Read our recaps, reviews and interviews with the stars, RIGHT HERE >>
 
Review:  Rise of the Guardians
 
Recap:  Friday Night Goes Full Throttle
 
Review: The Sapphires
 
Recap: A Bevy of Awards and Brews
 
Review: Tomorrow You're Gone
 
Review: Rust and Bone
 
Review: Dreams are not Forgotten
 
Interview: 7 Minutes, 31 Seconds with Diane Lane
 
Review: Hyde Park on Hudson
 
Recap: Halloween Meets Hump Day 
 
Review: Don't Stop Believin'
   
Snapshots: Evening Reception at Savannah Smiles
   
Review: Quartet
  [caption id="attachment_6619" align="aligncenter" width="454" caption="Stan Lee not so humbly accepted the Lifetime Achievement Award from SCAD Co-founder and President Paula Wallace, proclaiming to the audience, "I deserve it 100%!" The audience played sidekick to their hero with a standing ovation for the creative genius behind some of America's most iconic superheroes and villains for 71 years. Then--POW!--Lee coyly let the audience know that his wife would be asking him to take out the garbage when he got home. After many heartfelt thanks, Lee stooped down to collect his award , delivering the nights final gag, "I hope I can lift this; it's so heavy." If only Captain America was there to save the day!"][/caption]
Snapshot: Stan Lee
 
Review: Nobody Walks
 
Snapshots: Evening Reception at Cha Bella
Review: On the Road
   
Review: No Woman, No Cry
   
Interview: 3 Minutes, 52 Seconds with John Goodman
   
Interview: 8 Minutes with John Gatins
 
Review: Flight
 
Recap: A Party at the Olde Pink House 
   
Review: Silver Linings Playbook
   

Interview: 9 Minutes with Adam Shankman
   
Recap: Opening Night of 15th Annual Film Festival
           

Read More »