Ava DuVernay to Direct Epic Fashion Film ‘The Battle of Versailles’

Selma director and general all-star Ava DuVernay has quite a full plate at the moment. Already set to direct the A Wrinkle in Time adaptation and sci-fi flick Intelligent Life, it’s just been announced that she’s signed on to direct a big-screen version of Robin Givhan’s The Battle Of Versailles: The Night American Fashion Stumbled Into The Spotlight And Made History, the 2015 book about the 1973 fashion event. 

The ’73 event was a big deal, and featured 10 major fashion designers, five from America and five from France, in what was meant as a nice fundraiser for the restoration of King Louis XIV’s palace. America was represented by Oscar de la Renta, Bill Blass, Anne Klein, Halston, and Stephen Burrows, while France was represented by Yves Saint Laurent, Hubert de Givenchy, Pierre Cardin, Emanuel Ungaro, and Marc Bohan of Christian Dior.

Perhaps just as groundbreaking as the basis for the event — remember, this was pre-Project Runway — was the fact that ten of the models were African American. Because the battle was won by the Americans, who were seen as underdogs in the fashion world, the outcome of the event is said to have influenced the fashion industry ever since, ripples still being felt in 2016.

DuVernay is cowriting the script with Michael Starrbury. No word on a release date for the film, but given the director’s packed schedule, chances are it won’t be for a while.