Tribute to the Models of Versailles 1973

Imagine, a fashion show starring all the hottest black models of the moment, at Paris' Palace du Versailles no less, before an audience of movie stars, royals, and jetsetters. No, it's not some glittering fashion actually happened, back in 1973! To drum up publicity for the crumbling palace, the top French and American designers staged a fashion face-off--with the American designers only black models. Models like Pat Cleveland, Alva Chinn, Bethanne Hardison twirled and boogied down the catwalk to R&B tunes in front of Jackie Kennedy, Princess Grace, and Liza Minella (who performed at the show). A roaring standing ovation ensued, Black models became suddenly, widly chic, and fashion history was made. On Monday, a private, star-studded luncheon was held to pay tribute to the ten women of color who made history at the Grand Divertissement à Versailles--including legendary catwalk queens Bethanne Hardison, Alva Chinn and Pat Cleveland. Here, some of the most memorable moments of the star-studded afternoon.
ESSENCE.COM Jan, 25, 2011

1 of 9

Models Amina Warsuma, Norma Jean Darden, Pat Cleveland, designer Steven Burrows, Charlene Dash, Alva Chin, China Machado, Billie Blair, and Bethann Hardison attend the Tribute To The Models Of Versailles 1973.

2 of 9

Legendary catwalk queens Amina Warsuma and Iman strike a slinky pose in all-black ensembles. Perfection!

3 of 9

Supermodel Veronica Webb was chicer-than-chic in a crisp, velvet wrap dress paired with a leopard statement bag.

4 of 9

Soledad O’Brien, Donna Karan (who assisted at the iconic Versailles fashion show), and television journalist Alina Cho put their best foot forward in blue and black tones.

5 of 9

Pat Cleveland and Iman enjoy a fashion moment with iconic designers Oscar de la Renta and Donna Karan, both of whom contributed pieces to the 1973 Versailles fashion show.

6 of 9

Model Liya Kebede was the picture of casual cool in a boxy, printed tunic, skinny pants and white booties.

7 of 9

British songstress Estelle worked it in a satiny tuxedo jacket, a royal blue tuxedo and matching smoky eyes. We adore her style.

8 of 9 Cicely Tyson attends the Tribute To The Models Of Versailles 1973 at The Metropolitan Museum Of Art on January 24, 2011 in New York City.

Serving up no-holds-barred glamour, iconic actress Cicely Tyson paired a show-stopping fur hat with her chocolate and black ensemble.

9 of 9

June Ambrose attends the Tribute To The Models Of Versailles 1973 at The Metropolitan Museum Of Art on January 24, 2011 in New York City.


# News


# News